Valerie Gommon Midwife’s Blog

Archive for the ‘DoH’ Category

Okay, so this posting is very controversial – obviously the Department of Health line is that it is much safer for children/people to receive vaccination that to have the disease and suffer the consequences.  Information is available from www.immunisation.nhs.uk.

However there are others who question our immunisation programme and I recently attended a talk given by Ursula Kraus-Harper, a homeopath who is one of them.  Much of the information given below was obtained at Ursula’s talk and I post it here for you to have references if you wish to look into this issue further.

Immunisation

a) A process that increases an organisms reaction to antigen and therefore improves its ability to resist or overcome infection.

b) A technique used to induce immune resistance to a specific disease in  humans or other mammals by exposing the individual to an antigen in order to raise antibodies to  that antigen.

Vaccination

Injection of a killed microbe in order to stimulate the immune system against the microbe, thereby preventing disease. Vaccinations, or immunisations, work by stimulating the immune system, the natural disease-fighting system of the body. The healthy immune system is able to recognize invading bacteria and viruses and produce substances (antibodies) to destroy or disable them.

Source:  www.medterms.com

Resources

1.  Childhood Diseases and Their Vaccines (e-book;  £8)

by Dr. Jayne LM Donegan  MBBS DRCOG DCH DFFPMRCGP MFHom can be downloaded from www.jayne-donegan.co.uk/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=d%2ffky%2fIvwv4%3d&tabid=826 includes other sources of information.

2.  The British National Vaccination Schedule can be downloaded from www.fitfortravel.scot.nhs.uk/home

3.   The European Forum on Vaccine Vigilance website , with a whole page of links to other relevant sites: http://users.telenet.be/vaccine.damage.prevention/englishhomepage

4.  Table of Vaccination ingredients can be downloaded from www.informedchoice.info

5.  Dr. Richard Halvorsen’s website on vaccination, especially MMR:   www.cryshame.org

6.   Dr. Tinus Smits website with information and lots of cases about vaccination damage and its treatment with homeopathy is  www.tinussmits.com

7.   Australian Homeopath Dr. Isaac Golden has carried out extensive, long-term research into homeopathic prophylaxis of childhood illnesses and has written two books:

– Vaccination and Homoeoprophylaxis? A Review of Risks and Alternatives

–  Vaccine Damaged Children?  Treatment, Prevention, Reasons

see his website www.homstudy.net

8.  Ian Sinclair has studied and researched vaccination and natural health philosophy for over 20 years inAustralia. His book  “Vaccination – The “hidden” facts (1992)  can be ordered via his website www.vaccinationdebate.com

There are further sources of information available from:

BOOKS
Vaccination – Viera Scheibner
Vaccination and Immunization, Dangers, Delusions and Alternatives – Leon Chaitow
Immunisation against infectious disease – Department of Health HMSO
DPT – A Shot in the Dark – H L Coutter and K Fisher
The Vaccination Handbook – R Newstaedter

PAPERS
The case against immunisation – R Moskowitz ?from Society of Homoeopaths
Vaccination – the real issues – Ian Townsend (Thesis)
The Homoeopath – The Journal of the Society of Homoeopaths Vol 4 No 4 Summer 1984 (May be an updated version?)

BOOKLET
Immunisations – Mothering Special Edition www.mothering.com

WEBSITES
www.informedparent.co.uk

www.wddty.com

www.jabs.org.uk (this site is for parents of vaccine damaged children, not light reading)

www.breakspearmedical.com – for single vaccines

www.babyjabs.co.uk – for single vaccines

(Do a search for The People’s Doctor)

This evening I was asked to speak on BBC 3 Counties radio www.bbc.co.uk/threecounties/local_radio/ in response to an item in the press whereby a mother was asked to stop breastfeeding her 11 week old baby at her local Leisure Centre in Nottingham.

Staff advised the mother that she was contravening their health and safety regulations that forbid the consumption of food and drink on the poolside. Nottingham City Council later insisted there had been “a misunderstanding” and has promised to apologise to the woman.

I do believe this to be a relatively isolated instance, in general I think we are more tolerant and accepting of breastfeeding in public, however this and other rare cases sadly do reflect the need for the right to breastfeed to be enshrined in law as proposed by Harriet Harmen, Government Minister for Women and Equality who published The Equality Bill www.equalities.gov.uk/media/press_releases/equality_bill.aspx which is expected to come into force from Autumn 2010.  This right has been in force in Scotland since 2004 www.opsi.gov.uk/legislation/scotland/acts2005/asp_20050001_en_1.

Headline “Alfie, 13, not father of baby” http://uk.news.yahoo.com/4/20090518/tuk-alfie-13-not-father-of-baby-dba1618.html

Just in time for National Breastfeeding Awareness Week (next week) www.breastfeeding.nhs.uk/en/fe/page.asp?n1=5&n2=13 the Department of Health has announced that baby growth charts – against which all babies physical growth is measured and compared – are to be redrawn.

