Sunday, April 20, 2014

What you need to know about Vicks Vapo Rub.

I'm copy and pasting this from  I've saved a lot of stuff on Pinterest, and this is one of the things I think I need to share.  I came from a generation that had this stuff crammed up my nostrils, and I'm sure some of you lived that too.  Certainly putting it on a child's chest can't be bad, right?
Well, sometimes it is bad...
*I want to mention that this article did not specify whether or not it included "Vicks BabyRub".  I would have to imagine that the menthol smell could still do exactly the same thing as the Vaporub, though I don't know for sure.

Avoid applying Vicks VapoRub to babies, pediatricians say
CBC News Posted: Jan 13, 2009 8:12 AM ET Last Updated: Jan 13, 2009 8:09 AM ET

Parents should not apply Vicks VapoRub, the salve used to relieve symptoms of cough and congestion, to children under the age of two, doctors warn.

Dr. Bruce Rubin, the lead author of a study on the ointment, from the department of pediatrics at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, in Winston Salem, N.C., and his colleagues became interested in the effects of Vicks VapoRub on young children when they cared for an 18-month-old girl who developed severe respiratory distress after the salve was put directly under her nose.

Procter & Gamble's product label warns it is not indicated for children under two. But Rubin said some parents may still choose to use it for a sick child, usually by rubbing the salve on the feet or chest.

"The ingredients in Vicks can be irritants, causing the body to produce more mucus to protect the airway," said Rubin.

"Infants and young children have airways that are much narrower than those of adults, so any increase in mucus or inflammation can narrow them more severely."

In the January issue of the journal Chest, Rubin and his colleagues published the results of tests of the effects of Vicks VapoRub on the respiratory systems of ferrets, laboratory animals with a similar airway anatomy and cellular makeup to humans.

Test tube results showed Vicks VapoRub exposure increased mucus secretion in the animals' airways, whether the tracheas were normal or inflamed to simulate a person with a chest infection.

"Some of the ingredients in Vicks, notably the menthol, trick the brain into thinking that it is easier to breathe by triggering a cold sensation, which is processed as indicating more airflow," he said. "Vicks may make you feel better but it can't help you breathe better."

"This may be of little physiologic consequence in older children and adults, but in infants and small children, this potentially can lead to respiratory distress," the study's authors concluded.
Vicks safe 'when used according to package directions'

Crystal Harrel, a spokesperson for Procter and Gamble in Cincinnati, said complaints are rare and the product is sound.

"Vicks VapoRub has a long-standing history of being safe and effective when used according to package directions. Where marketed, it is in compliance with the applicable health and safety regulations."

Rubin said he recommends never putting Vicks in or under the nose of anyone, regardless of age. Parents should also follow the directions and not use Vicks or similar generic products on children under two, he advised.

On Dec. 18, 2008, Health Canada said children under six years old shouldn't be treated with cough and cold medication, citing reports of misuse, overdose and rare side-effects.

The best treatments for congestion are saline (salt water), gentle suction with a rubber bulb, warm drinks or chicken soup, and time, the researchers said, noting if a child is struggling to breathe, then it's a medical emergency.

At his pharmacy in Bay Bulls, N.L., Tom Kennedy said from now on, he'll discuss the product with parents before they make a purchase, adding he won't hesitate to offer them a chicken soup recipe instead.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Circumcision Disrupts Breastfeeding

I'm stealing quotes to pin on Pinterest, but there's no image (AGAIN), so I need to re-post it with an image.

This all came from NOCIRC.ORG.

Postoperative Pain, Stress, and Exhaustion

Human milk is the best food for babies.1,3 Babies who are breastfed are more likely to experience optimum health and well-being throughout life than babies who are given a substitute for mother's milk. It is imperative, therefore, that nothing be done that would interfere with successful initiation and completion of breastfeeding during, at least, the first year of life. Mothers need full information, well in advance of birth, so that they may avoid the pitfalls and snares that prevent success in breastfeeding.

