Cold & Flu season is here once again and many are looking for an alternative to the flu shot, which has historically had a low effective rate. In fact, for 2016-2017, the CDC is advising AGAINST the use of the nasal mist due to concerns of effectiveness.
Here are my top recommendations for natural immunity boosters, vitamins, and supplements that have been scientifically shown to fight the flu virus. These items are suitable for both adults and children. For this reason, you will find that most of these items are in liquid or chewable form.
Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor. These are simply home remedies that I have researched on my own and applied to my family for health and wellness. I have included links to scientific research that you may read for more information.
Prevention is the best cure. Stock up now!
2. Vitamins - Vitamin D, C, and zinc can be taken daily or when symptomatic to decrease upper respiratory infections, fight viruses, shorten cold symptoms by 40%, and reduce antibiotic use.
5. Essential Oils - If you are brand new to essential oils, check out my getting started post. During the winter months, we diffuse Germ Fighter and Immune Booster every night while we sleep. This diffuser is simple to use and includes a night light as well as a timer. Simply place a few drops of your essential oil into the water and turn it on. You can also purchase pre-diluted roll ons to take with you on the go to rub on your wrists or neck.
Here's to staying happy and healthy the natural way this winter!
*Amazon affiliate links included.
In case you missed it last week, the Erin Brockovich chemical has been found in drinking water ALL ACROSS AMERICA. The dangers of chromium-6 were brought to light in 1993. It's now 23 years later and the government has failed to limit the amounts found in our drinking water.
In my area of Nashville, it was found as high as .167 when the safe level is .02. That's a HUGE amount considering that this chemical has been known to cause cancer even in small amounts. Check chromium-6 levels in your area.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) must be held accountable and pressured to set regulations for our national safety. Here's a quick and easy way to make your voice heard. Please take 15 seconds to sign this petition from the Environmental Working Group.
This is scary stuff and you may be wondering how you can remove this cancer-causing chemical from your drinking water.
3 Filters That Remove Chromium-6
I've just learned about ZeroWater Filters but I'm excited about them. You can read their most recent press release which discusses their system certification regarding Chromium-6.
Don't forget to sign the petition to make your voice heard! We deserve better and the EPA needs to be held to making higher nationwide safety standards.
*Amazon affiliate links included
1 cup fresh elderberries (double for dried berries)
1 cup water
1/4 cup raw honey
1/4 cinnamon stick
DIRECTIONS | Remove berries from stems. Add berries and water to a stockpot and simmer for 30 minutes. Strain off berries and cinnamon stick with cheesecloth. Add honey to elderberry juice and mix well. Add to a jar and refrigerate.
1. This will yield about 16 ounces.
2. I have successfully kept mine in the fridge for up to 3 months.
3. A trick to removing the fresh berries is to freeze them, then shake off the berries.
4. Remove as much of the bark as you can but the little straggly stuff is okay.
5. I prefer to make a big batch at once using 4 cups berries (double for dried), 4 cups water, 1 cup honey, 1 cinnamon stick.
WHERE TO BUY | I am privileged enough to have wild elderberries growing on my parent's property but you can also buy dried elderberries that have already been removed from the stem. Links below.*
Raw Honey - It would be preferred to find local, raw honey (check your farmer's market)
DOSAGE | It is recommended to take 1 Tablespoon per day as preventative maintenance. In times of illness you can take up to 4 Tablespoons per day.
Nashville is equipped with a wide variety of birth professionals including those trained to assist families with the loss of a child. I'm so thankful for these professionals and the resources they can provide to families who have experienced the loss of their baby either in utero or at term. Here's a current list of what's available to our Middle TN families.
If you or someone you know experiences a loss, please contact the number above to reach a Baby Loss Family Advisor. They will help you find the resources you need. They can even meet with a family at home or in the hospital to discuss options and help you in this journey. They also have a Cuddle Cot available that can be used to provide additional time with the baby before saying goodbye. This is a free service that is provided on a volunteer basis.
Sharing Middle TN meets once per month at Centennial Women's Center. Please view their support schedule or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. The group is open to anyone and is free to attend.
Kate Cropp provides lactation support free of charge to loss mamas. You can contact her at Kate@nashvillebirthandbabies.com.
Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep offers the gift of remembrance through photography. We have several photographers available in Middle TN. Please call the dispatch line at 931-452-9859 to be matched with a volunteer photographer.
These women provide birth support as well as loss services. If you are still pregnant and have experienced a loss, please contact 1-844-4-LOSS and they can help connect you to a birth doula with this area of expertise.
If you know of other professionals who offer loss services, please contact me and let me know so that I can add them to this list.
Nashville Cesarean Rate By Hospital - Data Current as of August 2016 and compared to September 2015.
Vanderbilt University - 31.1% (up 1.1% )
St. Thomas Midtown - 30.8% (down 3.2%)
TriStar Centennial - 34.5% (down 1.5%)
Williamson Medical Center - 32.0% (up 6.0%)
TriStar Hendersonville - 41.7% (4.7%)
TriStar Summit - 22.3% (down 8.7%)
St. Thomas Rutherford - 23.4 % (down 8.6%)
Please note: The information on this site is derived from hospitals’ voluntary submissions of The Leapfrog Hospital Survey. For more survey results, visit: http://www.leapfroggroup.org/compare-hospitals
Click here to see our 2015 Nashville Cesarean Rate Infographic.
Are you looking for a Nashville Doula? Meet the nYn team and learn more about how we can serve you at your next birth
As the cost of insurance and maternity riders continues to sky-rocket, many are looking for alternative solutions to save on healthcare costs.
