Mothers of small children ask me about natural health all the time. It happens in the line at my favorite natural grocer, or after a yoga class. Sometimes I receive questions through email or through a friend of a friend. It’s a universal desire for parents to give their children the best start possible, but our medical system is not set up to do that at all. In fact, in 6 key ways, it is harming our children and damaging their prospects for future health. Here’s how:
1. Higher C-Sections Rates Put Babies at Risk
When I recently was preparing for birth through a Bradley birthing class, I was astounded to find out how high the C-section rates are at most hospitals. I understand that sometimes they are medically necessary, and they have their place, but this invasive, and dangerous procedure is getting out of control.
When a baby is born via C-section, there are numerous issues that cause possible long-term harm. Firstly, when a newborn passes through the vaginal canal, they are exposed to billions of beneficial bacteria which become part of their growing immune system. C-section babies are not exposed to this immune-boosting bacteria, and are more likely to become ill.
A baby’s skull is also designed to shift as it comes through the birth canal, and when they don’t, many mothers report the need for cranial sacral therapy to mimic the natural process of child birth to correct behavioral problems and neurological risks imposed by birth trauma
2. Formula-Fed Babies are at Higher Risk for Depleted Immunity
Since babies can’t go straight to eating organic, non-GMO food from your plate, they rely on sustenance from another form – and Mother Nature has provided the perfect food – breast milk. A study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal found that babies born by C-section and that drank formula instead of breast milk were more likely to be obese when they were older. They were also more prone to inflammatory bowel disease, allergies, asthma, and even cancer.
“Our study addresses an important knowledge gap, since the infant gut microbiota has rarely been characterized with sequencing methods that provide sufficient coverage of the entire bacterial community,” writes Dr. Anita Kozyrskyj, University of Alberta, with coauthors. “Our findings are particularly timely given the recent affirmation of the gut microbiota as a ‘super organ’ with diverse roles in health and disease, and the increasing concern over rising cesarean delivery and insufficient exclusive breastfeeding in Canada.”
Here are 3 companies using genetically modified ingredients in baby formula.
3. We’re Given Antibiotics Instead of Probiotics
How many children are given amoxicillin or other antibiotics when their health care provider could help parents avoid the over-use of antibiotics which is causing super bugs and other medication-resistant disease by simply educating them about probiotics?
I’ve been giving my six-month-old small doses of probiotics in his breast milk since he was just a few days old. When my husband and I came down with a nasty upper respiratory infection recently, we were down for a week, my infant got over it in a day, and his immune system is still in its infancy, as he is. Pregnant mothers can also boost their own healthy gut flora by making sure they take probiotics themselves to ensure they have sufficient healthy bacteria when it comes time to give birth.
4. Our Kids Don’t Play Outside Anymore
From the time a child can sit in a high chair, they are taught to look at a monitor or a cell phone. By the time they can run and catch a ball, instead of playing outside they’ve been trained to be chained to an electronic device.
Not only does this keep our children from the infinite wonders of the outdoor world – from worms crawling in the soil, to the wind blowing in the trees – but they miss out on numerous health benefits provided by nature. Pediatricians’ offices have big screen televisions instead of books or tree houses, and the medical establishment rarely tells parents to make sure their kids are spending time in green spaces.
5. We’ve Overly-Sanitized Our World
We’re obsessed with hand-sanitizers and toxic air-fresheners, but according to a New York Times article:
- 18% of adults do not wash their hands after using the bathroom
- 23% do not wash up before handling food
- 25% do not wash after changing a diaper
So how do we still fight disease? It’s simple. Our immune systems. When given half a chance to do what they were designed to do, our immune systems protect against foreign germs and viruses very well. Medical doctors spend about 1% of their time in school learning about the diet and how important it is to our overall health. This means that people who are arguably ignorant about how to keep a child healthy by supporting their immune systems naturally through diet, herbs, rest, and time in nature are telling us how to raise our kids.
Forget about the hand sanitizer; your toddler will probably lick the floor. You don’t have to worry though, if you know about the #1-5 keys outlined in this article and do all you can to boost their natural immunity. Then, those nasty germs don’t stand a chance.
This article originally appeared at Natural Society.