Saturday, March 17, 2012

Let's spread the word!

We all know just how important car seat safety is and we all know how many people have no idea what they are doing wrong.

This got me thinking today. What is the best way to spread awareness for car seat safety?

A giveaway :D

A few days ago, I got some decals I had ordered from Good Golly Graphics.

This is what they look like on:

and here are the links to the stock images so you can look at them without a glare ;)

Extended Rear Facing

Extended Harnessing

So here's the fun part!! How do you get one for your car? There are 3 possible ways.

1. Well, the most obvious choice would be to head right over to Good Golly Graphics and buy one. She has lightning fast shipping, amazing customer service, and awesome prices!! Her work is not limited to vehicle decals, these are just ones I had worked with her to create. Basically, if you can imagine it, she can create it and put it on a decal for you (wall, car, toilet, plaque etc)

2. You can refer all of your friends to this blog post
Have them read it and comment that you sent them. Whoever has the most amount of referrals as of 11:59pm Saturday, March 24th 2012 will win a free decal of their choice (of the two pictured above) courtesy of Amanda from Good Golly Graphics!

3. Comment on this post. That's all you have to do. On Saturday, March 24th, comments will be closed and I will use to pick a winner. You will get to choose from the two decals above and I will pay for the graphic and shipping myself :)

Winners will be posted on Sunday, March 25th by noon.

It's really that easy, there is no catch! A vehicle decal is the quickest and easiest way to spread car seat safety awareness because of how much time you spend in your car!

You MUST "like" Good Golly Graphic's facebook page to be eligible. Both winners will be verified before shipping.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Passionate Parenting 101

This is a "note" I had found that I wrote on Facebook about a year ago. My perspective has remained unchanged and I have become even more passionate on some of these issues.

Why am I posting it?

This is just to give you a taste of who I am as a parent. These topics are going to take up a great deal of this blog.

You don't have to agree with everything, I respect that! But if you find all or any of it interesting, feel free to follow the blog. You may learn something new along the way!

Many people get angry about the things I post. They say I think I'm perfect, and that everyone else is wrong and this couldn't be further from the truth. There are some things that people just have different opinions on how to do and with parenting, and a lot of times there is no right or wrong way of doing it, so yes, I will agree to disagree. However, there are some things that I wish were made into a law to protect children and I don't think there should be a choice. I am not a perfect parent, I doubt I ever will be. I do things to the best of my ability and what I think is most beneficial to my children. If you are tired of my links that I use to educate people should they choose to read it, then ignore them or delete me- I don't care either way. I am not going to change, I refuse to stop posting things I think are important for other people to read, whether it be about epidurals, routine inductions, elective c-sections, formula, vaccinations, genital mutilation, crying-it-out, co-sleeping, car seats, spanking, early feeding of solids or baby cereal/food in a bottle...the list goes on. I have had plenty of people say "I'm sorry I'm not a perfect parent like you." *Insert laugh here* lol, I am NOT perfect, and I am NOT judgmental.

I post the things I post in hopes that it will reach someone out there because when I had my kids I wish there was someone who would have taught me, not to say "you suck at what you are doing." There is a huge difference in doing something that is unsafe for your child because you genuinely do not know...and doing something unsafe because you refuse to be educated and you use the defense "I know what's best for my child." This is coming from someone who screwed up A LOT during her first 5 years of child-rearing. I try to help people learn from my mistakes. Most of my opinions come from personal experience.

These are my opinions and yes, like I said, we can "agree to disagree" on some of them (like vaccines) and as long as you are doing your research and believe that you've made the best choice, I commend you either way. I don't have time to type everything I know about each of these but if you have questions, I will be sure to answer them to the best of my ability or can point you in the right direction of someone who can give you unbiased information.


Sure you may think you can't handle the pain, but believe me, once you have that baby in your arms, that pain will be a distant memory. These are some of the risks and side effects of an epidural:

Maternal Risks

  • Hypotension (Drop in blood pressure)
  • Urinary Retention and Postpartum Bladder Dysfunction
  • Uncontrollable Shivering
  • Itching of the face, neck and throat
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Postpartum Backache
  • Maternal Fever
  • Spinal Headache
  • Uneven, incomplete or nonexistent pain relief
  • Feelings of Emotional detachment
  • Postpartum feelings of regret or loss of autonomy
  • Inability to move about freely on your own
  • Loss of perineal sensation and sexual function
  • Convulsions

  • Respitory paralysis

  • Cardiac arrest

  • Allergic shock

  • Nerve injury

  • Epidural abscess

  • Maternal death

Labor Side Effects

  • Prolonged First Stage of Labor
  • Increase of malpresentation of baby's head
  • Increased need for Pitocin augmentation
  • Prolonged Second Stage of Labor
  • Decrease in the ability to push effectively
  • Increased liklihood of forceps or vacuum extraction delivery
  • Increased likelihood of needing an episiotomy
  • Increase in cesarean section

Baby Side Effects

  • Fetal distress; abnormal fetal heart rate
  • Drowsiness at birth; poor sucking reflex
  • Poor muscle strength and tone in the first hours.

The pain can be helped with counter pressure, meditation etc (more on effective drug-free pain relief at another time)

This is a great link about epidurals and how they can actually make the birth more painful for your baby. Is it worth the pain of your child for you to be a little more comfortable?

Epidurals and me:

When I had Avery, I knew I wanted to experience some of the pain first and then get an epidural. I had a labor that lasted over 72 hours and I waited until the pain was unbearable (or so I thought) before I got one. With Kye, I had the shortest labor ever. My contractions were stacked right on top of another and I was in excruciating pain. When they finally admitted me, I screamed for MY epidural (haha as if it's a right of passage)...but it was too late by the time they believed me that the baby was coming...and I had him without one. After that, I knew that the pain was normal and if I'd done it once, I could do it again, and I really wasn't going to die. When I was induced with Kaylee (more on induction later), I told the nurses before any of the pain started that I was set on doing it naturally and I did not want them to ask me if I wanted any pain meds. I told them that if I needed anything, I would ask because I know when you are in that much pain, if someone offers it, it's going to be too hard to say no. A few minutes before Kaylee was born, I was told I was only dilated to a 6 and she was having a hard time getting into position and was facing the wrong direction, causing HORRIBLE back pain (I thought I was going to die), I begged for an epidural, deep down knowing that I really didn't want one, but I kept saying I couldn't do it anymore. However, I wasn't at a 6, I was completely dilated, and the pain I was experiencing was just her transitioning. She came out seconds later. If/when we have another baby, I want a homebirth (go ahead and call me crazy), I don't want pain meds to be an option because I know that I don't need them, and I want the birth to be as peaceful as possible.

