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Hey Laura, I need info on VBACs

A friend of mine wrote to me this week, asking me to get some info for her on VBACs (vaginal birth after cesarean). She’s watched The Business of Being Born and now needs some “solid, unemotional, unhysterical supported information on the subject” to complete her act of due diligence on researching the subject.

Her doctor refuses to “allow” a VBAC, so she’ll have to find a new care provider if she chooses this route. Her husband feels a little skittish about a VBAC, so a lot of this information is going to help him get his head around the facts about VBACs, too.

Since I want to make this write-up as useful as possible to as many people as possible, I’m not going to go into specifics...

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Hey Laura, are nitrates/nitrites causing my headaches?

Heather writes:

It seems that every time I make bacon I get a headache shortly after dinner.  I did a quick google search and it seems it might be caused by the nitrates in the bacon.  Have you heard of this?  What else might have nitrates in it I should avoid (I get headaches a lot)?

It could be the nitrates, although there hasn’t yet been a satisfactory study showing a connection between nitrates/nitrites and headaches. 

Even uncured, “nitrate-free” bacon contains naturally occurring nitrates and nitrites from the celery juice or salt used to preserve the meat. This labeling loophole makes cynics out of a lot of folks, but some people swear they feel a difference between the two. This...

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Hey Laura, what are some natural solutions for cold sores?

Leila writes:

What do you recommend doing about Cold sores?

Any recommendations on how to prevent them? Or what works the best to heal them? I usually get them when I’m super stressed and tired. Thus my immune system is down and the virus has a chance to come up and show symptoms on my lip/mouth area.



If you want to do some major reading, here is an extensive article on natural remedies for cold sores like managing your Lysine/Arginine ratios (helpful food chart included), using Zinc or Lemon Balm, and improving your diet to increase immunity.

Someone has already done most of the work for me with this entry on Health911.com. It reviews the typical causes of cold sore...

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Hey Laura, do amber necklaces help with teething pain?

Carissa writes:

Can you tell me about amber necklaces and the benefits of babies/toddlers wearing them? A quick Google search told me they are to help relieve pain from teething. . .is there anything else? I noticed your girls wear them; what has been your experience with them?

Amber has been used for centuries for its topical analgesic effects. The succinic acid in amber is said to reduce inflammation. Of course, as with many ancient natural remedies, amber has been vaunted as a veritable cure-all with not a whole lot of solid scientific backing to prove it. It does have a very interesting cultural history, which you can read about here.

In my research, I kept coming across the mention...

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CLOSED: Contest: Boiron Homeopathics for Cough & Flu

Just in time for cold and flu season, I have some great homeopathic remedies to give away!

If you’re interested in more information about what homeopathy is and how it works, this article is excellent. It explains the philosophy behind homeopathy without a lot of the woo-woo sounding language a lot of its advocates use. It also cites clinical support for the efficacy of homeopathy. It is definitely worth a read.

The remedies I have are labeled specifically for kids, but if you look at the directions/dosages, they are the same for anyone, aged 2 and up. So even if you don’t have kids, please feel free to enter the contest!

Also note that homeopathics are safe for little kids (even babies,...

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Hey Laura, my hands randomly smell like garlic

Kael’s Mama writes:

So this may sound crazy but you are kinda my last resort…I’m 8 months pregnant and have been noticing that my fingers smell like garlic. Mainly from my knuckles to finger nails. It’s not daily but I have noticed it more and more.

I haven’t been cooking, no garlic vitamins, and I haven’t been doing anything that would lead to a garlic smell….I’ve asked my doctor and she kinda laughed. I’ve looked online and even called a doula friend I know. No luck anywhere. Have you ever heard of this?

Oh, the crazy things our pregnant bodies do! My guess is that it is just some weird hormonal thing. (But, I’m not a doctor, remember!)

The internet references I did find involved...

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Hey Laura, what can I do about postpartum hair loss?

“Afraid to be Hairless” writes:

Is there anything I can do to lessen my postpartum hair loss?  After the birth of my fourth child, my hair is falling out in droves.

Ah, one of the most annoying side effects of the postpartum experience (aside from, you know, having a baby that keeps you up all night!). Right now you’re paying for that luxurious mane you most likely enjoyed for most of your pregnancy. See, when your pregnancy hormones kick in, they kind of put the growth cycle of most of your hairs in a holding pattern: most of it is growing, rather than resting. When your hormones drop after the baby is born, all those hairs get the signal to shove off.

Most likely, what you’re...

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