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How moms and babies rooming together can help combat opioid dependency

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Kobie is having none of it. The baby boy, dressed in a tiny Batman onesie, is squirming and screeching in his playpen —but they’re happy sounds. “It’s not playtime, it’s naptime,” says his mother, Christina Casey.

But she’ll allow this display of defiance from her nine-month-old. 

“He’s amazing,” she said. “He’s developing good. He’s talking like crazy. He says things like mama, bubba, nana.” 

There’s reason for Casey to be grateful.

We first met Casey last January, just after Kobie was born at St. Joseph’s Healthcare in Hamilton. She had left behind a life on the streets that included illicit opioid use and an abusive boyfriend.

“I was probably doing quite a few pills in a day, ’cause you would crush them and sniff them,” she said. “I was doing about maybe 10 a day, or more. I was pretty messed up; I wasn’t myself, that’s for sure.”

To make sure he had the best chance at a healthy life, Kobie spent most of his initial hospital stay alone with his mother, bonding in a room of their own, as part of a so-called rooming-in approach for substance-exposed babies. (Craig Chivers/CBC)

During her pregnancy, Casey was enrolled in a methadone treatment program, which is used to treat opioid dependence and to reduce withdrawal symptoms.

Kobie was exposed to the methadone while in his mother’s womb. Within the first few days of his life, the newborn himself was experiencing withdrawal symptoms.

“Kobie had quite a high-pitch cry,” recalls Sarah Simpson, a social worker in the hospital’s women’s and infants’ program. “He was not settling easily at all. His temperature was higher than it should have been. He was quite jittery.

“He had what we call increased tone, which means he was quite tense and he was not feeding well. And I believe that happened for Kobie on Day 2 of life.”

The Canadian Paediatric Society endorsed the practice of rooming in in a guidance paper published in January. (Kas Roussy/CBC)

Kobie had neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). About 1,850 babies in Canada were born with the condition in 2016-2017, according to the Canadian Institute for Health Information, which represents a jump of 27 per cent over 2012-2013.

Casey said she felt “horrible” about what her newborn went through. “At the same time, there was nothing I could do,” she said.

Avoiding separation

Kobie’s withdrawal symptoms were treated in hospital: He was gradually weaned off the methadone with tiny doses of morphine. Treating one opioid with another sounds counterintuitive, but it is standard practice.

“Morphine is the medication that is the standard for treating any kind of opioid that mom has been taking during the pregnancy. That is the best medication to help baby get opioid out of the system,” said Simpson.

And to make sure he had the best chance at a healthy life, Kobie spent most of his two-week hospital stay alone with his mother, bonding in a room of their own, away from the noises of a busy neonatal intensive care unit.

Kobie was born last January in a Hamilton hospital. (Kas Roussy/CBC)

This so-called rooming-in initiative for substance-exposed infants was pioneered in 2003 at the BC Women’s Hospital in Vancouver. It has since spread to more than half of all neonatal units across Canada.

Keeping these newborns with their mothers, as opposed to whisking them away for treatment in the NICU, encourages early bonding and attachment, allowing for breastfeeding and regular skin-to-skin contact.

“There is a fentanyl crisis happening,” said program co-founder Dr. Ron Abrahams. “That really illustrates how important it is to address this crisis — not by separating the mothers and babies, but by supporting them and their journey back into the communities with their babies.”

The rooming-in approach has also caught on in the U.S., he said, a country that, up until a few years ago, would criminalize pregnant women and new mothers for substance abuse, in some cases jailing them.

“We’ve turned that around, so that now mothers and babies are supported in many centres in the States,” said Abrahams.

The Canadian Paediatric Society also endorses the practice; the group released a guidance document earlier this year advising that babies with NAS and their mothers should room together in hospital whenever possible.

Continued support through checkups

A key part of the initiative at St. Joseph’s is the medical checkups; the first comes at two months, followed by appointments at four, six, 12 and 18 months.

Babies born exposed to opioids have a higher risk of developmental delays. So at his two-month checkup, Kobie was put through some simple tasks to check his cognitive and motor skills. He was also weighed and measured. He was right on track.

Now, at nine months, Casey and Kobie have settled into a new apartment; there’s a huge park and a school across the street. Casey said it has been tough having to cut some people out of her life; she has good friends who are still using.