The figures used until now have been based mainly on formula-fed babies. This has meant that some breastfeeding mothers have been incorrectly advised that their babies are gaining insufficient weight.  The new tables, drawn up by the World Health Organisation (WHO), are based entirely on the rate of growth of breastfed babies, which tend to put on weight more slowly than those given formula milk in their first year.

It is generally accepted that babies fed on formula put on weight more quickly than those on breastmilk, which can make breastfed babies look like they are not thriving.  Consequently, there might have been pressure to wean early on to solid foods or formula milk.  In fact it is a WHO recommendation that babies receive only breastmilk for the first six months of their life, www.who.int/topics/breastfeeding/en/, it is then recommended that breastmilk be supplemented with solid food, but that breastfeeding continue for at least 12 months.

Breastfed babies are leaner during the time when a lifetime supply of fat cells are laid down, which helps explain why breastfed babies may tend to be leaner throughout their lifetimes, thus helping to prevent obesity.  This said, many breastfed babies appear quite “chubby” – this is normal and healthy.

Fewer than one in two mothers still breastfeed at six weeks and this falls to 25% at six months. Fewer than 1% of mothers follow official advice to breastfeed exclusively for the first six months of an infant’s life.

On the 27th April, Harriet Harmen, Government Minister for Women and Equality published The Equality Bill www.equalities.gov.uk/media/press_releases/equality_bill.aspx which is expected to come into force from Autumn 2010.   The National Childbirth Trust (NCT) the leading parent’s charity and pressure group have welcomed the proposed Bill www.nctpregnancyandbabycare.com/press-office/press-releases/view/52 under which mothers will get the legal right to breastfeed a baby up to the age of six months in any public place (something that is already enshrined in Scottish law).  Under current laws, women who breastfeed in places such as restaurants or busses can be charged under public order or indecency legislation.

The benefits of breastfeeding are well documented (see www.midwifevalerie.wordpress.com/2008/12/31/breastfeeding/) and ministers are changing the law in response to concerns that Britain has the lowest breastfeeding rate in Europe.  National Breastfeeding Awareness Week 10th – 16th May 2009 www.breastfeeding.nhs.uk/en/fe/page.asp?n1=5&n2=13 aims to raise awareness of the benefits of breastfeeding in an attempt to improve our breastfeeding rate and this Bill will surely support breastfeeding women.

As part of National Breastfeeding Awareness Week, I shall be in-store at the Baby Department, Boots the chemist plc, Central Milton Keynes on Saturday 16th May between 10am and 4 pm.  I will be available to answer any questions you may have on pregnancy, birth and early parenting including breastfeeding.  Please do come along and say hello!  More details can be found at www.3shiresmidwife.co.uk

Last week nurse Margaret Haywood was struck of the nurses register by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) -the professional body for nurses and midwives in the UK.

Between December 2004 and May 2005 Ms Haywood worked as a bank nurse on on Peel and Stewart ward at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton during this time she kept a diary and undertook secret filming on behalf on the BBC television programme Panorama and a documentary was screened in July 2005.

Ms Haywood, a nurse with 20 years experience, was accused and found guilty of:

(i) Raising concerns about patient care in the BBC Panorama documentary “Under Cover Nurse” when you should have reported the concerns in accordance with Trust policy;

(ii) Breaching patient confidentiality.

The actions of the NMC have caused strong reactions, the union Unite accused the NMC of being ‘heavy handed’ in its treatment of Ms Haywood.

Karen Reay, Unite’s officer for health, said: ‘We can’t have a culture where ‘whistle blowers’ feel intimated into not legitimately reporting wrong doing and bad practice in the NHS. We need a safe environment for ‘whistle blowers’ who feel that they can complain without losing their livelihood.

‘There appears to be a number of extenuating circumstances in the case of Margaret Haywood and the NMC could have imposed a lesser punishment than that of being struck off.’

‘The NMC exists as a regulatory body to protect patients and clients first and foremost, and not the alleged failings of members of the nursing profession in caring for the elderly.’

Ms Haywood admitted breaching patient confidentiality, but said that she had agreed to film undercover inside the Royal Sussex Hospital in Brighton to highlight the awful conditions on the wards.

The programme’s producer Elizabeth Bloor had told the tribunal that “there was an over-arching public interest” in the footage being broadcast.  At the time of the filming the hospital had serious problems with the lowest “star” rating, an £8 million deficit and was receiving complaints about the standards of care given.

After the Panorama programme concerns about standards of care were raised in the House of Commons after the programme and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust issued a public apology admitting “serious lapses in the quality of care”.

