May 2001 Newsletter

Mother Summer

May 6, 2001

+ Letter from Catherine

+ Going to the Doctor (humor)

+ We Don't Want Daycare

+ Pacifiers recalled

+ Pitocin Stimulates Lawsuit

+ Dear Mother Dear and Tea Talk

+ Litters

+ To Be A Mother

+ As I Awaken

+ On Children

+ True Poverty

+ Subscription renewals on web

+ Advertisers - please see what they offer

(Summer 2001)

Wishes, apparently, sometimes come true.

My breast cancer worked diligently and efficiently all fall, during my vegetable fast and after, gobbling my bone marrow and crumbling my bones. A surgeon at a teaching hospital replaced my fractured hip with a titanium unbreakable one in December and my grown children brought the presents to open in a hospital room.

Margaret Mead said it first: Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world, indeed it is the only thing that ever has.

Before I entrusted my crippled self to the medical establishment, I came across a woman named Gail, via the internet and telephone. Her cancer had trespassed from breast to liver, and she was given six months to live, max. She belonged to an informal group of cancer branded women who couldn't see the point in taking drugs that didn't help them win the fight of their lives.

In her relentless quest for wellness, she uncovered a potentially exciting study goin on in Toronto's Sunnybrook Hospital, and shared it with me gladly. It involved a blood thinner (Fragmin or Tinzaparin) and a low dose chem., which work together to starve the offending tomours. It took her three frustrating months to find a doctor who would sign her prescription and it took me even longer.

I spent 16 weeks in hospital, a particularly dis-empowering address for fighting mother or cancer patient wanting to recover. As good an idea as the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative is, we need People Friendly Hospitals also. Finally, my oncologist wrote the prescription I wanted, and needed.

A week after self-injecting the daily blood thinner into my belly, I began to feel noticeable  change. I could laugh again. I found my smile. I didn't ache so much and I felt like reading books. .I longed for my home, and needed my computer. I was alive again. Gail called, still of this world, full of hope for her own recovery.

I could get out of bed, albeit with walker and wheelchair, and my appetite returned. I went home, with my priceless blood thinner in my purse and hope in my heart.

In my last editorial I asked for someone to take over the publisher's position of this magazine. It is a valuable publication that I feared would expire when I did. I had no reason to think that wouldn't be soon.

Responses were in the hundreds, and I was astonished how many like-minded souls share this earth. Back home, with my cancer being fought with blood thinner and optimism, I have every reason to believe I can manage page layout and telephone answering for a good while longer.






       A woman and a baby were in the doctor's examining room, waiting for the doctor to come in. The doctor arrived, examined the baby and asked if the baby was breast fed or bottle-fed.       "Breast fed" she replied.       "Well, strip down to your waist," the doctor ordered. She did. He pressed, kneaded and pinched both breasts for a while in a detailed examination.       Motioning to her to get dressed he said, "No wonder this baby is hungry. You don't have any milk."      "I know," she said, "I'm his Grandma, but I'm glad I came".



We have heard the thundering noise that only a dozen or more pre-school children and toddlers can make. We have seen the running noses, the shared teething toys, and we shudder for the vulnerability of babies who are not strong enough to fight communal germs. We watched the fruit juice and the animal cookies disappear in clutched hands as another disposable diaper was changed by another disposable caregiver. We heard one more Early Childhood Education graduate read one more Golden Book to one more circle of daycare kids, and we wept for the impossibility of him/her to love them all - or even one..

We don't want somebody else to hug, lift, cuddle, carry, caress, kiss, or capture the heart of our children. And we sure don't want nobody to.

We know no one can breastfeed our babies, like we do. And perhaps that is why we have such a defined, certain sense about what it is to parent a child. To Mother a child. Many of us have breastfed our babies; all of us have loved our children with all our hearts.

Nice to be clean. Fed. Given water. Kept warm. Vaguely amused. Allowed to exercise. But they do all that in prisons, don't they?

We want our babies to be loved, loved, loved as well. No ECE grad, no MD, no comp7uter consultant and no government bureaucrat can do that. No publishers, no factory bosses, and no next door neighbors can. No radio announcers, no anthropologists, and no vacuum cleaner salesmen.

Babies need their Mothers. Babies with Fathers are lucky people, and perhaps to be emotionally and sexually well-balanced, a child has to have a Father. Certainly a child without a Mother would be lost without a caring Father, and vice versa.

The point is, universal and "free" daycare is hardly that. Those of us who know what it is to share a three year olds' world wouldn't swap it for a minimum wage or a five-figure paycheck, so it wouldn't be universal. And free? Who will pay for the daycare center, the heat, light, and mortgage on the building, if not those of us already paying for the heat, light, and mortgage on our own buildings? Paying through the nose, incidentally.

We don't want daycare. We want something a whole lot more sound.

Mother's Money. In recognition of the vital work a mother does by instilling a sense of self-respect, joy, and belonging by being with her child in the formative, pre-school years, we want to see Mothers receive an independent income of substance. GAINS, UID, or Family Allowance, you work it out. You could make it the same amount of government dollars that it would take to run universal daycare, per child.