But she’s looking to the future: Her methadone treatment program should be done by the new year. She also wants to finish her high school education.

And while there’s always a risk that babies born with substance exposure, like Kobie, may experience developmental delays as they continue to grow, his mother chooses to focus on the healthy, happy child she has now.

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Bill Gates: Third Shot May Be Needed to Combat Coronavirus Variants

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With more than 40 million Americans having received at least the first dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, a third dose may be needed to prevent the spread of new variants of the disease, Bill Gates told CBS News Tuesday.

Gates’ comments come amid growing concern that the current vaccines are not effective against the more contagious Brazilian and South African variants.

Pfizer and Moderna have stated that their vaccines are 95% and 99% effective, respectively, against the initial strain of COVID. However, some scientists have questioned those statements. Additionally, the World Health Organization and vaccine companies have conceded that the vaccines do not prevent people from being infected with COVID or from transmitting it, but are only effective at reducing symptoms.

Gates told CBS Evening News:

“The discussion now is do we just need to get a super high coverage of the current vaccine, or do we need a third dose that’s just the same, or do we need a modified vaccine?”

U.S. vaccine companies are looking at making modifications, which Gates refers to as “tuning.”

People who have had two shots may need to get a third shot and people who have not yet been vaccinated would need the modified vaccine, explained Gates. When asked whether the coronavirus vaccine would be similar to the flu vaccine, which requires yearly boosters, Gates couldn’t rule that out. Until the virus is eradicated from all humans, Gates said, additional shots may be needed in the future.

AstraZeneca in particular has a challenge with the variant,” Gates explained. “And the other two, Johnson & Johnson and Novavax, are slightly less effective, but still effective enough that we absolutely should get them out as fast as we can while we study this idea of tuning the vaccine.”

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is funding the studies being conducted in Brazil and South Africa, CBS News said. The foundation has also invested in the AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and the Novavax vaccines, which are being tested against new variants. Once the AstraZeneca vaccine is approved, the Global Alliance for Vaccine Initiative or GAVI, founded by Gates, will distribute it globally.

“Gates continues to move the goalposts,” said Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., chairman and chief legal counsel of Children’s Health Defense. “Meanwhile the strategies he and others have promoted are obliterating the global economy, demolishing the middle class, making the rich richer and censoring vaccine safety advocates, like me.”

Kennedy said that the exclusive focus on vaccines has prevented the kind of progress required to actually address and recover from the pandemic:

“From the pandemic’s outset, clear-headed people familiar with the challenges inherent in the vaccine model have understood that the path out of crisis would require multiple steps. Those steps would need to include the development and/or identification of therapeutic drugs, the sharing of information among doctors to hone improved treatment models that reduce infection mortality rates below those for flu, and the kind of broad-spectrum long-term herd immunity that protects against mutant strains and that only derives from natural infection.”

Instead, Gates and vaccine makers are proposing a lifetime of boosters, supporting insufficient testing to determine safety and failing to address the inadequate monitoring of vaccine injuries, Kennedy said.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Children’s Health Defense.

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Young nurse suffers from hemorrhage and brain swelling after second dose of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine

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(Natural News) A 28-year-old healthcare worker from the Swedish American Hospital, in Beloit, Wisconsin was recently admitted to the ICU just five days after receiving a second dose of Pfizer’s experimental mRNA vaccine. The previously healthy young woman was pronounced brain dead after cerebral angiography confirmed a severe hemorrhage stroke in her brain stem.

Her family members confirmed that she was “breaking out in rashes” after the vaccine. She also suffered from sudden migraine headaches, and got “sick” after taking the second dose of the vaccine. At the very end, she lost the ability to speak and went unconscious. The migraines, nausea, and loss of speech were all symptoms of a brain bleed and brain swelling, something her family did not understand at the time, and something nobody would expect after vaccination.

While on life support, neurologists used angiography to image the damage inside the brain. They found a subarachnoid hemorrhage, whereas a bulging blood vessel burst in the brain, bleeding out in the space between the brain and the tissue covering the brain. The ensuing swelling cut off oxygen to the brain and caused brain death. On February 10, 2021, Sarah reportedly had “no brain activity.” Some of the woman’s organs are now being procured, so they can be donated to other people around the world.