Routine Inductions:

Routine/elective inductions are simply when a mom decides she's been pregnant too long or a doctor is ready for you to have your baby on his 8-5 schedule so that he doesn't have to be waken up at 3am on a Saturday night. The drug most commonly used is pitocin and these are some of the side effects.

Anaphylactic reaction

Premature ventricular contractions

Postpartum hemorrhage

Pelvic hematoma

Cardiac arrhythmia

Subarachnoid hemorrhage

Fatal afibrinogenemia

Hypertensive episodes

Nausea Rupture of the uterus


Excessive dosage or hypersensitivity to the drug may result in uterine hypertonicity, spasm, tetanic contraction, or rupture of the uterus.

The possibility of increased blood loss and afibrinogenemia should be kept in mind when administering the drug.

Severe water intoxication with convulsions and coma has occurred, associated with a slow oxytocin infusion over a 24-hour period. Maternal death due to oxytocin-induced water intoxication has been reported.

The following adverse reactions have been reported in the fetus:


Low Apgar scores at five minutes

Premature ventricular contractions and other arrhythmias


Permanent CNS or brain damage

Neonatal retinal hemorrhage


Neonatal seizures

Keep in mind, nobody knows when a baby is ready to be born except that baby. Full term is considered anywhere from 37-42 weeks. That means even though you are past your ESTIMATED due date, you are not post term until you hit 42 weeks and 1 day. Don't rush the process, let the baby develop on his/her own schedule, they will come when they are ready. When you get discouraged, just remember that nobody has ever been pregnant forever and 43-44 weeks is considered completely normal! You may be tired of being pregnant, but I bet everyone is also tired of the complaining :P Women have been doing this since the beginning of man, you'll survive 40+ weeks.

Inductions and me:

I was induced at 40 weeks with Kaylee. My doctor had been telling me since about half way through my pregnancy that we were going to need to induce between 38-39 weeks because if I let Kaylee get too big, I would likely tear and hemorrhage to death. Doctors know everything right? So I agreed, we planned a tentative induction date, made plans for Dan's mom to come out for the birth etc. At about 38 weeks, I started doing some research on it (better late than never) and realized there were hundreds of women I had the privilege of speaking with who had been told the same thing. I started thinking that maybe the doctor was wrong, how exactly could she predict the future anyway? I had big babies before, yes I hemorrhaged but I didn't die! And if the doctor knows that you have a higher chance of it happening, they know what to look for after the birth. I really did not want to force my baby out when she wasn't ready to be earthside yet and only she knew when that time would come. But hearing it time after time at the doctor's appointment that 39 weeks was the latest I could go, I began doubting myself. In the end, I put it off until 40 weeks and Kaylee (over 9lbs) came out completely fine without a tear or cut. I wish I would have waited for labor to start on it's own, pitocin makes contractions hurt so much worse and who knows if Kaylee wasn't completely ready to be delivered and possibly needed another week or 2. Of course, I will never know, but I do know that if we have another, labor will begin naturally like it did for Avery and Kye.


I thankfully have never had to deal with this but like everything else, I do have an opinion. C-sections are performed all too often, numerous times because of complications that arise from the two aforemention medical interventions. A very small percentage of women actually need a c-section, but a lot of "needs" are misdiagnosed and the women could have easily gone on to have a vaginal birth. Even breech babies do not neeed to be born by c-section all of the time.


Simply put, cows' milk is for cows, human milk is for humans. You hear all the time stories of people who couldn't breastfeed. Some of them I truly believe couldn't do it, but it's a very small percentage. We were created to be able to feed our children this way. Formula is constantly recalled, has been sitting on the shelf for longer than your baby has been alive, and tastes and smells gross. Breastfeeding is proven to be better for immunity, development and can never be completely duplicated so there is much ignorance in the statement that "formula is just as good." Even the formula companies say "breast is best."

Formula and me:

Avery and Kye were both on formula after the first month because of overproduction issues (too much to explain right now). I didn't have any resources and my doctor encouraged me to quit because formula was just as I did. I feel awful that I didn't know what I know now, because of the lack of internet. With Kaylee, I was able to correct my issues and she's nearly 4 (now she is 15) months and going strong :)


This will be a short one. I believe that God gave my children and myself a natural immunity and I trust Him more than I trust some money-hungry vaccine company in regards to keeping my family safe. I don't agree with all of the disgusting ingredients they want me to shoot my children up with. I don't like that they may have caused Kye's allergies, asthma, and eczema. And in short, I do not believe and have never seen any proof that they work. All of my 3 years of research has shown that the decline of all of these diseases had already begun many years before the vaccine was produced, and the most logical explanation was better, cleaner, standards of living.

If you are interested in a list of ingredients:

Did you know that we vaccinate our children 3 1/2 times more often than when we were growing up?

Vaccines and me:

Avery and Kye were both vaccinated on schedule until Kye was in and out of the hospital the first two years of life with allergic reactions, allergy induced eczema, which had to be controlled by steroids, and in turn created MRSA infections ( a very vicious cycle). Every time he would get his shots, any progress he had made changed for the worse and we were back to square one. His immune system wasn't functioning at all. Anyone who has ever taken their kids for shots knows that they can't get them if they are sick. Well, Kye was very sick so he missed his 18 month shots. Shortly after, he seemed to be getting progressively better and his allergist and dermatologist blamed the vaccines for causing all of his health issues. So when it came time to reschedule, I held off, did some research, and was surprised at everything I had found out about it. I decided not to vaccinate anymore and have stuck to that. He is now EXTREMELY healthy. Coincidence? Maybe, but I doubt it. Avery still goes to public school *gasp* with the last time she has gotten vaccinated being age 2, and my precious little baby has not had one vaccine in her life and it will stay that way.


