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wellBEing weekends

Welcome to a weekly series on Traveling with Baby, wellBEing weekends, formerly known as  Health Happy Round-Up.

Each weekend (Friday – Sunday), wellBEing weekends will feature health-related news, recipes, and fresh tips on wholesome health for your family’s well BE-ing.


I’m getting back into the groove of the regular columns on Traveling with Baby after taking a hiatus from the Valentine’s Day Gift Guide.  If you missed out on the great prizes, never fear, we have more gift guides lined up for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day!


While Calvin’s napping, I’m going to use Elisa’s recipe for yummy banana bread, but I’m going to use a gluten-free flour combo of buckwheat and brown rice flour.  It’s the perfect thing to make with several bananas that are over-ripe!

Actually, we’re going to make a more concerted effort to feature delicious and healthy food recipes on Traveling with Baby.  If YOU have a recipe you’d like to share, please e-mail me [drgarnecki at gmail dot com].  We’d be happy to feature YOUR great foodie ideas for healthy and delicious meals and snacks for the whole family.

Last month, we talked about ways to engage in fitness as a family.  A lot of that family fitness stuff got put on hold when we were dealing with an indoor flood, immediately followed by Snowmageddon.  Boy, did I get a lot of cleaning and furniture rearranging done!  Turns out Elisa B did the very same thing.  If women and children are stuck inside for days on end, we can be VERY productive!

Although re-organizing our tiny living space was a plus, the lack of sunshine and ability to run outdoors was KILL-ING me.  My son was asking every 5 minutes of every day to “go to the playgwound to play with tids”.  Thankfully, a few “tids” came to visit us at our home and at the office, so my son’s developing social cravings could get met.

Back to the fitness thing…lifting heavy furniture and boxes was a great workout.  However, I am yearning to run.  I’m so eager to get back to it that I’m setting a goal: a 5k race in mid-April.

I’ve been asking my women running friends to join Elisa and me as we run and train to complete our first 5k race since both of us were pregnant and had our sons.  I have not run in a race since 2006…it’s been too long.  The Race for Autism is raising funds for the Virginia Institute of Autism–a day-school and resource center for families and health professionals on autism.

Charlottesville Moms, will you join me in training and running in this 5k on April 17th?  This race is a great opportunity for you to promote family fitness by living as the example, and you’ll help raise money for an organization that is working to help families with autism–a condition that affects one in every 150 children in the United States (according to a survey by the Washington Post).

We’re going to create an exclusive Team Traveling with Baby // Team Bridal Ring running shirt (it will be pretty and flattering) for all the gals who join us for this upcoming race.  First, register for the race (it’s only $20 before the day of the race), then leave a comment that you’ve done so, and that you want to participate on Team Traveling with Baby.  Next, we’ll keep working on the design for the shirt that you can pick up and wear on race day.

Are you excited?  I am SO excited!

Let’s DO this!

Subscribe // Twitter me: drdolly

Weekly Baby Health News

A Breastfeeding Hero

A Chinese policewoman in Chengdu is breastfeeding 9 babies according to The Citizen.  She recently had her own baby, but she’s also helping to feed the babies of 3 women who were too traumatized from the earthquake to continue nursing, and she’s feeding 5 orphaned babies who don’t have access to powdered milk in the orphanage. 

Infant Vaccines Produce Autism Symptoms in Primates (U of Pittsburgh Study)

According to Medical News Today, when giving infant primates the same vaccines recommended for human newborns by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), autism-like symptoms were exhibited.  This article revealed that vaccine-safety studies are usually conducted prior to use in humans.  However, the current childhood regimen has never been done.  In this case, generations of American children have been unwilling subjects for future generations of children.  I hope shedding more light on vaccines and their effects just increases parents awareness so that they don’t blindly follow recommendations for introducing foreign substances into the body (especially of a young infant) without first doing some research.  On that end, I hope public awareness about vaccines increases tremendously.  These findings most certainly have made the CDC and AAP aware and concerned about the effects of their vaccine recommendations in the past few decades.