Send it to the Mother. Let her have true choice about care of her young child.

- Summer 2001 issue



Platex Products Inc. is recalling two pacifiers because they pose a choking hazard. The latex ages quickly and can detach from the shield. The pacifier brands are "Cherub" and "Soft Comfort."


In a study of 265 breastfeeding mothers in upstate New York, infants given pacifiers were breastfed less often than their breast-only peers.

"If you substitute the pacifier for the breast, your milk supply is going to go down," said Dr. Cynthia Howard, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Rochester.

Infants who used pacifiers breastfed an average of eight times a day; breast only babies nursed nine times a day, and stayed at the breast for longer durations.

The American Academy of Pediatrics says breastfeeding decreases ear infections, allergies, diarrhea, bacterial meningitis and more serious illnesses. About 62 per cent of American women breastfeed.

-Summer 2001 issue



A class action lawsuit has been filed in Tennessee against the manufacturer of Pitocin, a drug used by doctors to induce contractions during labor.

The lawsuit alleges a preservative in Pitocin called "chlorobutanal" is  "dangerously defective" and may be linked to the deaths of several mothers and health problems with some babies. It may be linked to autism in some babies and low oxygen levels in others.

Manufacturers of the drug say there are some health risks for some women given the drug, but defends both the drug and its label.



Dear Mother Dear;

After five ectopic pregnancies, Leif was born 13 months ago and I'm pregnant again, expecting in April. I need info on tandem nursing! If you have recurring tobals, don't give up.
-Sandy Magnussen, Brigtish Columbia

Dear Mother Dear;

Any midwives, doulas, traditional birth attendants available to assist at a waterbirh near Windsor, Ontario?
- Sandy Wright
(604) 872-2784

Dear Mother Dear;

I HAVE AN INFANT SON BORN Jan. 20, 2001. Unfortunately due to a breast reduction I had in 1994 to alleviate back pain, I can only supply about 25-30% of his needs in mothers milk. I have had to supplement mostly with formula, and a bit of donated milk from a dear lady in Quebec. (Shipping is very expensifve). However I am still using 13 oz. Formula per day. Anyone in southern Ontario who would consider donating mother's milk, please email:
[email protected]



Both my wife and I love the excellent tea. She's just starting eight months now, and looks beautiful.
-Boyd Vanderheul, Toronto, Ontario (Spring 2000)

Harvest Your Own

You can pick raspberry leaves as soon as fresh buds appear on old vines. When the dandelions are in blossom, raspberry leaves grow into a good size, and you can fill a basket easily in an hour. If you pick on a windy day, the mosquitoes will be less likely to torment you.

Please your harvested leaves on a screen, and leave this in a darkened room for about 10 days.

Turn them over once or twice in that time. Leaves are ready to put away as soon as the crinkle to the touch.

You can store them in a paper bag, jar, tin, basket or a box, to keep them away from spiders. If you have room in your freezer, pop them in there.

Since raspberries are forever sending up new shoots, you will have fresh leaves all summer waiting for your harvest. Take a dog, cat or several noisy children to pick with you, if you are afraid of snakes, which seem to be fond of the company of both "rubus strigosus" and "rubus idaeus."



Sacred Birth, Legal or Not

I had an unassisted homebirth because we've lost our lay midwives in rural (Canada) areas. Legislation of midwifery has been good for many parents, but criminalization of lay midwifery is very sad and unfortunate for us all.

The last thing we need is more criminals, especially around the sacred event of birth. Not all go as well as mine. Bless all families who do not let oppressive governing bodies keep us from birthing our babies the way we hold sacred, safe and true, legally or not.
(Summer 2000 issue)

- Alexandra Boydell

This newsletter is subscribed by 2,000 mothers. We are offering a great special for your ad. If you advertise in the magazine page or larger, we will advertise your business here for free! Please email me at [email protected] for



Just bought a new teapot and need something to put in it, so send the Winter Supply.
- Carry Richmond, Perrysburg, Ohio


I'm amazed cancer would dare touch Catherine. Sign me up for another two years.
- Astrid Blackburn


The publishing of "The Mother" the last 15 years has given the world an incredible gift. I can't tell you what this magazine means to me and others.
- Molly Davis, Snohomish, Washington


I just finished reading "The Mother" I received as a sample when I ordered
a breastfeeding T-shirt. What a great thing you've got there. It is nice to know there are more people out there who believe in alternative medicine and long-term breastfeeding. Send me a subscription. -Tana Anderson, Columbia Falls, Montana


I backordered all the Compleat Mother's from the previous year and had a hard time putting them down, so I stayed up way too late reading. You have a bad influence on people's night rest!

I moved from Holland where it's very normal to have a homebirth. After a nasty experience in Germany (where we lived for a year and where I had my daughter C-section) I educated myself to have a natural vaginal birth the second time. We arrived at the Indianapolis Birthcenter at 3:30 am; my son was born at 4:30 am!

