Friday, April 29, 2011

Baby Bunnies: A Lesson on Health

Lately I haven't had much time to write a blog.


Because I have 5 baby bunnies that I am taking care of! Their mother died while giving birth to them, and since then we have been bottle feeding them two times per day (which takes almost 2 hours each time).

I wanted to write to all of my readers out there because I have realized how important a couple of supplements are.

First, the babies were not able to nurse off their mother at all. This can be a major problem, since a mother's first milk is so rich in nutrients, antibodies, fat and other vital nourishment. This first milk is called Colostrum, and is vital for a baby's immune system. When I used to feed calves on the farm, I had to make sure they were fed at least two days of Colostrum, or they would likely get sick and die. So, this was a dilemma with these baby rabbits.... no colostrum to feed them. After searching for a long time, we found a kitten milk replacement that has colostrum. We were amazed, however, when reading the other ingredients we were not so amazed. Did you know they put Corn Syrup in kitten formula? Yikes... to say the least. Someone should invent a healthy formula for animals. It's so difficult to find anything for them to eat, let alone something healthy. 

Another very important thing for baby rabbits is promotion of healthy gut flora (just like humans). If they don't build a good healthy gut flora, then they are likely to die. We are now putting Acidophilus in their formula.

So far, so good. They are doing really well and are growing so fast!

On a side note - do you know if you received Colostrum from your mother, or were you put directly on formula? This always seems to amaze me with new mothers who give birth in a hospital - nurses and doctors rarely promote giving a baby the mother's first milk. On the farm, however, you MUST give the calves their mothers first milk, or they will likely die or be very sick. In this way, we are not much different from animals. We, too, need our mother's first milk to build our immune system and promote a long life of health.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Your Baby: Breastfeeding vs. Formula Feeding

It seems like bottle feeding has been on the rise in the recent decades and now, more than ever, mothers are feeding their baby with pre-made formulas. Mothers come to see me with complaints of poor digestion in their babies; babies who vomit after they eat each meal, constipation, higher incidence of colds/flu and more. Most of these young mothers have not been educated on the benefits of breast milk over formulas.

Breastfeeding Your Baby

Breast milk, by far, is the healthiest and best gift you could ever give your baby. It is full of vitamins, minerals, and nourishment. It is highly digestible and easily absorbed by your baby. You, as a mother, pass on antibodies to your baby so he/she will be able to fight off illness. Babies who have been breastfed have been proven to have higher IQ, lower incidence of diabetes, and a stronger immune system.

All of the above 'pros' have been reported in many different articles and journals. I have seen the effects of breastfeeding first hand... babies are smarter, more alert, maintain health and don't catch illness easily, and generally have stronger immune systems than babies who are bottle fed. Breastfed babies are generally happier and more content. 

'Back in the day' in situations where mothers were not able to breastfeed their babies, they would hire a wet nurse. The wet nurse would provide breast milk for the baby. Over the years the incidence of wet nurses has decreased, although it is a much healthier option for your baby than formula. This trend is again starting to increase as people realize how toxic formula really is.

Formula has been said to be 'easier'. Mothers can go away from their children while the babysitter gives formula. In raising your baby I know that you are doing everything in your power to keep it safe and healthy. This also involves breast feeding for at least 6 months, and even better for a year.  If you are having problems breastfeeding, there are many breastfeeding educators out there (like La Leche groups and midwives).There are also many different nursing teas and herbs that will help you release more milk. If you are heading back to work, start pumping. Breast milk is a SUPERFOOD for your baby and will encourage their growth and development.

I have also seen many changes when babies go from breast milk to formula. The blue eyes in a baby will quickly turn to brown when on formula (in iridology brown indicates liver congestion and digestive disturbances too). The baby will soon become constipated and only poop once per day or every other day. A normal bowel movement schedule is to release after every meal. This also includes your baby. Every time your baby has your milk (or a bottle), it should be having a bowel movement too. I have even seen some mothers whose babies only poop once per week. At this time, toxic matter begins to accumulate in your baby's intestines and is probably being reabsorbed into the blood stream. At this point, your child's immune system is weakened and they may have a constant low form of illness.

You can always work toward better health by adopting healthier lifestyles and principles. Give your baby the right start with breast milk, the wonder food! Did you know that you can even use your breast milk for eye infections? Yup... just squirt it in there and the infection will clear up within a very short period of time. This proves that your milk contains antibodies to help your baby fight disease.

Also, remember that you are feeding your baby through your body. This means that you, as a mother, need to eat a healthy and well balanced diet. If your doctor has told you that your milk is "toxic" for your baby, then your body is probably toxic too. This requires a cleansing diet, full of fresh fruits and vegetables and other cleansing and/or building protocols. First and foremost, you need to take care of yourself so you can take care of your baby!