We now know that newborn babies are born with fully functioning pain pathways.23 Infants exhibit greater physiologic responses to pain than do adult subjects.23 Male neonatal circumcision has been documented to be an extremely painful, distressing, traumatic, and exhausting experience for a newborn male infant.24-28 Circumcision disrupts the baby's normal sleep patterns.25,27 Post-operatively, the circumcised infant is in pain and is in an exhausted, weakened, and debilitated condition.28 Most importantly, the circumcision procedure frequently causes the newborn to withdraw from his environment,25 thus interfering with his process of bonding and breastfeeding.28

La Leche League International (LLLI) first reported problems with breastfeeding by circumcised male infants in 1981.30 Circumcision has long-lasting postoperative pain that continues for days after the surgical event.29 Howard et al. found that some male babies are unable to suckle the mother's breast after circumcision,29 thus confirming the LLLI report.30

The Workgroup on Breastfeeding of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that stressful procedures that interfere with breastfeeding be avoided.3

Breastfeeding problems among circumcised male infants have been verified by lactation consultants.31,32 Parents may avoid creating this problem simply by refusing to consent to the circumcision of their baby boy. In doing so, they would also be adopting the recommendations of the AAP and LLLI to avoid stressful procedures.3,30 Mothers who protect their new baby from circumcision are more likely, therefore, to be

successful in breastfeeding and less likely to have to resort to providing breast milk substitute.3,29,30

I'm not posting all of it, because this is what I need. Click THIS LINK to find what I was looking at.

Getting To Know Me...The Person Behind "Know Better, Do Better".

So for a long time I' opinions on this blog.  I've done it because my intentions for my blog and my FB page are not to hurt anyone more than they've been hurt all ready.  I fully believe we all really DO do the very best we can with the information we have at the time.  I believe no one intentionally makes mistakes, and that it's part of living and part of growing and part of raising children.  There's no actual handbook with all the answers in it.  It just doesn't exist, and it couldn't exist because there are different ways to do, growing, raising children.  And it's not all black and white.  I know that some people who follow this blog, and who follow the FB page are carrying the burden of guilt with them.  My intentions are not to hurt, but to help, and it's been that way from the start.


I am someone who has STRONG opinions, which I'm more than willing to share with anyone who feels the need to share their opinion with me.  That's the thing.  If you get to have your say, I get to have mine.  And sometimes mine is riddled with curse words.  But it's because I'm passionate about the things I speak of.  I can't promise I won't use a curse word from time to time.  I trust that you can handle it.

I'm going to post more about circumcision, and the insanity that it is.  I'm going to give my two cents on things I read online.  I'm going to talk about spanking and CIO.  I'm going to talk about randomness sometimes too.  This blog is about more than mistakes made.  It's about preventing other people from making them too.  A little bit of information can make all the difference sometimes!

I'm going to give my opinion in the buff, without any of the rainbows and butterflies I've feel obligated to include in the past.  Sometimes it might not rub you the right way.  But see, that's another thing.  I feel that since we DO all make mistakes, it is pointless to spend our lives being sorry for not being perfect.  Grief is something we need to work through, not live within.  It can swallow people right up if we let it.  So I don't encourage people to dwell in the darkness, and I can't stand around waiting for people to be ready to move forward before I hit on certain topics.  I'm just going to do it, and if it's too much for you, or you're not at a place in your life where you're ready to hear it, just skip that post.
The whole idea behind "know better, do better" is that we make mistakes.  Of course we do.  But once we know better, we can change the future, and do better.  We need to apologize for the mistakes we made in the past, and touching on something I read yesterday on FB from "Boys Deserve Better", we also need to do what we can to fix our mistakes, and then not make them again.  We do get a free pass for not having all the answers, but when we get the answers, we need to change our approach, change our thinking, change our actions, and DO better.  It's NOT "knowing better and doing the same dumb things again".  I will not ever intentionally hurt someone with anything I post, and if you are hurt by it, please know that it was NOT intentional.  