Nothing I could say could even remotely come close to those two links...please read them!

Circumcision and me

This is a really touchy subject for me, as I did it to Kye because that's what I was made to believe is normal and it's one of my biggest regrets. It's far from normal, it is completely inhumane, painful, can cause so many complications and/or death, and had absolutely NO medical necessity in 99.99999% of baby boys. Teach your little boys to wash themselves and they will be fine.

Out of 100 Circumcised boys:

75 will not readily breastfeed post-op

55 will have adverse reactions from the surgery

35 will have post-op hemorrhaging to one degree or another

31 will develop meatal ulcers

10 will need to have the circumcision surgery repeated to fix prior surgical problems/error

8 will suffer infection at the surgical site

3 will develop post-operative phimosis

2 will have a more serious complication (seizure, heart attack, stroke, loss of penis, death)

1 will require additional immediate surgery and sutures to stop hemorrhage

1 will develop fibrosis

1 will develop phimosis

1 will be treated with antibiotics for a UTI (urinary tract infection)

1 will be treated with antibiotics for surgical site infection

Of those who do receive pain medication for the surgery (about 4% of those boys undergoing circumcision in the U.S.) some will have adverse reactions to the pain medication injected

Out of 100 Intact boys:

2 will be treated with antibiotics for a UTI (fewer if the foreskin is never forcibly retracted)

1 will be told to get cut later in life for one reason or another (fewer if the foreskin is never forcibly retracted)

All taken from drmomma^. Statistics speak for themselves. You wouldn't circumcise your daughter, why do it to your son?

CIO (crying it out) and co-sleeping:

With Dan in the military, I see it all the time. Deployments come around and the insomnia kicks in. I dare you to ask any military wife why they have such a hard time sleeping when their husband is gone and you'll get an answer along the lines of "the bed feels too empty," "it's too cold" "I need his arm around me to sleep" etc. What makes you think a baby is any different? They just spend 9-10 months dependent on your warmth, your comfort, being "held" and now they are out and you throw them in a cold lonely crib to fend for themselves. Yes, they are going to cry! They need you, they don't need to be "trained." They aren't your pet, and they need to be able to trust you. You may think about it as "well I'm going to put them in their bed, then I will be right outside the door til they fall asleep, they are completely safe." Now how does a baby that has absolutely no time concept think? "Mommy left me and won't answer my cries and is never coming back. Yes, they will eventually go to sleep. Does this mean that you "won?" No, it means they've given up on you. And I'm sure after a few nights of doing it, the crying will lessen, but this isn't a victory, all it says is that they don't trust you, they know that you don't care and you aren't coming back. Think about this. Something happens and you get upset, your husband walks in crying, tells you "you'll be alright" and leaves the room...maybe he comes back a few minutes later, does the same thing and eventually you just give up on him caring about you. I don't know about you, but my husband would never hear the end of it. They are there for comfort, and sometimes you just need to be held. Not to mention, new studies show that crying it out can cause brain damage. Even the man who created this method (Ferber) has recanted his previous statements and said if he had the chance to do it all over again, he would not recommend it. But the damage has been done. What used to be considered child abuse is now the norm amongst many in society.

So what other alternatives are there? You can rock your baby to sleep like they are used to, or you can co-sleep (my preference)

The benefits of co-sleeping are endless, but here are a few:

Both mom and baby sleep better, makes for easier breastfeeding: "Not only does sleep sharing benefit baby as a result of the touch, stimulation and relaxation that comes from the security of knowing mom is close, but her milk supply is also regulated through hormones when she sleeps within an arm's reach of her baby," it reduces the risk of SIDS.

I co-slept with Avery and was made to feel like a bad mom because I was spoiling her. Let me tell you this, babies can not be spoiled by being held when they cry, by being loved, or by being able to sleep in your bed. Those are ridiculous claims! I didn't co-sleep with Kye (until he got really sick around 9mo) because of all of the flack I got for it with Avery and I regret it (I've come to realize I have a lot of regrets with him) Ironically, he still wakes up in the middle of night and comes to my bed and Avery doesn't. Kaylee has slept in our bed or right next to it (2 times) every single night since she was born. I love it and won't let anyone influence my decision. As for crying, Kaylee doesn't ever experience "controlled crying." A lot of well-meaning advice-givers tell you "just let them cry, it won't kill them, all babies do it" but the way I see it, if she's crying, something is wrong. She doesn't cry just to be heard. She could be tired, hungry, wet...or maybe she just needs to be close to mommy, or wants a change of position. Babies cry for a reason and EVERY single time Kaylee has cried since birth, she has been attended to...yes, EVERY time. I do not let her cry and because of this, I believe she has a lot of trust in me.

Car seats and extended rear facing:

First and foremost, the law for babies to be kept rear facing is at least 1yr and 20lbs in every state...some are more strict than others and the AAP recommends keeping toddlers rear facing to at least 2 years or as long as humanly possible. So when I hear people say "I know what's best for my baby" and are turning the forward facing at 6 months, yes I get upset. I am what you would call a car seat nazi. I have heard so many excuses about why people can't rear face. So this is my own little version of mythbusters!

#1 No, your child is not too big to be rear facing.

That would be a 3 year old rear facing

And there's another

And yet another

And this link here has a 4 and 5 year old :)

Still have doubts? There has never been a documented case of a child breaking their legs because they were rear facing (it's actually safer for their legs) There has however been plenty of cases where the child died or suffered internal decapitation becaues they were forward facing too early. A child's spinal column is not fused to their skull until after 2 years old. And surprisingly, the more your child weighs at this point in life, the more likely they would be to suffer irreversible damage because they are more violently thrusted forward in a wreck.

#2 My baby pitches a fit if they are rear facing and distracted driving is worse than forward facing.

Oh really? So tell me this, what exactly did you do for the first 12 months of life when your child would cry? Don't try telling me that they never made a peep until they were 12 months. You've dealt with distracted driving this long, it's no different...and not to mention I have 2 kids forward facing, and they still distract me regardless of the way they are sitting. There is no excuse, give them a toy, give them a snack, turn on the radio...something, you have so many options.

