Monday, January 3, 2011

Nursing Maids - Smart Option


Several months ago, I had the opportunity to travel to New Zealand and Australia with my family.  We had passports for every one of my children, and due to my teaching schedule, we decided at the last minute to pay for our babysitter to come along with us.  The passport for the babysitter was expedited and we anxiously awaited the arrival of her passport and the passport for my newborn baby (who was only two months old). 

About a week before leaving, I began feeling a bit uneasy about taking my newborn baby with us on our trip.  I struggled with this thought until I had a dream that made me think that perhaps it was more than just me being fearful - perhaps there really was a reason why I needed to leave my baby behind in America.

So, as the feelings grew stronger that I needed to leave my dear little infant home, I began searching for the very best person who could take care of her.  One of my sisters had just stopped nursing her child and so when I approached my sister, I asked her if she'd be willing to take some herbs to help her milk supply come back in so that she could care for my baby and nurse her as well.

My sister said that she would be able to watch my child and try to get her milk supply up again. 

Long story short...

I have a friend from New Zealand who was still nursing her child (who was nearly two years old) but my friend had started to wean her child off of nursing and said that she'd be delighted to care for my baby.

Please know that nursing is the most beneficial way to prevent a child from contracting an illness.  See my post about Milk by Daniel Vitalis.  He quotes scientific studies that prove breast feeding your child is three times (3 x's) more effective at preventing disease and illness than vaccinating your child is.

So, the time came to leave my little one at home while we all headed to California and then off to New Zealand for an entire week and then off to Australia for an entire week and then back to California and then back to Utah.  Our entire trip would last nearly three weeks.

Oh how my heart ached for my little baby.  I cannot tell you how many tears were shed and how many prayers were offered so that I could give my baby everything she needed, offering only thing I could offer from a distance - prayer. Oh how grateful I am for my dear friend who believes in nursing.  The day I left my baby with Noa, my baby was being a little bit fussy when I got her out of her car seat.  I handed Sarah to Noa.  Noa gently placed my baby to her chest and I watched as little baby Sarah relaxed completely when she felt the calm, loving energy that a righteous Maori brings.  Noa's gentle arm supported the baby's weight and her other hand gently patted Sarah's tiny little back.  A calm feeling entered the room and flooded over me completely washing away my fears.  Tears came to my eyes.  I knew, without a doubt, that my baby was where she needed to be, with the perfect person.  Thank you my Angel family.  I love you!

My husband would later share with me that the term "Nurse Maids" came from the time when there were women who would be hired to come and nurse babies.  This is something that we don't hear about in our culture in America unless you are among an elite few.  However, as I've traveled outside of the United States, it is very common and accepted to nurse other peoples children if it is needed and I'll quote a Maori woman who told me "there is NO other way"... "people SHOULD nurse each others babies". 

When in New Zealand, I shared "My Story" with the Maori and the native "kiwi's" (as they call them).  My message was well received and when I shared that my dear friend (who is a Maori herself) was at home in the United States, caring for my newborn baby, there was a connection and an understanding between myself and the people that I taught that is hard to explain.  It's the feeling you get when realizing that someone foreign to you accepts the same truth that you know to be true.  A sense of respect and a sense of belonging was felt.

I felt very much at home in New Zealand.  It was raining - actually down pouring, nearly the entire time we were there, but oh how I love New Zealand - especially Rotorua.  Rotorua is a natural hot springs mecca.  The city is heated with geothermal energy - even the large commercial buildings.  Oh, the amazing feeling to walk through the city and to feel the moist thermal steam rising around the houses.  There was the familiar smell of sulfur, but it was magical.  My husband and I had visited New Zealand several years earlier after I had just miscarried a child a couple days before leaving for our trip.  I prayed like never before that my baby would be kept safe while we were away.  I couldn't bear losing her.

Note:  I believe my miscarriage was due to agave that wasn't as pure as I thought it was. Sally Fallon (President of the Weston A. Price Association) and author of several books (my favorite is Nourishing Traditions), wrote a very scientific article about agave that said that there should be a warning label on agave that says "Miscarriage Risk".  Saponin (a chemical constituent that results from processing the liquid from the agave plants in most brands of agave) causes blood to "flush the uterus" - thus the miscarriage risk.  Even when we are doing everything we know how to do, to be healthy.  Sometimes we still have health issues and we need to have faith in His plan.  When pregnant with my last baby, I avoided agave completely.

While we were away for three weeks, my dear friend and her family fell in love with my little Sarah.  When the time came for me to take her back home with us it wasn't my heart strings that were being pulled this time, but the heart strings of my dear friend Noa (Illiaganoa).  I tear up right now as I think about the special role she played in our lives.  It would have been extremely difficult to have cared for little Sarah with my busy teaching schedule and the nursing needs of the little newborn baby.  I'm really glad that I had a little bit of 'heavenly help' to get me thinking about leaving Sarah behind.

Once home again, I found that although I had tried to keep the milk flow going, I had let the milk supply dwindle until there was nothing left.  I had a very frustrated baby girl the first day I was back home.  Fortunately, in the interim of getting the milk supply back using herbs and essential oils, we were able to buy raw goats milk from Drake Family Farms (which is about 30 miles from where we live). 