Doctors warn FDA about COVID vaccines causing autoimmune attacks in the heart and brain

Experimental COVID-19 vaccines may cause inflammation along the cardiovascular system, leading to heart attack and/or stroke. This serious issue was brought forth to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) by Dr. J. Patrick Whelan, M.D., Ph.D. and further confirmed by cardiothoracic surgeon, Dr. Hooman Noorchashm, M.D., Ph.D. The two doctors warned that a recently-infected patient who is subject to COVID-19 vaccination is likely to suffer from autoimmune attacks along the ACE-2 receptors present in the heart, and in the microvasculature of the brain, liver and kidney. If viral antigens are present in the tissues of recipients at the time of vaccination, the vaccine-augmented immune response will turn the immune system against those tissues, causing inflammation that can lead to blood clot formation.

This severe adverse event is likely cause of death for the elderly who are vaccinated despite recently being infected. There is no adequate screening process to ensure that this autoimmune attack doesn’t occur. The elderly are not the only people vulnerable to vaccine injury and death. Pfizer’s experimental COVID-19 vaccine could be the main cause behind the sudden death of Sarah Sickles, a 28-year-old nurse from Wisconsin. The Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System has captured five permanent disabilities in Wisconsin, 58 ER visits, and eleven deaths in just one month. This is the first case in Wisconsin of someone under 44 years of age suffering from severe COVID-19 vaccine side effects and death. There are now more than 1,170 deaths recorded in the U.S. related to the experimental mRNA vaccines, a reality that the FDA and CDC continue to ignore.

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Powering hypersonic weapons: US armed forces eyeing dangerous 5G tech

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(Natural News) Much of the conversation surrounding the benefits of 5G is geared toward the consumer side of the technology. People will be able to download videos at lightning speed and will be more connected than ever, proponents claim, although there are serious questions regarding its safety. However, some of the most important 5G applications are not civil at all – the technology will be used extensively in the military domain.

Some of its military uses are outlined in the Defense Applications of 5G Network Technology report, which was published by the Defense Science Board. This federal committee gives scientific advice to the Pentagon. Their report states: “The emergence of 5G technology, now commercially available, offers the Department of Defense the opportunity to take advantage, at minimal cost, of the benefits of this system for its own operational requirements.”

The 5G commercial network that is being built by private companies right now can be used by the American military for a much lower cost than if the network had been set up exclusively for military purposes.

Military experts expect the 5G system to play a pivotal role in using hypersonic weapons. For example, it can be used for new missiles that bear nuclear warheads and travel at speeds superior to Mach 5. These hypersonic weapons, which travel at five times the speed of sound and move a mile per second, will be flying at high altitudes on unpredictable flight paths, making them as hard to guide as they will be to intercept.

Huge quantities of data need to be gathered and transmitted in a very short period in order to maneuver these warheads on variable trajectories and allow them to change direction in milliseconds to avoid interceptor missiles.

5G for defense

This type of technology is also needed to activate defenses should we be attacked by a weapon of this type; 5G automatic systems could theoretically handle decisions that humans won’t have enough time to make on their own. Military bases and even cities will have less than a minute to react to incoming hypersonic missiles, and 5G will make it easier to process real time data on trajectories for decision-making.

There are also important uses of this technology in combat. 5G’s ability to simultaneously link millions of transceivers will undoubtedly facilitate communication among military personnel and allow them to transmit photos, maps and other vital information about operations in progress at dizzying speeds to improve situational awareness.

The military can also take advantage of the high-frequency and short-wavelength millimeter wave spectrum used by 5G. Its short range means that it is well suited for smart military bases and command posts because the signal will not propagate too far, making it less likely that enemies will be able to detect it.

When it comes to special forces and secret services, the benefits of 5G are numerous. Its speed and connectivity will allow espionage systems to reach unprecedented levels of efficiency. It will also make drones more dangerous by allowing them to identify and target people using facial recognition and other methods.

Like all technology, 5G will also make us highly vulnerable. The network itself could become an attractive target for cyber-attacks and other acts of war being carried out with cutting-edge weaponry. In fact, the 5G network is already viewed as critical infrastructure and is being carefully protected before it is even fully built.

While the focus on 5G’s dangers to human health and the environment is absolutely warranted, it is also important not to lose sight of the military implications of 5G. After all, it is not just the United States that is developing this technology for military purposes; our enemies, like China and other countries, are also making great strides in this realm.

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