#3 But my baby doesn't like not being able to see me

Yeah, who cares what your baby "likes." My 5 year old wants ice cream for dinner, does that mean she gets it? She wants to play outside in her underwear...yeah, not happening. You're the parent, act like it. I definitely don't understand the skewed logic with this excuse.

There are tons more but those are my top 3 most annoying

Here are some statistics taken from a friend's blog and they've all been verified.

* 80% of car seats are used or installed improperly

* toddlers who are rear facing have been PROVEN to be FIVE TIMES SAFER than forward facing toddlers. This has been proven multiple times, and now its also been proven by the American Academy of Pediatrics

* the AAP recommends extended rear facing

* when a 20 lb infant is in a 30 mph crash, 600 lbs of force is exerted right onto the neck when forward facing, when rear facing this force is spread out evenly on the body by the cradling effect, which is MUCH less devastating to their tiny body. the heavier the child, the more force. the faster the wreck, the more force.

* a toddler's spine is NOT fused to their skull until at least 2 years old. (hence why its recommended to ERF until 2)

* In the United States during 2005, 1,335 children ages 14 years and younger died as occupants in motor vehicle crashes, and approximately 184,000 were injured. That’s an average of 4 deaths and 504 injuries each day

Like i said at the beginning of this note, I don't fault people for not knowing, it's refusing to change once someone has presented facts to you or you've done the research. THAT is ignorant parenting, and doing things for your own convenience instead of the safety of your child. Remember me saying I'm not perfect? At the end of this section, you will find a collage of my own car seat pictures before I knew what I was doing. Looking at them, I can say that my children are lucky to be alive. Here are the descriptions of each:

#1 We were about to get out of the car (I had just unbuckled him). Halloween 2007, making my son 9 months and FF

#2 My daughter at 2 1/2 with her "belly" clip

#3 My son at 2yr 5mo with his "belly" clip

#4 *shudders* twisted straps, not even tight enough to stay up on his 2yr7mo

#5 My 4yr4mo girl in a backless booster (in our spare vehicle so we didn't have to move seats back and forth)

#6 My 2 1/2 year old in a high back booster (in spare vehicle)

#7 My 4yr4mo daughter in a belt-positioning booster

#8 recent pic of my son at 4years and 2 months, tight straps with no slack, chest clip up to his armpits

#9 recent pic of my 3 month old, no slack whatsoever, you can barely put half of your finger between her and the strap, after market strap covers have had the "compression test" and without adjusting the straps, the car seat fits the same both way (we are looking for baby trend covers to go with it but we HAVE to keep these on for now because the last time we didn't the strap actually cut into her neck from her turning her head back and forth)

Both of my oldest two were switched back to a 5point harness and will stay there until they no longer fit. Kaylee will be rearfacing past 2


I don't have too much to say on this. I think it is abuse. I used to spank and realized that's not how I want my kids to grow up. There is a fine line between spanking and beating and I resented my mother growing up for how she raised us (there is still a bit of resentment there). Kids don't need punishment and discipline (this isn't the army), they need positive reinforcement. Kids that are hit grow up to be hitters, as proven in domestic abuse cases. And truth be told, I want my kids to trust me, and to never be afraid of me.

Reading this changed my entire perspective on discipline:

Never Violence

a story told by Astrid Lindgren
[Author of Pippi Longstocking]

"Above all, I believe that there should never be any violence." In 1978, Astrid Lindgren received the German Book Trade Peace Prize for her literary contributions. In acceptance, she told the following story.

"When I was about 20 years old, I met an old pastor's wife who told me that when she was young and had her first child, she didn't believe in striking children, although spanking kids with a switch pulled from a tree was standard punishment at the time. But one day when her son was four or five, he did something that she felt warranted a spanking - the first of his life. And she told him that he would have to go outside and find a switch for her to hit him with. The boy was gone a long time. And when he came back in, he was crying. He said to her, "Mama, I couldn't find a switch, but here's a rock that you can throw at me."

All of a sudden the mother understood how the situation felt from the child's point of view: that if my mother wants to hurt me, then it makes no difference what she does it with; she might as well do it with a stone. And the mother took the boy onto her lap and they both cried. Then she laid the rock on a shelf in the kitchen to remind herself forever: never violence. And that is something I think everyone should keep in mind. Because violence begins in the nursery - one can raise children into violence."

I think that too often we fail to feel situations "from the child's point of view," and that failure leads us to teach our children other than what we think we're teaching them.

Putting cereal in a bottle/feeding solids too early

Most simply, having solids too early increases the risk of food allergies exponentially. Babies' digestive systems aren't developed enough to handle more than milk. Putting cereal in a baby's bottle is extremely dangerous and there is no reason to do so (unless you are given instructions to because of reflux)

The following has been taken from

#1. You can cause your child's allergies. . .

While no one agrees completely on what it is that actually causes allergies, we do have enough research to see certain connections. One, very well documented connection to serious allergies is when a baby has been exposed to the allergen too early. Putting cereal in your baby's bottle, even rice cereal, can cause allergies.

#2. Choking hazard

Some infants do not fully have their swallowing reflex fully developed at birth. Sucking cereal from a bottle can cause a choking hazard. . .and babies have actually died this way. Choking on cereal from a bottle certainly isn't a common cause of death. . .but why do it when it is linked to something like choking?

#3. Digestive Issues

There is a connection between babies who have solids too early and digestive problems. The fact of the matter is that baby tummies are designed to take in breastmilk. When you can't breastfeed, there's formula which mimics breastmilk. Baby tummies are not designed to take in solids, and it's not surprising that they malfunction when forced to do what they're not designed to do.

#4. Obesity

One key factor in obesity is infant feeding. Infants are born with a self regulatory ability to take in only what they need. By feeding on demand and following a baby's cues, you are essentially helping them form habits of eating when hungry and eating until they feel full. This sets them up for a lifetime of healthy eating habits. But when you add cereal to a bottle, it bypasses their system and essentially they take in more calories than they need.

#5. It Doesn't Work!!!

There is no scientific evidence to support the notion that baby's sleep better with cereal in their bottles. The truth is, babies are designed to wake frequently at night. Dealing with sleep deprivation is part of the parenting package.