What’s in Childhood Vaccines?

I’ve overheard some parents talking about how “safe” vaccines are for children. They believe that they no longer have mercury in any of the childhood vaccines. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. The Institute for Vaccine Safety has published a current vaccine schedule as well as the associated thimerosal content.

I recently read an article “Autism and Mercury” published by Biotics Resesarch Mid-Atlantic in The Better Health News (Volume 4, Issue 4, April 2008, page 4). To shed some light on the history of the autism and vaccine debate, the article noted that a few years ago, Dr. Andrew Wakefield published a study that suggested increasing cases of autism may be linked to vaccines containing mercury. Unfortunately, it must have been a pretty good study because it ticked off a lot of people who matter. As a result, he was “forced” out of his position at the Royal Free Hospital in London and he was defamed and labeled a “quack” by editorials in medical journals and TV shows. Since his study came out, several subsequent studies were published “proving” that there is no connection between the mercury in the vaccines and the increasing numbers of autism in western countries. The CDC is one of the organizations that published some studies on this issue.

Well, it’s okay to debunk a study and to claim that something is safe, as long as you’re talking about apples and apples. But, when you compare apples to oranges, that means nothing when you’re talking about orange juice. Only the oranges matter. That’s the case with the FDA when they claimed that dosages for mercury in vaccines are “safe”.

Thimerosal is a preservative ingredient in vaccines. It is composed of ethylmercury (which is constituted with 50% mercury). An FDA website claims the following:

‘Thimerosal in concentrations of 0.001% (1 part in 100,000) to 0.01% (1 part in 10,000) has been shown to be effective in clearing a broad spectrum of pathogens. A vaccine containing 0.01% thimerosol as a preservative contains 50 mcg of thimerosal per 0.5 ml dose or approximately 25 mcg of mercury per 0.5 ml dose.’

The FDA was toting “safe” dosages for mercury, but they were referring to methylmercury NOT ethylmercury which is the type of mercury ingredient in vaccines. Additionally, the FDA states that the amount of mercury an infant receives from vaccines is within acceptable limits. The problem with that claim is that depending on the specific vaccine formulations that are administered and the infant’s weight, “some infants could have been exposed to cumulative levels of mercury during the first six months of life that exceeded EPA recommended guidelines for safe intake of methylmercury.” Thankfully, these findings have promoted an effort to reduce the amount of mercury in vaccines.

Before such an effort to reduce mercury in vaccines, the cumulative exposure to mercury once an infant reached six months was 187.5 mcg in a child who has received ALL of the recommended vaccines. Additionally, mercury is transferred from mom to baby in utero. So, a pregnant woman who gets a flu shot exposes the developing fetus to additional mercury.

The EPA has some pretty grim things to say about mercury levels and their effects on people. According to a website for the Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry (Department of Health and Human Services), the EPA has a set limit of 2 parts per billion (ppb) in drinking water and 1 ppb in seafood. It’s striking that those limits are vastly different than what the FDA notes as “safe” dosages in childhood vaccines. According to the site,

‘the nervous system is very sensitive to all forms of mercury. Methylmercury and metallic mercury vapors are more harmful than other forms, because more mercury in these forms reaches the brain. Exposure to high levels of metallic, inorganic, or organic mercury can permanently damage the brain, kidneys, and developing fetus. Effects on brain functioning may result in irritability, shyness, tremors, changes in vision or hearing, and memory problems. Short-term exposure to high levels of metallic mercury vapors may cause effects including lung damage, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, increases in blood pressure or heart rate, skin rashes, and eye irritation.’

Not surprising, children are more sensitive to mercury than adults.

Vaccines Trigger Autism–CDC Chief Admission on CNN

New video on YouTube regarding the Hannah Poling case where CDC Chief Julie Gerberding Admits Vaccines Trigger Autism.  Watch it here.

Great family blog whose son is suffering from autism.  Check out Adventures in Autism for resources, articles, and a personal journey.