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Apr 27, 2010

Homeopathy for Ear Infections


Until recently, antibiotics were the first line of defense against ear infections. But raising concerns about antibiotic resistance—along with a convincing study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2006—have changed that. The study, conducted in children ages 6 months to 12 years, found that waiting 48 hours to allow the infection to clear up on its own was just as effective as treating it with antibiotics.

Of course, 48 hours with the pain, fever, and general misery of an ear infection is hardly an appealing alternative. Relief may come in over-the-counter pain and fever reducers like acetimenophen or ibuprofen, but another and more holistic way of addressing the problem is homeopathy.

Homeopathy is very specialized, so there’s not one remedy that will work in each case. Here’s a list of the most common and effective treatments, and what they’re good for. Dosing in homeopathy is not weight-dependent, so children take the same dosages as adults. See the packaging or speak with a homeopath for guidelines.

Ear pain comes on suddenly, the ear is red, and the face is flushed. Often occurs after exposure to cold, dry weather.

Burning discharge with a roaring sound in the ear. Hearing is impaired. The child seems fearful and anxious.

Sudden, violent, boring pains that seem to buzz through the ear. Pus and inflammation are present along with a hot, red ear. Usually the right ear is affected. Child may cry out during sleep.

The child has unbearable pain and is frantic and irritable. She wants to be carried. One cheek may be pale, the other flushed. Often occurs during teething. Warm applications make the pain worse.

Calcarea Carbonica
For ear infections in children who are strong and stocky. They may get cold more easily, yet the head sweats at night. Personality is more earthy, plodding. Fears of ghosts and frequent nightmares are not uncommon. Asks serious questions.

For earches that occur after cold, damp weather exposure. At night, the pain is worse.

Ferrum Phos
Gradual-onset earaches. The child's face will be flushed and he will be very sensitive to noise.

Hepar Sulph
Pain from the throat to the ear, with those areas being sore to touch.

Kali Mur
For ear infections with mucous buildup in the eustachian tubes and diminished hearing. There may be cracking noises when the child swallows. This remedy is also used if there seems to be hearing impairment following an earache.

Mag Phos
Use when the ears hurt due to a cold wind, not from infection, right ear being the most affected. Warm pressure brings relief, and cold increases the pain.

Ears hurt more at night and are worse in damp weather conditions. The child perspires and has a sickly odor, excessive saliva, a swollen tongue with teeth impressions on the side.

Use when the outer ear is red, hot and swollen. Pain is worse at night, throbbing and darting, which may make hearing difficult. The patient feels cold and irritable and wants to be covered. Child is emotional and weeps easily; she may be open and loving but with changeable moods. Can sulk and be irritable. There may be thick yellow discharges.

These children tend to be snotty-nosed and messy, regardless of frequent bathing, with a tendency to be hot. They may have foul smelling yellowish discharges.

Brigitte Mars is the author of Rawsome! (Basic Health Publications, 2004), The Desktop Guide to Herbal Medicine (Basic Health Publications, 2007), Beauty by Nature (Book Publishing Company, 2006), Addiction-Free—Naturally (Healing Arts Press, 2001), and Healing Herbal Teas (Basic Health Publications, 2001). Her website is

Apr 26, 2010

Congratulations on your Pregnancy!!!

Dear newly pregnant mom,

You have just found out that a new life is becoming within you. Isn’t it amazing how a miracle can seem so normal and ordinary.

No matter how this journey started or how it ends – you are now a mother. The membership fee to remain in this worldwide sorority, is this only, unconditional love – for yourself and your baby. The birth of your baby, however it happens whether at home or in the O.R. is the final initiation, a rite of passage into this immense power of women.

This is your training period. The choices whether easy or difficult start now. This new life depends on you to do your best. And there will be many days when it seems like your best is not good enough. It is.

Use this time to read. Those who love you will want to shower you with love and advice. In these moments, ask them a list of their favorite and least favorite books – read them all. As you read, try not to read as a scholar who tries to retain every word but instead as an adventurer looking for gems of knowledge and wisdom – a hidden treasure. Read to increase your personal wisdom that lay deep within you. It’s ok if the books that resonate with you are on the black list of the most popular parenting site or moms groups – this just means that you will need to use faith and wisdom to walk this journey. Remember that it’s ok to have your specific personal needs and limitations. These make you special.

The birth of your baby matters. For many this will be one of the biggest initiations they will ever experience. You will need:























You need to feel all of this and more because these are qualities you will need as a mother. You need to know that the birth of your baby may or may not go as you plan. How it ends is not really the important lesson, but what you learn about yourself from how it ends. Will you take the lessons from your birth and allow them to make you a stronger, wiser woman and mother?

I suspect you might feel like this initiation is too big for you. It’s not. We allow you to be surrounded by love and experience. Ask for help. It’s the responsible decision to bring a guide with you on this journey you have never been on before. Asking for help is often more courageous than trying to walk into the unknown unprepared.