*This will be the one and only time I'm going to say this, as well.  When I say something someone has done is dumb, or that a choice that was made was ridiculous, or something along those lines, I don't mean YOU are dumb, or that YOU are ridiculous.  You and your choices are two different things.  I don't judge you on the choices you've made in the past, and expect the same in return.  I may judge the action that was taken (circumcision is barbaric and brutal and unnecessary), but I'm not saying you were a horrible person believing that it needed to be done.  No one has all the answers, and because of that, sometimes we do things that later on, we wish we didn't do.

So this is my heads up to you that I'm going to say what is on my mind, without editing my thoughts, and I'm going to go ahead and assume that grown adults can handle it.  I will not "attack" you.  I will not "bash"  you.  But you can bet your ass I'm going to attack and bash misinformation.
I want you to share your opinions too.  This is not just me being authentic.  I want YOU to be authentic with me as well.  I want you to say what's on your mind.  I want you to stop editing your opinions.  I want to hear your heart, and I can't hear it when you're afraid to offend.  Say it.  I'm a big girl, and I can handle it.  
FTR, I will also not sit back and let anyone (including myself) be "attacked" or "bashed" either.  Aim your cannon at ideas, not people.  (My definition of "attacking" and "bashing" is simply direct name calling.  I'm pretty easy to get along with otherwise.)
So yeah.  There it is.  I am going to give you all of me, and I'd like all of you in return.  My honesty and authenticity will show you my heart, and who I am as a person.  
I want you to let me see you too.

It took me a long time to be comfortable in who I am.  To those who stuck around from the start, I thank you.  Being completely authentic in who I am, what I believe, and how I feel, was a process that needed time to happen.  I've spent too much of my life worrying about what other people think of me, and I'm past that now.  I can't worry about whether or not people like me.  Because if they don't like me for who I really am, they don't like me at all.  To me, this is freeing.  I finally, after 34 years, feel like I am comfortable in my own skin, and I want to share it with you.  I was considering just deleting this blog because I don't feel like I was ever able to say what I wanted to say, because I so badly don't want to hurt anyone that I kept a lot of things to myself.  But I have come to realize that the person that you probably think I am is a shell of the person I actually am.  And I'm not deleting the blog because I've done a shit ton of research that I've posted on here and I'm not losing it.  Instead, I'm just going to give you all that I am...the good, the bad, the bitchy-before-coffee.
I'm done walking around on tip toes, worrying about saying something that isn't "right".  I am who I am, and I know that without a doubt, there are some of you who are going to think I'm too outspoken for your personal tastes, and some of you are going to lift your hands up to the sky and say "thank you for saying it!"  LOL  Whatever happens, I'm fine with it.  

Thanks to all who took the time to read this, and don't forget what I said.  I want some of you in return.  



Friday, March 14, 2014

More Circumcision Myths You May Believe: Hygiene and STDs

Right away I want to give credit for this article to "Psychology Today", where I found it.
 You can find it HERE.

I want to be able to "Pin" this to my intactivism board on Pinterest for easy access, so I had to copy it here, and give it a picture.

Great article, and perfect for all those crazy things we hear everyday.

Picture used with permission.  Find Boys Deserve Better, Here.
Living the life that is good for one to live

More Circumcision Myths You May Believe: Hygiene and STDs
Is circumcision cleaner and healthier?
Published on September 13, 2011 by Darcia Narvaez, Ph.D. in Moral Landscapes

There's a lot of hype about how circumcision is better for a man's health. But is it really?

Here is Part 2 of our series on myths about circumcision.
NOTE: Primary author is Lillian Dell'Aquila Cannon (see her blog)

Myth: You have to get the baby circumcised because it is really hard to keep a baby's penis clean.

Reality check: In babies, the foreskin is completely fused to the head of the penis. You cannot and should not retract it to clean it, as this would cause the child pain, and is akin to trying to clean the inside of a baby girl's vagina. The infant foreskin is perfectly designed to protect the head of the penis and keep feces out. All you have to do is wipe the outside of the penis like a finger. It is harder to keep circumcised baby's penis clean because you have to carefully clean around the wound, make sure no feces got into the wound, and apply ointment.