So there you have it, this is me in a nutshell.

I would love your feedback :) What are some things you are passionate about?

***This week's lineup- If any of these interest you, feel free to follow the blog so you'll be the first to see them when they come out :D***

Car Seat LineUp- Recommendations for my personal favorite car seats of all budgets, and why I like them!

10 things you won't learn at the OB's office- a more natural approach to your pregnancy and birth

10 things you won't learn at the pediatrician's office- this will focus on natural remedies and some of the things I touched base on already

And my personal favorite...Sh*t People Say to Crunchy Moms. I can't wait to get this post out there. I am combining talents with a good friend who will have a video to go along with the blog (of course I will post it)

10 things you won't learn at the OB's office

Your doctor went to medical school for years, I understand he is one smart cookie. But, truth be told, he doesn't know everything. AND, there are sometimes that you may know more than he does, because nobody knows your body like you do.

With that said, I have compiled a list of ten things that I have come to learn from other mom friends, trial and error, or just "knowing" something is/isn't right.

This is going to be a 2 part chronological series. Next post will pertain more to the pediatrician's office for baby and child information. Feel free to follow this post and check back regularly :)

#10 Your due date is not an expiration date.

Many times, a woman's due date will come and go, leaving mom to be frustrated and anxious. But the thing they don't tell you, is that 40 weeks is just a round, pretty number...nothing for you to base your pregnancy on. Anything from 37-42 weeks is not only completely normal, but also average. Some people may go slightly earlier than that, and some people may still be trucking at 43 weeks. Not to mention, unless you can pinpoint the exact date of conception, your due date may be off by a week or two anyway.

#9 Your due date can't change.

Okay, well maybe it does...but not for all of the reasons you think, so let me explain. The only time your due date can accurately change is if you weren't sure of the date of conception or last menstrual period.
What I am talking about in this section is more about late changes. I don't know how many times I have heard that somebody's OB changed their due date because they were measuring big. This is like weighing your child and saying "wow, you've gotten big! You're not 2 years old anymore, you're 3!" Doesn't make sense when you look at it that way, does it? The age of a child, or a fetus, does not change just because they are growing at a faster rate than "average."

Even my own OB is guilty of this. She told me 3 different times my due date had changed, even though I could tell her exactly what day, and time I got pregnant (the perks of seeing a fertility doctor who could tell you what day you were ovulating). When I would get an ultrasound that showed the baby being bigger than average, she would change the due date to fit the measurements. This is NOT okay to do. The later the ultrasound, the less accurate it is for them to base your due date off of it. For an ultrasound to be accurate at determining the due date, it needs to be done early in the first trimester, the later you do it, the less accurate it will be. Just because your baby is growing faster than normal, does not mean they are developing their lungs and other organs faster than average.

#8 Your doctor works for YOU

If at any point during the pregnancy, you feel uncomfortable with your choice of OB, you have the option of switching doctors or midwives. Your body, your choice. You may also refuse any "routine tests" if you deem them unnecessary, whether that be ultrasounds, glucose tests, blood draws or strep B. As long as you have a reason for your choices, most doctors will respect your decisions, just hold your ground.

#7 Gravity is your friend

Most often, as soon as you are in labor, an IV is started and you are confined to a bed, to labor on your back. This is what causes most women to feel they need an epidural. Walking during labor not only speeds up the process, but helps the pain, as does bouncing on a birthing ball. One thing you don't want to do during labor is lay down.

The same thing holds true for delivery. Birthing on your back goes against basic anatomy.

As you can see in the picture, your canal is actually shaped like a “J” meaning the baby doesn’t just slide straight down and out- it comes down, then up and over the pelvis.

Lying on your back during the birth closes up your pelvic area about 30%. Often times, I have heard a woman say she was rushed to an emergency c-section because her doctor told her that her pelvis was not wide enough. Laying on your back also increases your risk of tearing or "needing" an episiotomy. Imagine she had been on all 4's, squatting, or even laying on her side. This could have been prevented-the tearing, the c-section etc. I have seen size 0 women birth 9-10lb babies with no problem at all!

"Plus if you think about it – you’ll also have gravity working against you. This means when you’re trying to push bub out, you’re pushing down and then UP before he comes out – Can anyone say CRAZY!!!!!" -Tracey Rose (

#6 Definitely have a birth plan written, decide exactly how you want your birth to go. You'll need to remember that rarely, emergencies do happen and you'll need to stray from your plans, but this is a good guideline to go by. Outline every one of the aspects of your birth that is important to you: pain relief, newborn care. has a birth plan builder if you need a place to start, then you can copy and paste it into a word document and add the things that were not mentioned. A birth plan is great to act as your "voice" when you are too tired from labor, napping after birth etc. These are your written wishes and without your permission, the nurses may not go against anything in it.

This is a sample birth plan from my 3rd child:

This birth plan is intended to express the preference and desires we have for the birth of our baby. It is not intended to be a script. We fully realize that situations may arise such that our plan cannot and should not be followed. However, we hope that barring any extenuating circumstances, you will be able to keep us informed and aware of our options. Thank you.

First Stage (Labor):

  • Dim lights.
  • Peace and Quiet.
  • Would prefer my own clothes to gown.
  • Maintain mobility (Walking, rocking, up to bathroom, etc.)
  • Clear fluids.
  • Heparin lock.
  • Intermittent Monitoring (ACOG Standards) with a Doppler.
  • Please do not offer me pain medications, I will ask for them if I want them.
  • Relaxation techniques (breathing, focusing, etc.).
  • Positioning as desired.
  • Water (Shower or Tub).
  • Heat or Cold packs.
  • Ultra low dose epidural (walking epidural) if I request any.


  • I would prefer to use natural methods to start labor, if necessary.