As you welcome your baby into the world. Trust yourself. Believe that whatever you are feeling or not feeling is normal – if it wasn’t, it would be different.

Do your best. Trust yourself. Welcome.

With open arms,
Your birth mentor,

Mama Sayana

Apr 19, 2010

Face of Birth - documentary

Teaser for the upcoming documentary the Face of Birth. A documentary about pregnancy, childbirth and the power of choice.

Apr 11, 2010

In Sleepless Nights, a Hope for Treating Depression


Is there anything good about insomnia? Could there possibly be any upside to a long, torturous sleepless night?

To answer the question, let’s look at another condition entirely.

Postpartum depression affects between 5 percent and 25 percent of new mothers. Symptoms — including sadness, fatigue, appetite changes, crying, anxiety and irritability — usually occur in the first few months after child birth. There is a simple way to alleviate postpartum depression in just a few hours: sleep deprivation.

If a depressed mother stays up all night, or even the last half of the night, it is likely that by morning the depression will lift. Although this sounds too good to be true, it has been well documented in over 1,700 patients in more than 75 published papers during the last 40 years.[1] Sleep deprivation used as a treatment for depression is efficacious and robust: it works quickly, is relatively easy to administer, inexpensive, relatively safe and it also alleviates other types of clinical depression. Sleep deprivation can elevate your mood even if you are not depressed, and can induce euphoria. This throws a new light on insomnia.

This remarkable result is not well known outside a small circle of sleep researchers for three good reasons. First, sleep deprivation is not as convenient as taking a pill. Second, prolonged sleep deprivation is not exactly a desirable state; it leads to cognitive defects, such as reduced working memory and impaired decision making. Finally, depression recurs after the mother, inevitably, succumbs to sleep, even for a short nap. Nonetheless this is an incredibly important observation; it shows that depression can be rapidly reversed and suggests that something is happening in the sleeping brain to bring on episodes of depression. All this offers hope that studying sleep deprivation may lead to new, unique and rapid treatments for depression.

Scans suggest that something happening in the sleeping brain can bring on episodes of depression.
Neuroscientists have been trying to solve this puzzle. The first hint of what may be happening during sleep came from J. Christian Gillin, a former colleague of mine at the University of California at San Diego and the San Diego Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Using imaging, he found that a small area of the cerebral cortex in the front of the brain — the anterior cingulate cortex — which was consistently overactive in depressed patients, quieted to normal levels of activity after the patients were deprived of sleep. And when the patients were allowed to sleep, the activity in this area returned to the elevated levels.

Read more

Apr 9, 2010

Making Mothers Trailer

A short documentary capturing the lives of two African American caregivers at the Family Health and Birth Center.

Apr 1, 2010

Doctors perform C-section on non-pregnant woman

AYETTEVILLE, NC (WTVD) -- The North Carolina Medical Board says doctors and interns at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center attempted to induce labor on a patient, but when that didn't work, they performed a cesarean section only to find out there was no baby.

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The incident happened in November 2008, but the state medical board spent the past year reviewing the case. In January, they issued the two doctors involved letters of concern.

ABC11 Eyewitness News spoke with one of the doctors involved who explained how something so bizarre could have happened.

Doctor Gerianne Geszler was in charge of the doctors on duty at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center the night of the incident.

Geszler says several doctors had examined and attempted to induce labor on the patient for several days before the C-section incident.

"They did an epidural on her and when they opened up and made the incision, they saw a non-pregnant uterus," Geszler said.

At that point the doctors "closed her back up."

Doctor Dorette Grant is the physician who performed the C-section.

The NC Medical Board issued her a letter of concern that said in part, "you attempted to perform a cesarean section delivery on Patient A after a failed attempt at induction of labor."

"At the time of surgery, it was discovered that Patient A was not pregnant," Board President Donald E. Jablonski said in the letter.

Dr. Geszler says an intern made the original diagnosis.

"And so she said she did an ultrasound and she said no heart beat," Geszler said. "So [the patient] convinced the resident that she wanted to be induced at Cape Fear Valley, so the resident said can I induce here and I said okay."

According to the medical board, the initial diagnosis was made by healthcare providers without the necessary experience to make the appropriate diagnosis.

"Your inappropriate reliance on their diagnosis and the failure to conduct your own examination were contributing factors in the unnecessary attempt at a caesarian delivery," said Jablonski in a letter to Geszler.

The patient was actually suffering from pseudocyesis, symptoms associated with pregnancy even though they are not pregnant. The false pregnancy can be caused by changes in the body and hormones, emotional distress or an endocrine disorder.

The hospital administration didn't want to comment on the incident.

Meanwhile, both doctors continue to practice in Fayetteville. Dr. Geszler is still a gynecologist, but doesn't deliver babies anymore.

Doctor Grant is still an OBGYN, but she was unable to speak with ABC11 Wednesday, because she was busy delivering two babies.