I'm the only person around us who didn't birth in a hospital. After reading "The Mother" I know I'm not as strange as some perceive me.
-Esther Joosten, Indianapolis, Indiana


Over the past two years of reading "The Mother," my whole outlook on motherhood and womanhood has changed. What power this little magazine
generates! Also, after 3 years trying, we are finally pregnant.
-Elke Tocher, Ontario


Thanks for existing, providing reassurance to many dedicated parents that aren't weird or unacceptable just because the western civilized culture can't relate to our parenting beliefs. Keep up the voice; you have been read and heard.
-Please don't use my name, not weird, just not going public


"The Mother" does a mighty thing keeping us all networked, sane, motivated and inspired as we love, parent and and birth our children as the true gifts from God.
-Patrica Tillou, Pella, Indiana


Congratulations on another interesting issue of "Compleat Mother." I liked the new cartoons and drawings and always look ahead for a chance to use them.
-David Chamberlain, San Diego, California



My body is beautiful, capable and strong My baby will thrive on breastmilk and love I am adjusting to my new life a mother There is plenty of love in my family My baby knows all is well

-Mary C. Shaw, Buellton, California


To Be A Mother

I lay her down closest to the wall
     Crawling in beside her
She is anxious
     I help her roll onto her side
I lift my shirt laying out a breast for her
     She quickly latches on
I pulled the covers up over us
     She suckles for a while and falls asleep
I remember I have not double-diapered her
     For the night
I gently undo her pajamas
     She awakens and smiles
Her pajama is back on
     She is fully awake and smiling big
We switch sides and start over
With her bright blue eyes
     She looks into my dark brown eyes
Without words she tells me
     What an important person I am
With a warm smile I tell her the same
     Any amount of self-worth
Society has drained from my veins
     She has replaced
          Thank you daughter
-Shamron Cook, Talent, Oregon
(Spring 1997 issue)


As I Awaken

I think of the babies
   Being born today.
Some willingly,
   Choosing this date
   And embarking on their
   Birth journey.

Others abruptly,
While in their protected haven
   Comes the invasion
   Of the surgeon's knife.

I mourn the state of obstetrics today
And wonder what the babies make of it.

-Kimberly French, Cleveland, Ohio
(Spring 1997 issue)


On Children

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughter of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you, but not from you.
And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love, but not your thoughts.
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies, but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit not
even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward, nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows, are sent forth.
The archer sets the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you
with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
So He loves also the bow that is stable.

Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet



The Father of a very wealthy family took his son on a trip to the country with the firm purpose of showing his son how poor people can be.

They spent a couple of days and nights on the farm of what would be considered a very poor family. On their return from their trip, the father asked his son,

"How was the trip?"

"It was great, Dad."

"Did you see how poor people can be?" the father asked.

"Oh Yeah," said the son.

"So what did you learn from the trip?" asked the father.

The son answered, "I saw that we have one dog and they had four. We have a pool that reaches to the middle of our garden and they have a creek that has no end. we have imported lanterns in our garden and they have the stars at night.

Our patio reaches to the front yard and they have the whole horizon. We have a small piece of land to live on and they have fields that go beyond our sight. We have servants who serve us, but they serve others. We buy our food, but they grow theirs. We have walls around our property to protect us, they have friends to protect them."

The boy's father was speechless. Then his son added,
"Thanks, dad, for showing me how poor we are."



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or call the office at 1-815-678-0880
Very reasonable costs and I will help you learn about the Web.



SUNSENSE- Stroller Covers
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The Bellysling- Maternity Support Belt
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The Benefits of Breastfeeding (video)
Phone: 1-800-838-5848

Nature Child- herbal extracts
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Pacific Bakery
Wheat Alternative Yeast-Free Breads & Bagles

The Old Mill- Lambskin Infant Care
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Next Generation Baby Sling
Phone: 1-800-551-9150

CHOICES Childbirth Education and Doula Services
Email: [email protected]  
Phone: (416) 410-9931

Internal, sanitary & reliable menstrual caps
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Additional Income for your family-consumable products
Call Toll Free: 1-877-687-8460

CAROL ARNDT- indisposables
Washable cotton sanitary pads, diapers, breast pumps
Phone: (250) 642-4846


Innovative Cloth Diapers 
Email: [email protected] 

Forever Family
Creative Supplies to Inspire Natural Parenting 
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And then there were.BABIES!
Slings, nursing clothes, cloth diapers and MORE!

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Natural parenting books and nursing clothes
Email: [email protected] 

Nordic Natural Woolens
Wool and silk undergarments for babies, children & adults
Toll Free:  1-877-858-965

The Friends of Breastfeeding Society
Posters and bumperstickers
Email: [email protected]

Heart To Heart Designs for Mothering
Baby Sling
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Comfy Bummy Diapers
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FAMILY Parenting Supplies
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Cotton Diapers
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Association of Labor Assistants & childbirth Educators
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Organic and Hemp Cloth Diapers and Clothes, Toys, Soap
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Sewing Patters for a great nursing wardrobe 
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Natural women's hygiene products by mail
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Nursing Mother Breast Pads
Hand-made breast pads
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Shields for Strollers- Hand Made
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Educational materials with an emphasis on childbirth
Email: [email protected] 



Catherine Young, Jody McLaughlin, Greg Cryns


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-a new video compiled by Catherine and Amanda Young
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