Myth: Little boys won't clean under their foreskins and will get infections.

Reality check: The foreskin separates and retracts on its own sometime between age 3 and puberty.Before it retracts on its own, you wipe the outside off like a finger. After it retracts on its own, it will get clean during the boy's shower or bath. Once a boy discovers this cool, new feature of his penis, he will often retract the foreskin himself during his bath or shower, and you can encourage him to rinse it off. But he should not use soap as this upsets the natural balance and is very irritating. There is nothing special that the parents need to do. Most little boys have absolutely no problem playing with their penises in the shower or anywhere else! It was harder to teach my boys to wash their hair than it was to care for their penises. (Camille 2002)

Myth: Uncircumcised penises get smelly smegma.

Reality check: Actually, smegma is produced by the genitals of both women and men during the reproductive years. Smegma is made of sebum and skin cells and lubricates the foreskin and glans in men, and the clitoral hood and inner labia in women. It is rinsed off during normal bathing and does not cause cancer or any other health problems.

Myth: "My uncle wasn't circumcised and he kept getting infections and had to be circumcised as an adult."
Reality check: Medical advice may have promoted infection in uncircumcised males. A shocking number of doctors are uneducated about the normal development of the foreskin, and they (incorrectly) tell parents that they have to retract the baby's foreskin and wash inside it at every diaper change. Doing this tears the foreskin and the tissue (called synechia) that connects it to the head of the penis, leading to scarring and infection.

Misinformation was especially prevalent during the 1950s and 60s, when most babies were circumcised and we didn't know as much about the care of the intact penis, which is why the story is always about someone's uncle. Doing this to a baby boy would be like trying to clean the inside of a baby girl's vagina with Q-tips at every diaper change. Rather than preventing problems, such practices would cause problems by introducing harmful bacteria. Remember that humans evolved from animals, so no body part that required special care would survive evolutionary pressures. The human genitals are wonderfully self-cleaning and require no special care.

Myth: My son was diagnosed with phimosis and so had to be circumcised.

Reality check: Phimosis means that the foreskin will not retract. Since children's foreskins are naturally not retractable, it is impossible to diagnose phimosis in a child. Any such diagnoses in infants are based on misinformation, and are often made in order to secure insurance coverage of circumcision in states in which routine infant circumcision is no longer covered.

Even some adult men have foreskins that do not retract, but as long as it doesn't interfere with sexual intercourse, it is no problem at all, as urination itself cleans the inside of the foreskin (note that urine is sterile when leaving the body.)

Phimosis can also be treated conservatively with a steroid cream and gentle stretching done by the man himself, should he so desire it, or, at worst, a slit on the foreskin, rather than total circumcision. (Ashfield 2003) These treatment decisions can and should be made by the adultman.

Myth: Uncircumcised boys get more urinary tract infections (UTIs.)

Reality check: This claim is based on one study that looked at charts of babies born in one hospital (Wiswell 1985). The study had many problems, including that it didn't accurately count whether or not the babies were circumcised, whether they were premature and thus more susceptible to infection in general, whether they were breastfed (breastfeeding protects against UTI), and if their foreskins had been forcibly retracted (which can introduce harmful bacteria and cause UTI) (Pisacane 1990). There have been many studies since which show either no decrease in UTI with circumcision, or else an increase in UTI from circumcision. Thus circumcision is not recommended to prevent UTI (Thompson 1990). Girls have higher rates of UTI than boys, and yet when a girl gets a UTI, she is simply prescribed antibiotics. The same treatment works for boys.

Myth: Circumcision prevents HIV/AIDS.

Reality check: Three studies in Africa several years ago that claimed that circumcision prevented AIDS and that circumcision was as effective as a 60% effective vaccine (Auvert 2005, 2006). These studies had many flaws, including that they were stopped before all the results came in. There have also been several studies that show that circumcision does not prevent HIV (Connolly 2008). There are many issues at play in the spread of STDs which make it very hard to generalize results from one population to another.