  • I would prefer to walk to speed labor, if necessary.
Second Stage (Birth):

  • Choice of position
  • Directed Bearing Down
  • I would prefer no episiotomy, but please use compresses, massage and positioning.
  • Local Anesthesia (for repair)

Baby Care:

  • Delay the cord cutting
  • Prefer partner to cut the cord.
  • No eye medication
  • Breast feeding only
  • No pacifiers or glucose water
  • Separation only after recovery period

Other Baby Care Requests:

  • No vaccinations or medications to be administered
Cesarean Birth:

  • Spinal/epidural anesthesia
  • Partner present
  • Partner to cut the cord
  • Breast feeding in recovery room

Sick Baby:

  • Breast feeding as soon as possible
  • Unlimited visitation for parents
  • Handling the baby (Kangaroo care, holding, care of, etc.)
  • If the baby is transported to another facility, move us as soon as possible

Now, yours doesn't need to look exactly like this, but it is always ALWAYS a good idea to have your hopes and wishes outlined so that when you are at your weakest and most vulnerable state during labor or immediately afterwards, you won't be pressured into anything you don't want. If a pushy nurse comes in repeatedly to try to get you to change your mind or consent to something, just point her in the direction of your birth plan.

#5 A doula can be your best friend during birth!

I'll be the first to admit that when I initially heard about a doula, I laughed. I mean, really...I don't need some strange woman standing in the room telling me to calm down or try to relax when I'm pushing a bowling ball out of my vagina- I want to be able to yell and scream all I want. This attitude continued through to the first trimester of my 3rd pregnancy. At that point, I was friends with all of these "crunchy" and "natural" weirdos. Shhh...Don't tell them I said that!! (Then again, I can guarantee you that's how lots of my friends describe me now) I had decided I definitely wanted to have this baby naturally and the thought of a doula was very appealing. Fast forward 9 months and sadly, the pregnancy moved too fast and I was extremely busy with everything else that I never got one :(

However, I do know the perks and all of my friends swear by it.

In the words of a good friend, Melinda:

These are my reasons why I had a doula, and will always have one at my births:

-when hubby, nurses, and doctor are away, your doula is always there.
-She can help you distinguish the different stages of labor.
-She was my voice when my husband and I didn't have one-I looked at her to help me make choices for my labor once I got to the hospital because she knew my birth plan in and out, she knew our wishes for the birth we wanted. The midwife and nurses didn't have time to look at my birth plan and couldn't understand why we wanted the things we did. My doula did.
-We had wonderful visits (2 before and 2 postpartum). She was the one who guided me with breastfeeding, not the nurses or the hospital lactation consultant.
-She made me feel empowered at my birth.
-I call her instead of my doctor for natural remedies for anything, she always is there.

#4 Your doctor can't tell you how big your baby is.

No matter how many years your OB has been doing their job, they can not tell you by a simple fundal height or ultrasound, how big your baby is going to be....and if they try, they are usually wrong. The only way to know for sure how big the baby is, is to birth him. Do not let yourself be pressured into c-section because your baby is "too big."

#3 Elective inductions are unnecessary and unsafe.

Simply put, a baby will come when it is ready. Currently, there is nobody in the world that has been ever been pregnant forever- I promise. Occasionally, women will go to 43-44 weeks if allowed, but the average is 37-42 weeks. This means you are not overdue until 42 weeks and 1 days. In the majority of cases, 42 weeks is completely normal and perfectly safe to go to, especially for 1st time moms! So please, skip the herbs and spinning around on your head, nothing is going to make that baby come before he is ready to. Instead, enjoy the time you have with your husband and get a few extra naps in, because soon enough, sleep will be a distant memory.

#2 Give your baby all of its blood!!

Chances are, you've probably done a little bit of research on cord blood banking. You also by now, probably already figured out that it costs a TON. If you are like me, you probably felt bad not being able to afford to bank it, but did you know there is something that you could do that may be even better for your child??

Delayed cord clamping.

Whenever a pulsating umbilical cord is clamped, 20-60% of the baby's total blood volume is trapped inside the placenta. A 9 pound baby manufactures only 10 ounces of blood during gestation. It will take over 6 months for the baby to replenish the volume of blood lost by early cord clamping. So in simpler terms, a newborn becomes an involuntary blood donors as up to half their blood volume is lost when their cords are early clamped.

In some instances, doctors early cord clamp so the placenta and its cord blood can then be sold to the highest bidder. When parents sign consent allowing the hospital to "dispose" of the placenta and other remnants of birthing, they can be sold for medical research as opposed to being burned, for as much as $30,000 each.

The decrease in necessary blood volume causes babies to become anemic and in most cases, the anemia is left undiagnosed for some time, causing the baby to be susceptible to a host of complications, including SIDS.Restricted umbilical cord problems associated with anemia are Autism, heart perforations, brain tumors, leukemia, hormonal imbalances, thyroid disorders, liver/kidney disease.

Baby boys suffer more than girls. They have higher metabolisms that require 10% more blood. This trend is also seen in that boys have a higher rate of disabilities such as ADD, behavioral issues, and Autism.

Currently, 1 in 16 babies require some degree of resuscitation after birth to which early cord clamping is a contributing factor. Perhaps this is just one more reason why the United States ranks 29th for infant mortality in the world and is one of the only countries still routinely practicing early cord clamping.

When an umbilical cord is clamped early, the placenta retains too much blood, a direct threat to the mother and any future pregnancies. When the blood flow is restricted by clamping, the blood can pool in the placenta, causing it to rupture or backflow the baby's blood into the mother's. This cause lead to serious side effects, such as maternal hemorrhage and can even prohibit future pregnancies due to blood mixing.

So with all of the benefits and obvious risks, why do we clamp/cut early?

The first reason and most common is ignorance. Many doctors are unaware of the risks of early cord clamping. This is in part due to poor training. Early cord clamping was first documented as harmful in 1801 and again in 1957. It wasn't until after 1923 that it began to be mainstreamed. Some commonly-used medical texts still detail the use of early cord clamping. However, ACOG guidelines now refute the routine practice of early cord clamping.

Another is time management and convenience for the doctor. They want to be in and out of the hospital as quickly as possible. Waiting an extra 20 minutes for the cord pulsation to stop naturally and the placenta to detach on its own may not fit into their schedule for the day.

Many times, your doctor may say that they NEED to cut the cord, but for most reasons, this is completely untrue.

Short cord, maternal hemorrhage, c-section, and respiratory distress are just a few reasons doctors give for needing to clamp/cut the cord early. A baby in distress can and should most often be revived with the cord intact. All of the restricted umbilical cord problems are usually the result of drugs given during labor, including pitocin, IV fluids, and pain medications, not a result of leaving the cord intact.