Keep your eyes open and observe mothers who bottle feed compared to mothers who formula feed. You will quickly see the differences.


Svea is a traditional Naturopath, classical homeopath and holistic doula. Her private doula practice can be found here. Her Montreal Natural Fertility site can be found here

Monday, April 11, 2011

Headache Mystery Solved

A headache is no fun for anyone, especially if it doesn't go away over night. My least favorite headaches are the ones that carry over to the next day. 

Lately I have been experiencing these kinds of headaches. I very rarely get sick and very rarely have headaches, so this has been a mystery that I have been trying to solve for some time now.

I finally solved that mystery today, and wanted to share with all of my readers. I think this might affect many of you reading.

My diet is pretty pure. We eat mostly organic produce and try to stay away from processed foods as much as possible. We shop at health food stores and really maintain a well balanced diet. Sometimes when we are on the road, we purchase things like granola, health food chips, or other more processed foods than we are used to. This is usually when I experience headaches. Yesterday I began experiencing a headache after I ate steel cut oats, which was quite perplexing to me.  I'm not one to take medications, so I took it easy for the night. I woke up this morning and had the same headache again.

This morning I realized what I did differently yesterday. I put rice milk in my oatmeal. The culprit?


After doing more research I realized that I am not the only one experiencing headaches from canola oil. There are hundreds of others out there saying the same thing. The research isn't much, however, I found many good articles that talk about the harmful effects of canola oil.

In our household we try really hard to avoid canola oil. This oil is one of the most rancid and health damaging oils out there.

Canola is actually not the name of a plant, but instead is a compound of two different words. Canola was developed from "Canada" and "oil". This "canola" oil is one of the most genetically modified crops and comes from the Rapeseed plant. According to AgriAlternatives, The Online Innovation, and Technology Magazine for Farmers, "By nature, these rapeseed oils, which have long been used to produce oils for industrial purposes, are.... toxic to humans and other animals."

Did you catch that?

"For industrial purposes." Rape is an oil that is used as lubricant, fuel, soap, and synthetic rubber base. It is not meant to be a food. Many people report other side effects like: emphysema, respiratory distress, lung cancer, anemia, irritability, blindness and constipation, not to mention other neurological effects.

One article pointed out that rape seed was fed to cows, pigs, and sheep who later went blind and began attacking people. After the rape seed was discontinued, there were no further attacks (this comes from John Tomas' book, Young Again).

Many parents and teachers have shared that they have never seen such poor behavior in their students before. The younger generations are violent, disruptive, can't concentrate, and are sicker than ever. This is sad but true: We are doing this to our children by feeding them foods like canola oil.

Pesticides are rarely used on Canola plants (rapeseed plants), because this plant is so toxic that insects avoid it.  Canola oil is an E.P.A. registered pesticide.

Surprisingly enough, if you are not reading your labels, then you are probably consuming a lot of canola oil. The rice milk that we purchased contains canola oil, some health food granolas have canola oil. In fact, most products at the health food store that have been prepared in a "healthy" way have canola oil! On top of that, most, if not all, processed foods contain canola oil.

After discovering this I went back to my cupboards and checked a lot of our food. I was still SHOCKED. As I said before, we try to avoid canola oil when we buy groceries. But, most of our stored foods contain canola oil... and most of them come from the health food store! This is another sad but true statement: most of the processed foods that come from the health food store are not healthy. Check your labels. Even if it says "may contain the follow: canola oil" then it probably does contain canola oil. Avoid it at all costs! Some companies also get tricky by using "rapeseed oil"...this is the same thing.

Also avoid cooking with canola oil. Most "vegetable oils" contain canola oil (that we use so much for frying food). The canola industry has said it is good for heart health since it doesn't contain any saturated fat. This is a lie. Some articles reported increased incidence of heart disease from diets high in canola oil. Instead, replace your 'vegetable oil' with healthy oils like coconut oil. Coconut oil can be heated and still maintain its cell structure. Olive oil should only be used on salads (raw and cold pressed) as it becomes rancid when cooked. Coconut oil is a beautiful gift you can give your family! It will feed the brains of your children so they can sit still in school and focus (along with other oils like cod liver oil and flax oil).

After revealing this to my family, we agreed that we would no longer purchase foods with canola oil. Surprisingly (or not), they said they have also experienced low grade headaches (and even some breathing problems). I hope you and your family can do the same!


Svea Lynn is a traditional Naturopath, classical homeopath and holistic doula. Her private doula practice can be found here. Her Montreal Natural Fertility site can be found here