In Africa, where the recent studies have been done, most HIV transmission is through male-female sex, but in the USA, it is mainly transmitted through blood exposure (like needle sharing) and male-male sex. Male circumcision does not protect women from acquiring HIV, nor does it protect men who have sex with men (Wawer 2009, Jameson 2009).

What's worse, because of the publicity surrounding the African studies, men in Africa are now starting to believe that if they are circumcised, they do not need to wear condoms, which will increase the spread of HIV (Westercamp 2010). Even in the study with the most favorable effects of circumcision, the protective effect was only 60% - men would still have to wear condoms to protect themselves and their partners from HIV.

In the USA, during the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s and 90s, about 85% of adult men were circumcised (much higher rates of circumcision than in Africa), and yet HIV still spread.

It is important to understand, too, that the men in the African studies were adults and they volunteered for circumcision. Babies undergoing circumcision were not given the choice to decide for themselves.

Myth: Circumcision is worth it because it can save lives.

Reality check: Consider breast cancer: There is a 12% chance that a woman will get breast cancer in her lifetime. Removal of the breast buds at birth would prevent this, and yet no one would advocate doing this to a baby. It is still considered somewhat shocking when an adult woman chooses to have a prophylactic mastectomy because she has the breast cancer gene, yet this was a personal choice done based upon a higher risk of cancer. The lifetime risk of acquiring HIV is less than 2% for men, and can be lowered to near 0% through condom-wearing (Hall 2008). How, then, can we advocate prophylactic circumcision for baby boys?

Science and data do not support the practice of infant circumcision. Circumcision does not preclude the use of the condom. The adult male should have the right to make the decision for himself and not have his body permanently damaged as a baby.

What's the damage, you ask? See the next post.


Part 1: Surgery Myths

Part 2: STD/Hygiene myths

Part 3: Social and sexual myths

Part 4: The ethics and economics of circumcision

Part 5: Greatest danger for uncircumcised boys

Part 6: Harming boys through ignorance of male anatomy


References for Part 2

Ashfield, J., et al., Treatment of phimosis with topical steroids in 194 children, JOURNAL OF UROLOGY, Volume 169, Number 3: Pages 1106-1108, March 2003.

Auvert, B. et al., Randomized, controlled intervention trial of male circumcision for reduction of HIV infection risk: the ANRS 1265 Trial, PLoS Med. 2005 Nov;2(11):e298. Epub 2005 Oct 25.

Camille CJ, Kuo RL, Wiener JS. Caring for the uncircumcised penis: What parents (and you) need to know. Contemp Pediatr 2002;11:61.

Connolly, C. et al., Male circumcision and its relationship to HIV infection in South Africa: Results of a national survey in 2002, South African Medical Journal, October 2008, Vol. 98, No. 10.

Hall, H. et al., Estimating the lifetime risk of a diagnosis of the HIV infection in 33 states, 2005-2005; J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2008;49(3):294-297.

Jameson, D. et al., The Association Between Lack of Circumcision and HIV, HSV-2, and Other Sexually Transmitted Infections Among Men Who Have Sex With Men, Sex Transm Dis. 2009 Nov 6.

Pisacane A, et al. Breastfeeding and urinary tract infection. The Lancet, July 7, 1990, p50.

Thompson RS: Does circumcision prevent urinary tract infection? An opposing view. J Fam Pract 1990; 31: 189-96.

Wawer, M. et al., Circumcision in HIV-infected men and its effect on HIV transmission to female partners in Rakai, Uganda: a randomised controlled trial, The Lancet, Volume 374, Issue 9685, Pages 229 - 237, 18 July 2009.

Westercamp, W., et al., Male Circumcision in the General Population of Kisumu, Kenya: Beliefs about Protection, Risk Behaviors, HIV, and STIs, PLoS ONE 5(12): e15552. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0015552

Wiswell TE, Smith FR, Bass JW. Decreased incidence of urinary tract infections in circumcised male infants. Pediatrics 1985, 75: 901-903.