Enter healthcare sharing plans.
Did you know that the cost for cash-paying patients is often up to 90% less expensive than those with insurance? I learned this the hard way last year after being stuck with a $13K insurance bill that would have been $2K without insurance. Cash-pay really is the way to go!
I have since dropped my insurance plan and switched to Christian Healthcare Ministries.
They also have maternity plans that will cover both midwife expenses and hospital charges. A story in their most recent newsletter is from a family who was charged $15K for their first child's delivery in a hospital, compared to only $3K for the delivery of their 2nd child using CHM. Plus, the $3K was reimbursed through the health-sharing plan! You can check out more maternity sharing stories on their website (click on each picture to expand the details).
Here's a snapshot of what the CHM maternity coverage looks like on their 3 different plan levels.
For maternity care, this is excellent coverage. You can also see below that their monthly plan costs are also quite affordable. I'm currently on the Silver Plan.
One key thing to remember when purchasing maternity coverage with CHM is that you must have an estimated delivery date of 300 days after you sign up, so you would not be eligible for benefits if you registered after becoming pregnant. There are a few other guidelines for signing up for the plan that you can learn about here.
If you decide that Christian Healthcare Ministries is right for you, please mention my Member ID at signup #234256, as referring new members helps me to save on my healthcare costs.
**UPDATE: Many have asked about home birth. I received a newsletter today, which confirms that that home birth charges can be shared under the Gold Plan. You can also share up to $2,500 in midwife charges under the Silver plan.
View the complete CHM Maternity Guide
This spring my friend convinced me to try the Trim Health Mama eating plan. I don't do diets but she was raving about all the yummy recipes so I gave it a try. I quickly learned this was not a diet. It was more like a different way of eating and it was indeed delicious! I can still eat all of my favorite foods including cheese, chocolate, bacon, muffins & milkshakes. I'm not even kidding.
I've been on plan about 2-1/2 months and I've just crossed a major milestone - 15 pounds lost!!! I've done nothing different. I keep thinking about exercising but that's about as far as that has gone. Just a thought. LOL!
The best part about THM is that it can be used by pregnant & nursing mamas too! There is a strong focus on healing your body from the inside out, which helps you to have more energy and feel stronger at the same time. It can help you to maintain a healthy weight during pregnancy and/or safely drop a few pounds postpartum. They make a point of combining foods that won't spike your blood sugar so this could work for moms with gestational diabetes as well.
I had heard about Trim Healthy Mama in the past but I didn't quite understand what it was. I thought it was a "diet" and that it involved all kinds of speciality ingredients that I had never heard of. Turns out this has been the easiest "diet" / "meal plan" / "way of eating" that I've ever tried in my life. There are just some basic facts about the way our bodies process foods & fuels that I had never learned before. THM made it click.
Trim Healthy Mama PLAN Book: This explains the science behind the plan, the basics of what foods to pair together, what foods to avoid, how often to eat, and other tips & tricks.
Trim Healthy Mama COOK Book: This book has all of the yummy recipes that they have perfected. You will not find these recipes on Pinterest. Their fans have been very loyal not to share publicly.
Speaking of Pinterest, there are some great starter guides available along with supplementary recipes so that's a great place to start while you are waiting on the books to arrive. There are also several Facebook groups to ask questions and get support.
Pregnant & Nursing
Turtles - Slow Losers
So, if you have been looking to get health and/or loose weight, I would highly recommend THM. If you have any questions about how the plan works or need help getting started, please don't hesitate to reach out.
This past weekend, I completed my CPR, AED, and First Aid Training with CPR Nashville. It was a great experience and a course that I would definitely recommend to others. All of their CPR classes train you to perform the skill on adults, children, and infants, which is fantastic!
My instructor, Vince, was extremely knowledgeable. He has been working in emergency services his entire career and has been teaching CPR through the American Heart Association for 9 years. He also had a really laid-back approach which helped us all to connect as a class, since we sometimes needed to work in teams. For many, it was their first time and he made everyone feel welcome in addition to showing us tips to perfect our skills.
What I enjoyed most, was the amount of hands on time we had with the mannequins to practice and improve. This alone helped me to leave feeling 100% confident that I would know what to do in an emergency, how to perform CPR, and how to operate an AED machine effectively on all age groups.
Are you a parent or care provider? You should take the Heartsaver CPR class.
Are you a doula, midwife, student, or other medical professional? You should take the BLS (Basic Life Support) class.
You can also bundle any class with the Basic First Aid for additional savings. That's what I did and knocked it out all on the same day.
When you register, please mention my name (Staci Bishop). Their referral program helps me to fund future trainings and maintain my current certifications.
Finally, it appears that Vaxxed is coming to Nashville and tickets are selling out left and right. This film is getting a lot of press and is bringing to light some of the concerns of the vaccine debate.
When the first Nashville date was posted, it sold out in hours. A second date was added, which also promptly sold out. It appears many in Middle Tennessee are anxious to see what all the fuss is about. Additional shows and tickets have been added to the lineup and they now have six showings in and around Nashville next month. Links to make ticket purchases are below.
If you are even slightly curious about the vaccine debate, please don't miss this one-time opportunity to catch this film in person. You can also check out the Vaxxed Facebook Page or visit their website for more info.
At nYn when we are 100% parent choice when it comes to vaccines and will actively defend and support the rights of parents to make an educated decision regarding healthcare for their children. We support YOU!
Last week I showed you my favorite Instagram accounts. This week, I'd like to share my favorite pregnancy & birth blogs.
What are some of YOUR favorite blogs? Leave a comment below or on Facebook!