The following excerpt not only reinforces my thoughts on avoiding antibacterial hand sanitizers and soaps, but it also makes me excited to get my kids helping in our garden this summer!
I found this pic on Flickr by woodleywonderworks
Read an excerpt from The Maker's Diet:
So-called “enlightened parents” do everything they can today to keep Junior from getting “dirty”. The sad truth is, our environment is too clean! Immune cells that do not have adequate exposure to soil microbes tend to overreact when they do come into contact with them. Too many adults and children have been denied this much-needed exposure to soil microorganisms. The immune systems of children and even adults are overreactive because they are no longer being properly “educated” in the biological playground of life.
To make matters worse, we oversterilize everything with disinfectant dishwashing, hand soaps, and shower gels; disinfectant body lotions and skin bars; and “deodorant soaps” loaded with antibiotic disinfectants such as triclosan. And we sterilize our soil using pesticides and herbicides that destroy beneficial and harmful microbes alike. These agents harm even the natural immune systems of the very plants we try to “help” with our technological advances.
After years of medical and nutritional research, I am personally convinced that our immune systems need regular exposure to naturally occurring soil organisms for long-term health! The immune system of a child deprived of early exposure to soil organisms may seriously overreact when exposed to various benign intruders later in life. It seems to be a consequence of our lost connection with earth that children and adults develop allergies, autoimmune diseases, and certain types of asthma.
A growing body of evidence implies the immune system will never reach its peak defensive capability against foreign organisms and chemical toxins until we reestablish this lost connection to the earth's soil.”
- 10 Tips for Building Up Your Immune System
- Real Food Recipes & Meal Ideas
- GUT HEALTH 101 – 6 Questions About a Strong Immune System and the GAPS Diet
Lenetta @ Nettacow says
Hmm, perhaps this makes me feel a bit better about my lax housekeeping? :>) Excellent points, and I’m excited that I was able to pick up The Maker’s Diet at the thrift store last week for a dime. So much out there to learn, and yet we’re so good at overcomplicating things… Thanks for a great post!
Hi Kelly, visiting from the Spring Cleaning Carnival! Luckily, my in-laws live not far north of us, here in Kentucky, and have a large garden area. We went up last week (?) to help them burn fallen twigs and tree branches over an area where lettuce will be planted. (Apparently the ash is good for keeping weeds down?) The kids (13, 11 and 7) also became actively involved in planting two long rows of green onions. Their hands and clothes got dirty…both were washed and looked “good as new”. Dirt that had gotten in their shoes was sprinkled on the floor when they took their shoes off…and was swept back out the door minutes later. I don’t want to just ‘exist’ … I want to LIVE!
Kelly, sounds like your births were wonderful, and you were in very good hands! I love the photo you have posted with your sweet newborn. : )
My best friend from high school delivered her second baby, unassisted, alone in the (empty) bathtub – not planned that way, but her baby came really quick! I asked why the tub….and she said she didn’t want a mess, lol! Clever lady! : D
Again apologies for derailing this topic of ‘over-cleaning’ our homes! (tricky segway, huh?)
Blessings & Joy, Christine
Very interesting article.
I can see now how certain hospital practices could cause bleeding, but none of those happened with me. The hospital we’ve always went to with our kids has been great – they never rushed things along, and they let me lead. I’m thankful!
Yes, I’ve made it to the hospital for all 4 kids, but with 2 of them it was very close. 🙂 We have good friends who delivered their baby on the highway.
Kelly, our children range from 5 up to 18. Again, I realize that home birth isn’t for everyone, but perhaps some readers are curious and open to birth options beyond the hospital route. Being informed only arms you further, wherever you choose to birth. : ) Being a huge baby about pain…I certainly *never* thought I’d arrive at a place where having a baby at home sounded like a good idea!
I can only give my own personal observations and understanding about the differences, based on my one hospital birth and 4 at home naturally (with good prenatal and nutritional care).
Excessive bleeding is often caused by rushing a delivery/birth – especially the very last stage. One of the main differences between a midwife led natural birth, and a typical hospital birth is that midwives support the mom who leads the way….they don’t instruct her to PUSH but allow the body to work at its own pace.
At home, my midwife had me hum, rather than bear down too hard, to allow the head to slowly stretch delicate tissues that needed time to expand for the birth. It didn’t hurt, it took a while. She would watch me for timing and follow my lead, instead of demanding me to push. It is a whole different philosophy that allowed me to feel in control and relaxed. : ) We were well trained ahead of time, how to birth (by her classes).
The cord should never be tugged or pulled…but it is pretty routine that the placenta is pulled by the cord after birth, in a hospital setting. Trauma to the genital tract (episiotomy, tears from forcepts or fast delivery/pulling) can cause excessive bleed. Lay midwives do not do episiotomies (surgery), and are experts in easing out babies without tearing. Immediate nursing at birth, aids the uterus in clamping down, and expelling the placenta naturally, stopping the points of bleeding. I felt a very strong instinct at my births to receive my baby right to my breast, which I did, and all of the suckled immediately.
I experienced very little actual bleeding with all 4 natural births, compared to my hospital experience, where I literally could not control it, and passed out twice in the first 24 hours.
The hospital ‘system’ of birthing tends to offer one interference after another….which can disrupt the body’s natural responses. Epidurals and/or pitocin drips interfere with the body’s normal patterns. One thing leads to another, and can spiral into problems.