I am now able to nurse my baby in the am (when my baby awakes) and in the pm (before my baby goes to sleep).  During the day she has a bottle and I only give her raw goats milk. Raw goats milk is the closest thing to mothers milk that you could give a baby.  My father couldn't tolerate cow milk and so he was given raw goats milk as a baby. 

Important Note: Raw Goats milk lacks certain B Vitamins and Folic Acid that the baby needs for proper development.  Please see my post titled "Feed Your Baby" that lists ingredients that must be added to raw cows milk and especially raw goats milk.

There was a week or so that I was unable to get the raw milk and so we gave Sarah organic formula (NOT the SOY formula!)  The poor little thing became so constipated that it took my attention using herbs and essential oils consistently for several days along with a bolus and water enema to get my little one from crying when she had to poop.  After we overcame that issue, I vowed to never give my little one formula again.  When I go to Drake Family Farm I make sure to buy at least 4 (1/2 gallon jugs) of raw milk at a time. 

After being without RAW goats milk for those few weeks, I decided to pick the goat milk up myself instead of waiting on the individual that said he'd deliver some to me.  I piled my 5 kids into the car and drove the 30 mile distance to Drake Family Farms.  When I turned into that dirt road that led me to the tiny little store (where the products were sold), I had a feeling of deep gratitude come over me.  These people lived humble lives.  They do not do this business to get rich, but do what they do because they enjoy bringing raw, organic, products to the public that are from well cared for animals. With much gratitude in my heart, my eyes filled up with tears. I thanked Mr. Drake for the raw milk they provided and I told him how extremely grateful I was for RAW goats milk and that I was grateful they took such great care of their animals.  I told him how much my baby needed raw goats milk.  He then informed me that if it weren't for Rhett Roberts (who helped get the raw milk bill passed in Utah) they wouldn't have been able to sell it RAW - they would have had to pasteurize it first. 

Note:  Once milk is pasteurized it CANNOT support life completely.  Raw milk can support your babies life.  See the book "Pottenger Cats" listed in my book recommendations to see the generational defects of pasteurized milk. 

While talking to Mr. Drake, after he mentioned his gratitude to Rhett Roberts for getting the raw milk bill passed, my mind drifted back to my experiences with Mr Roberts.  I didn't mention it to Mr. Drake, but I had been asked to speak before the Congressional Committee back when the Raw Milk Bill was being presented to Congress in Utah.  I still have the suit from Ann Taylor that I had purchased for the event.  I remember the debates with the dairy farmers (the big wigs) that were concerned about raw milk affecting their businesses if anyone were to get sick from raw milk.  I remember the director of the Department of Health (a woman) who presented her case against raw milk.  She talked about the stress that it would cause her department to respond to all the cases of sickness that may occur when people start drinking raw milk.  I remember looking to Rhett for a signal to speak.  I could tell he was nervous and very passionate about everything that was said. 

Isn't it strange...Raw milk SAVES life.  Pasteurized milk cannot support life.  When raw milk is from pasture raised animals who are well cared for and the milk is extracted in a clean environment, your chances of getting sick are microscopic in comparison to drinking pasteurized milk from cows fed who knows what. If you question this, please read the book "The Untold Story of Milk" that's suggested on this site.

Some members of the raw milk world calls the Utah Raw Milk Bill a "Trojan Bill".  The bill had things written in it that helped the dairy farmers and the department of health be put to ease.  Some raw milk advocates are not happy with the bill, but when I heard Mr. Drake publicly thanking Mr. Roberts I had a smile come across my face and felt very happy.  It is because of Mr. Roberts and his store Real Foods Market, that I have access to REAL RAW food, pasture raised meats and pure organic farmers market produce.  It's because of Mr. Roberts that I know about Dr. Weston A. Price, and I also know about all the other amazing books in his little store.  Because of the choices this great man has made, I do NOT have symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis.  I may suffer from waves of fatigue at times, and I may get gluten on accident once in awhile, but I am getting stronger every day.  Because of Mr. Roberts, Drake Family Farm can sell Raw Goats Milk and my baby has Raw Goats Milk - the closest thing to Mothers milk!

Note:  In Sally Fallon's book "Nourishing Traditions", it has some recipes for baby formula that have raw milk for the main ingredient.  The books says that raw goats milk should not be the only think you give your baby because the milk lacks folic acid and B12.  The book gives recommendations for what to add to help your baby from spitting up if you have have to buy baby formula.

We never know what the true intentions of people are.  Even supporting good causes, we need to be careful about the underlying motives of the ones we work for and trust our intuition.

As much as I am trying to give the best information and the closest thing to truth that I can find, I welcome any feedback someone may have. After reading about Sally Fallon's advice about goats milk I updated this blog.  Prior to reading what Mrs. Fallon had written I thought goat milk alone would be fine.  I'm on a quest for truth as it relates to health and wellness and hope to help someone along the way by sharing what I've learned here at my little 'Celiac Shack'.  Please forgive any errors you see.

Lots of love to you!

-Steffanie

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