The actions of the NMC appear to raise questions for NHS staff about how they are able to expose inadequacies in our healthcare system, particularly as Ms Haywood indicated that she had attempted to discuss concerns with her manager with little effect.

www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/health/article6106326.ece

www.nursingtimes.net/nmc-defends-decision-to-strike-off-undercover-nurse-margaret-haywood/5000608.article

I have just learnt that the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) www.rcn.org.uk and an organisation called CAUSE (Campaign Against Unnecessary Suspensions and Exclusions in the NHS (UK)) www.suspension-nhs are fully supporting Ms Haywood stating that a “grave miscarriage of justice” has taken place.  There is also a petition in support of Ms Haywood at www.gopetition.com/online/27030.html

Well what a surprise, new research “Perinatal mortality and morbidity in a nationwide cohort of 529 688 low-risk planned home and hospital births” http://www.rcog.org.uk/news/bjog-release-new-figures-safety-home-births has found that homebirth is safe for low-risk women.  These findings echo the work of Marjorie Tew way back in 1986 British Journal Obstet Gynaecol 1986 Jul;93(7):659-74

This large scale research from the Netherlands – which has a high rate of home births – found no difference in death rates of either mothers or babies in 530,000 births.

Low-risk women in the study were defined as those who had no known complications – such as a baby in breech or one with a congenital abnormality, or a previous caesarean section; additionally the researchers noted the importance of both highly-trained midwives who knew when to refer a home birth to hospital as well as rapid transportation.

I wholeheartedly support the initiative of the Dutch midwives, and also that of the Albany midwives (based in Peckham, South London) http://www.albanymidwives.org.uk – midwives attend a woman at home in labour and together they decide whether to stay at home or transfer to hospital.  If all is well many mothers opt to labour and give birth at home, but if she prefers to transfer her midwife will accompany her into hospital.

In my Independent Midwifery Practice www.3shiresmidwife.co.uk this is pretty much what happens.  Mothers often plan a homebirth, but know that they can transfer at any point if they wish, conversely if they plan a hospital birth and change their mind I will care for them at home.  Indeed many of my clients would not be considered “low-risk” but these women believe that by staying at home they are more likely to give birth without interference.

The number of mothers giving birth at home in the UK has been rising since it reached a low in 1988; currently only 2.7% of births occur at home in England and Wales.  Our government has pledged to give all women the option of a home birth by the end of this year. At present just 2.7% of births in England and Wales take place at home, but there are considerable regional variations – so we have a huge way to go in achieving this.

Louise Silverton, deputy general secretary of the Royal College of Midwives, said, the study was “a major step forward in showing that home is as safe as hospital, for low risk women giving birth when support services are in place, but she also acknowledged that ” the NHS is simply not set up to meet the potential demand for home births”, she went on to say that there needs to be a major increase in the number of midwives.  My experience fully supports this fact, sadly I am regularly hearing of women being denied a homebirth on the grounds of inadequate staffing – this is outrageous and women need to be campaigning and lobbying for better maternity services (www.aims.org.uk; www.onemotheronemidwife.org.uk; www.kentmidwiferypractice.net)

Further reading

www.nhs.uk/news/2009/04April/Pages/HomeBirthSafe.aspx
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/health/7998417.stm
www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/annalisa-barbieri-i-gave-birth-at-home-ndash-and-heres-why-1669309.html

During your pregnancy you will usually be offered the following blood tests: www.screening.nhs.uk/anpublications/screening_tests.pdf

Full Blood Count – Mainly to test for anaemia

Blood Group – In case you need a blood transfusion
Rhesus group and antibodies – To look for unusual antibodies in your blood/to screen for potential rhesus disease

Rubella antibodies – To check your immunity to rubella (German measles)

Syphilis – To check for syphilis which although very rare could be harmful to you and your baby if untreated

Hepatitis B – An infectious liver disease

H.I.V. – If you are HIV positive treatment can be offered to both you and your baby

Sickle Cell and Thalassaemia – These are genetic blood diseases, usually specific to certain populations (if you feel your ancestors may come from these areas it may be wise to be tested) – we are moving to “universal” testing for these conditions, i.e. that everyone is offered the blood test

* Parts of Africa (the region south of the Sahara Desert)
* Spanish-speaking areas like South America, Cuba, and Central America
* Saudi Arabia
* India
* Mediterranean countries, such as Turkey, Greece, and Italy

Serum screening – This testing performed at around 16 weeks of pregnancy will give a risk factor (high or low) for your baby having Down’s syndrome and neural tube defects (spina bifida). You need to think carefully what you would do with the result. Further investigations such as detailed ultrasound scan or amniocentesis may be offered if you have a high risk result. Amniocentesis gives a definite result but incurs a small risk of causing miscarriage.

You will probably be offered repeat Blood Group and Full Blood Count later in pregnancy.

Ultrasound scans can be performed to:
* date/confirm pregnancy
* Check physical structure of baby
* Nuchal fold – checking for any anomalies in structure of baby
* Assess fetal wellbeing, growth, liquor volume

Many areas are now offering a combined early pregnancy scan and nuchal fold scan – this may be combined with a biochemistry blood test to assess your risk of having a baby affected by Down’s or other Syndromes – in this case the serum screening at 16 weeks in not needed.

It is important to remember that all these tests are OPTIONAL – you can have any, all or none of the above tests after discussing the options with your midwife.

Please do feel free to email me if you have any specific questions: info@3shiresmidwife.co.uk


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