A sadly common scenario is for a mom to be given an epidural, which slows heart rate, which concerns the staff….and results in a large episiotomy and forcepts or suction delivery, and a baby ‘yanked’ from the birth canal. Scalp monitors fail more often than not (we saw studies that showed more than 50% of the time, false readings appeared) which can cause ’emergency’ responses (forcepts or C-sections) when in reality, the monitor was inaccurate and everything was just fine. It isn’t unusual for the scalp monitor to pull away, for instance, and show a failed heartbeat in the baby.
Here is an article about preventing maternal bleeding –
Did you make it to the hospital with your quick guy, Kelly? I was actually a quick birth, too….and was born on the hospital elevator. I used to tease my little brother that he was born behind the hospital sign out front!
Wow, that is very interesting – I’m curious to know what it is about birthing in a hospital that would increase the risk of hemorrhaging? I’m trying to think of the circumstances surrounding her birth…ways it would have been different than at home…I did have Stadol with her (but nothing at all with our youngest, he was too fast, and I was thankful it worked out that way), but can’t think of what else could have caused the bleeding.
Christine, you’re full of great info, girl! 🙂 How old are your kids?
Unfortunately, excessive maternal bleeding is extremely common in hospital births. I also experienced excessive hemorrhaging, & my baby in the NICU (my first, a hospital birth). That is actually what led our research for a safer, healthier way to birth our next 4 kiddos. : D I discovered that only about 20% of babies (worldwide) are born in hospitals…and that the statistics of US homebirths were far better in all ways, than US hospitals. There is a perception that it is somehow ‘risky’ to birth natually, at home…but in reality, many of the methods used in hospital births can lead to problems – such as excessive bleeding in Moms.
There are lots of things that can help prepare for minimal blood loss. My midwife always had me on extra Vit. E and a liquid plant based iron the several weeks before I was due. I also prepared the birth outlet with vit. E oil daily, and the perineum was well prepared to stretch. She applied sterile olive oil and hot compresses during the crowning, and all 4 births came out with no tearing.
I agree…the benefits far outweigh the (perceived) risks of birthing at home, especially with a well experienced midwife. An added benefit is that it is so much more comfortable and completely private! My last 3 births were absolutely pain free, at home, on our own bed. : D
Home birth is not for everyone, but we absolutely loved it!
Some good points here.
Regarding home births – I’m all for it and feel like the benefits probably outweigh the risks, but because I almost bled to death after our daughter was born, personally I’m thankful to have been in the hospital!
Well, Thank You Kelly for this topic, lol!!
Finally….a voice of reason.
Nourished Kitchen, that is grossly fascinating! 😀
All 3 of my daughters (faithful hand washers, lol, while my sons….?) react to the strong soaps provided at school, church and other public places. This may sound gross, but I tell them to use one ‘dot’ of soap on their palms, and scrub a while mostly with just water. And if they have any reaction (dry, scabby skin on the backs of the hands), to not use ANY of that stuff, at all. A doctor told my nephew that one minute of good friction with plain water washes as well or better, than a handful of soap in a few seconds.
At school, they go nuts with the chlorox wipes (and teachers say it does help keep down colds/flu). I’m just not too worried if my child goes 6 hours without washing with soap. Water alone, is FIINE, in my view, when the only soap option is antibacterial.
I may need to duck, here, but after watching a lecture on uTube regarding the ‘over sterilization’ of our culture (we never, never buy antibiotic anything here), I no longer obsess over washing each leaf of lettuce or grape, either. : )
I think we are often a bit too fear based about our health (the media doesn’t help, does it?)
We are washing our food to ‘death.’ We need to consume the good bacterias….but we are sterilizing and cooking it out of our food, in hopes of getting the ‘bad’ stuff out as well.
We wash what we can, thank God for it, and trust in His design of our bodies and environment. : )
And lastly, I’m one of those weird people who birthed at home. Friends who birth in hospitals have all sorts of rashes and infections to worry about. My midwife informs me that my unborn baby is *already* immune to the bacteria in OUR home and environment, from prenatal exposure. : D 17 years ago, she would have me sterilize the tub/bathroom (w/bleach) and bedding, and then heat the linens in the oven to sterilize them, and package them up for the delivery day. By my last baby 6 years ago, she had deemed all that unnecessary. She had me wash my bed linens and towels normally, run them through the dryer, and set aside for the due date. : )
It is interesting to note that in almost 30 years and over 2,000 births…..she has not once had a maternal (or infant) infection. Infection is a leading cause of fatality in birth mothers, and NO hospital can boast 100% non-infection rate.
Recently we took our children to visit a grandparent staying overnight in a local hospital. As we entered the hallways and approached the nurses station, a nurse warned us to please consider having Grandma come visit US, in the family waiting room.
She said, although the hospital looked and smelled and even sounded! absolutely pristine….it was LOADED with disease, and she didn’t want our children exposed to it. (And, what a refreshing attitude! In the past, children have been considered little disease bearers in a hospital…..especially if they knew ours are completely vaccine free, lol).
Way off the beaten path here…but we have long been advocates of good old hand washing before eating and anytime your hands are dirty, with good old soap and water. : ) (And, avoid hospitals, lol!!)
I’m with you Kelly! In fact, I just did a short series on how antibacterial soaps harm our health and our environment. Please visit https://kitchenstewardship.wordpress.com/2009/02/21/my-relationship-with-soap/ for the first of three parts, plus one additional post with ideas to root out antibacterial stuff from your home.
Nourished Kitchen says
I couldn’t agree more. Exposure to over-sanitary environments is a risk factor for various autoimmune diseases in adulthood: particularly IBS. There was also recent research indicating that exposure to intestinal worms in childhood is actually good for the immune system.