The only situations in which a cord should be early clamped is when the cord has torn or with a placenta previa. Babies born via c-section can be delivered with their cord and placenta intact. Multiples can also be delivered without risk of restricted umbilical cord problems.

#1 It's your baby!

This is easily the most important tip for you to remember. Do not be bullied into doing things you do not feel comfortable with, nobody can tell you what to do to your child. They can not take the child out of your arms or perform any "routine" newborn procedures without your permission. If it makes you feel uncomfortable, or you are unsure...then just say no!

This can be ANYTHING from something as simple as the first bath (which is unnecessary, the vernix can and should be instead, rubbed into the skin to protect and moisturize it instead) to something as big of a deal as the Hepatitis B shot (as long as your newborn isn't planning on shooting up drugs into their arms or having unprotected sex in day care, then this really isn't needed, and does much more harm than good)


ALWAYS research everything. There is never harm done in being fully informed of your choices, or just the procedure. ASK questions, make your own choices. You will never hear a mom say "I wish I wouldn't have known ______" but every single day, I encounter women who say "I wish someone would have told me." You will never regret doing research.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

8 more DEADLY Car Seat Mistakes

I'm going to start this one off by just saying how completely amazed I am by the response to this blog. It all started off with a couple of people in a Facebook group tossing around ideas about how a post should be made to help them approach their friends about their car seat use, in a non-confrontational way.

I expected to see 10-20 views of the blog and that would have made me extremely happy, but when I logged in tonight to nearly 10,000 page hits, I was shocked! Never in a million years did I think I'd see the day.

Of course, since it has become so widely distributed in such a short period of time, I have gotten numerous emails and comments about how I "should have included ______" and "why did you leave out ______." So again, I'll explain, it was never ever intended to be read by thousands of people (not that I am complaining-keep on spreading the word and save some babies!) The one complain that I have heard the most is that I didn't even touch the subject of extended rear facing sooooo if you were one of those people, the reason was that for the few friends I wrote this for, all of them already rear face past a year, it wasn't even worth the time to explain because it was common knowledge, and I like I said, I had no clue anyone else would ever read this.

Now that I realize that people are watching however, I decided to create a second part to the original, so that I can include all of the things I initially didn't have time for.

If you are just tuning in, go ahead and check out the original first here: 11 Deadly Mistakes You Didn't Know You Were Making or if you are looking for a condensed version to share with your friends that are usually put off by your excessive informative article sharing (believe me, I do it!) this may be a better fit for you/them: Car Seat Safety For the Minimalist And for anyone who thinks of something I have missed, feel free to comment or email me at and I'll gladly add it in.

Lastly, like I mentioned, this was/is my personal blog as well, which is why the music is on autoplay. If it interferes with you reading the post, or hearing the audio in the videos, scroll to the very bottom and you can pause it :)

So here it is:

8 more DEADLY mistakes you didn't know you were making!

#8 Forward Facing Too Early

Before we get started, yes I understand the law states you can turn your child forward facing at age 1 or 20lbs/1 and 20lbs (depending on where you live). I know many people who have said "If it weren't safe, it wouldn't be legal!" Just because it is legal, do you really think it is safe? Cigarettes and alcohol are both legal, so that is a bad argument. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends rear facing until AT LEAST the age of 2- "at least" being the key words.

Studies have shown that extended rear facing is FIVE times safer in the majority of auto accidents (that’s 500%). When a child is rear facing, the seat absorbs most of the crash forces. The seat distributes the force of the crash over the entire body which helps protect the head, neck, and spine of your child. When a child is forward facing in an accident, the head abruptly moves forward and this puts stress on their neck and spine and in even some minor crashes, the spinal column can stretch too far and snap, causing death.

Extended rear facing does not mean cramming your child into an infant carrier. There are many options out there for a convertible car seat that will allow your child to rear face well into the toddler years, and comfortably at that!

Common misconceptions about rear facing a toddler:

-“My toddler has really long legs so he will be uncomfortable.” or "My child is too big"

These are both untrue in most cases. Young children are flexible and they easily position themselves to be comfortable. They simply bend their legs, prop them up on the back seat, dangle them over the sides or sit cross legged. ALL of these are comfortable for a child. Don't believe me? Call your child over to you and tell them to have a seat. I can guarantee you that the majority of children will not come and sit with their legs straight out in front of them, so why should they sit that way in a car seat. Did you know that forward facing for too long (road trips etc) can actually cut off their circulation, so not only making it uncomfortable, but painful too?
-“If they have long legs couldn’t they break in a crash if they are rear faced?”
Yes, although unlikely, their legs could possibly break, but as of now, there are ZERO documented cases of broken legs, hips, feet etc due to rear facing. Studies actually show that forward facing kids are more likely to injure their legs in a crash from being thrown forward into the seat in front of them. Either way, broken legs-cast it...broken neck-casket. Which would you prefer?
-“My child cries too much, she isn't happy if she can't see me"
While I understand it may be frustrating, your main focus should always be on driving and not trying to keep your child happy. She may be upset, but at least you know she is safe. If you turned her forward facing, she may be happy for a little while, but soon the excitement will wear off and she will still be crying every time she gets in the car. It's not rear facing they hate (especially when they don't know anything else), it's being strapped down.
"My parents did it and I lived"
You're right...congrats. Now, tell me how many people in the world cannot say that because...well, they aren't alive to say it. There are people who can say that they swam in shark-infested waters with steaks tied around their extremities and they lived...but I don't think I'd recommend it for everyone else to do.
There are many, many more excuses I have heard as to why parents don't rear face their children past the bare minimum, but it all boils down to just that: they are excuses. Not one is valid. If you really think you have a good reason not to, feel free to comment on here and I will address each one individually.

Kaylee at 14.5 months and 22lbs, rear facing in a Radian XTSL. She is completely content and her legs do not even touch the seat. She will easily fit in this seat beyond 2 years.

I found the shortest, straight to the point videos I can find so as not to lose your interest. Here is a forward vs rear facing video:

Here is a short clip of a forward facing crash test

And here is a rear facing crash test clip

#7 Not knowing when your child REALLY outgrows their rear facing seat.

1 inch.
1 inch from the top of the shell is a rule of thumb for the majority of infant seats.

What does that mean?

If your child's seat is one of those and his head is hanging over PAST the top of his car seat (while rear facing), he has outgrown it. If his head is flush with the top of his car seat (while rear facing), he has outgrown it. His must not extend past 1 inch from the top of the seat. This inch ensures that as the child slides up the seat in a crash, his head will stay protected.

Now, there are some seats (more often than not, they are convertibles that have a specific height limit. Diono brand seats use a 1.5" rules as opposed to one inch. To determine what the guidelines are for your seat, always consult the manual.

Now this doesn't always mean you need to forward face, especially if your child is just tall. There are many other options in the store and you can always go and let your child sit in each one to see how long the seat will last you, before you purchase it. Given the design of most car seats, the majority of children become too tall for rear-facing seats before they become too heavy. If you have tall children, keep that in mind when looking for new seats, and always try to get one that has a taller shell height. If you need any help with car seat recommendations, shoot me an email or post a comment. If I don't have the answer for you, I'll get you in touch with someone that does.

#6 Car seats do NOT belong on a shopping cart

Every time I tell a group of friends this, one person inevitably says "oh I wouldn't do it if I didn't know it was perfectly safe, but mine snaps on perfectly" doesn't.

Every infant car seat manual, I repeat, EVERY infant car seat manual says not to attach it to a shopping cart.

***EDIT*** I was informed that Babytrend does allow you to use their car seat on a cart *if it locks on* Sadly, I checked it and their manual does say this. However, we owned a flex-loc with my youngest daughter and on numerous occasions, before we knew better, we tried to put the seat on top of carts (Wal-mart and Target) and even when it was locked onto the cart, a simple jolt was enough to unlatch it. Looks like I will be making a call to Baby Trend today because in my opinion, they should not be encouraging something that is potentially very dangerous.

But if it appears to snap on, then what's the big deal? The problem lies in the fact that something as simple as a child running around the store and bumping into your cart and that car seat that you THOUGHT was latched on, can cause your baby (and seat) to be upside down on the concrete floor in a split second. Studies show over 80% of all car seat/shopping cart accidents happen within an arm's reach of the carrier so the "I always am RIGHT THERE" line just doesn't work.

Car seats are meant to latch onto 2 things: the base or the stroller. NOTHING ELSE. Each of these has a special bar, that matches up with that exact car seat type.

Each year, over 21,000 injuries occur because of babies falling out of the cart. Please don't let your child be a statistic. There are other solutions: baby wearing, leaving baby with another person while you shop, or put the entire carrier inside the cart if you must, not ON it.

#5 Projectiles can KILL your child...or you!

Reposted from "The Guggie Daily" Facebook page

Basically, if it wouldn't be safe to throw an item at your child's face with all of your strength (not saying you have to try it out), it should not be left unsecured in your vehicle. A trunk, a glove compartment, a center console: these all can store the things you think you need to take with you on a trip. Stuff the diaper bag under the seat.

You may not think a cell phone could do that much damage. The weight of an object, multiplied by the speed at which you're traveling equals the force at which that item would hit something if your car comes to a sudden stop (like hitting something head on). What does an average cell phone weigh these days? 6oz? So you take 6oz and multiply it by the speed you are traveling...let's say, 45mph? 6 x 45 is 270. 270oz or about 17lbs. Would you ever consider throwing a 17lb object at your child?

Read JD's story

Time to go clean out the car!

#4 Infant carrier postion handle does matter.

A lot of people believe that the carrier handle must always be down in the car.
Even more people believe that the carrier handle can be in "carry" position.

They are both right.
And they are both wrong...
depending on the car seat each person has.

Consult this chart (or your manual) for your safe travel handle positions- each manufacturer has different rules, based on what has been crash tested to be safe. Usually, if a car seat has a reinforced handle, the manufacturer allows for it to be in any position.

This is the most current chart in circulation but it is always a good idea to check your manual:

#3 Car seat installation MUST BE TIGHT

Deja Vu?

Nope, I just figured it was important enough to repeat.

Depending on which study you quote, anywhere from 80-99% of car seats are installed incorrectly.

Remember, no more than an inch of movement side to side at the base. (Chances are if you grab the top of the seat, it will move more, but we are concerned about the base here)

#2 Moving to a booster too early is a step down in safety!

Provided that your child does not exceed weight limits, and their straps come out above their shoulder level, they should remain in a 5 point harness. Basically, if they fit in a 5-point harness, there is no reasoning to "graduating" them to a booster.

Without any words at all, this video speaks very loudly

Many car seats accommodate older children in a 5pt harness for a longer than average time.

This harness could stand to be moved up 1/2 an inch or so, but it was only for picture purposes.
This is Avery, she will be 7 in April. She weighs 45lbs, is 46inches, and still has 1 more slot to go (so another couple of inches of growth) before she outgrows her 5-point harness. (Recaro ProSport combination seat)

A lot of 5 point harnesses offer more side impact protection than boosters, especially backless boosters which is a given. Does your child have a tendency to lean over and poke their brother? Reach to the ground to get toys? Fall asleep? If your child does not possess the ability to stay upright and with the belt positioned correctly at all times, it is safer to stay in a 5 point harness.

#1 Not registering your car seat

Each seat comes with a product registration postcard. Tear it off and mail it in to the manufacturer. This ensures that if there are any recalls, they can get a hold of you quickly to let you know to discontinue using that seat.

If you don't register your product, you may not know that the seat you have has been recalled for straps loosening on their own...and what if yours does that in a wreck?

It is VERY important to have your car seat registered.

And I'm guilty, 0 out of 3 of mine are registered. I'm trying to justify it because I check the recall site weekly, but still, I should just send the post cards back.

If you lost your registration card, call your manufacturer and they can either register you over the phone, walk you through the process online, or send you a replacement card.


If you haven't noticed the trend already, the only way you can ever be sure your child is as safe as possible is by checking with the manufacturer. When in doubt, consult your manual! It has the answers to EVERYTHING :)

So is there anything I missed? Feel free to send me your "deadly mistakes" and I'll add it to the list!