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Daycare and Cloth Diapering… (with a new twist.)

You hear all the time about the struggles parents face with getting their daycare to allow cloth diapers in their facilities. Here’s a new twist.  Jen Dunkle, owner of “What Do You See Childcare” in Fowlerville, Michigan is considering not allowing disposable diapers in her daycare.

Having always been the “go to person” to watch friends’ and co-workers’ children, a day care was a very logical business for her to open. Cloth was introduced into her daycare shortly after.  “My first interest with cloth diapers was when I was pregnant, I worked 50-60 hours a week, was a single mom and wanted something cost effective.” Jen Dunkle explains, “April of 2008 I went into a store that had a sign outside that mentioned natural fertility help.” She explained that while waiting to speak with someone, she overheard a discussion about Fuzzi Bunz. Within a month she had bought her first set. She fell in love!  “I took my money and went back to that store and eventually ended up with cloth diapers and cloth trainers and have never looked back.”  Dunkle now owns more than 200 cloth diapers.

Dunkle is not just obsessed with fluff though. She uses them in her daycare. The children she watches almost all wear them. Some of them even rent her diapers to use at home. She watches eight children on a regular basis. Jen explains, “Five of the kids are in cloth diapers or trainers when they are here and two of them use my cloth diapers at home also.”

Her diaper service is $20 a week. She explains to the parents that it will still be cheaper for them than disposables. “I’m all about doing whatever I can to get people in cloth. I mean a brightly colored fluffy butt is so much better than a chemical covered perfumed butt, so for me it’s always been to help the kids.” Jen washes all of the diapers herself. She has them separated into colors so she knows which child wears which diaper. That makes the parents feel really comfortable.  If a parent chooses to use disposables though… this is my favorite part…. She sends the used disposable diapers home in a bag for the parents to dispose of, because she wants no part of it!

Jen is a regular participant on Everything Birth’s free online forum. Go visit her there. She loves to chat and is a wealth of information!

-Dawn Papple


Antibiotics? Naw! Try Oil of Oregano instead!

Oil of Oregano is a MUST HAVE for every single family. It is documented in several medical studies as having the ability to rival the strength of vancomyacin, which one of the strongest antibiotics available. Hospitals regularly give vancomyacin intravenously when oral antibiotics fail. (pubmed.org)  As an added bonus, unlike traditionally used medical antibiotics, Oil of Oregano doesn’t run the risk of bacteria learning how to defend itself against it. (No, resistance issues present themselves in case studies, which is why Big Pharma is so interested in breaking it down to patent it.) Oil of Oregano will be here, fully functional, even when in a few more years as they predict, antibiotics will no longer be effective.

When penicillin was first created, it was known even then that antibiotics, no matter how they were altered had a life span of only several decades. In order to make it last as long as possible doctors were urged to not over prescribe or allow patients to use them improperly (such as when people stop using them before the bacteria is wiped out.) And so, in reading the warnings in medical journals, it has become clear to me from countless studies that our human marriage with antibiotics will be coming to a close shortly. With the rise of MRSA, we can see this already happening. This is why, the absolute RULE for my family is that unless it is a life or death matter, we will refuse antibiotics.

Enter: Medicinal oils such as oregano, thyme and clove. Each of these oils have tremendous bacteria killing capabilities. They kill bacteria in an entirely different way. So, even if the body still has remaining bacteria in it, that bacteria has not been able to “learn” how to mutate to overcome these oils. Each of these oils can be taken internally in a caplet. I use clove on my skin, because it smells nice. I use oil of oregano internally because it has been studied very extensively and seems to be the strongest and most effective of these powerful herbal oils.


  • All of these oils need to be diluted, because they can cause irritation if they are not diluted. I generally dilute them in a ratio of 1:4 (medicinal oil: carrier oil.) Planetary Herbals is the Oil of Oregano I prefer to use in a caplet that has the right percentage of the active ingredient carvacrol.
  • Do not use Oil of Oregano if you are pregnant simply because it has not been studied extensively with pregnancy. Oil of Oregano is used in hormonally unhealthy women to bring about a healthy period, so one concern is that it could cause bleeding. It’s not a big concern, but while they study it further, it would be best to use another natural remedy, perhaps a homeopathic one.
  • Do not use Oil of Oregano is you are on any medicinal blood thinners because it naturally thins your blood to a healthy level. It is not believed to be counter-indicated with blood thinners, but just in case, do me a favor and avoid it.
  • I’m not a doctor. No one at Everything Birth is a doctor. While I do guarantee that I have done extensive research in respectable medical journals (as opposed to hippie herbal medicine websites) and wholeheartedly believe everything I’ve written, it’s imperative for the purpose of legality that I mention that this should not be considered “professional” medical advice.

These are the only warnings you will need to be aware of. (Verses the pages and pages of warnings in almost every single bag you pick up from the pharmacy.) You can learn more on your own by using the term carvacrol (Oil of Oregano) in a search at http://www.pubmed.org.

Another powerful antibiotic to look into is colloidal silver because this can be harmlessly sprayed in even an infant’s nasal passage, mouth, ear canal, vaginal area or eyes.

For what it’s worth, each of these natural remedies also kills viruses and fungi… so it eliminates the need for “cultures” to find the right medicine. This really helps to take the guess work out of helping my family get healthy and avoids the wait time for culture tests which are absolutely crucial to responsible medicine when dealing with traditional methods of killing bacteria and viruses. It is highly irresponsible for a doctor to prescribe an antibiotic without a culture. I realize they do it all the time, so, don’t forget to thank them for the MRSA in our communities the next time you catch them doing this.

If you’re hesitant to take my word for it since I’m just a blogger, I don’t blame you. Do me a favor though, meet me half-way. Have a bottle of Oil of Oregano on hand at all times. The next time you’re sick, take one caplet of oil of oregano three times a day while you wait for the doctor to responsibly order a culture (about a day or so.) If you still don’t feel better by the time the doctor has your results, feel free to responsibly use your antibiotics (while they’re still effective that is.)

-Dawn Papple

Meet Diaper Parties’ Traci Orzeck

On Everything Birth’s free online forum for moms, I had the pleasure of virtually meeting some of the Diaper Parties’ representatives.  The forum is open to anyone interested in any of the areas of natural parenting, but many of the Diaper Parties’ representatives congregate in this forum just to chit chat. They usually have a wealth of knowledge and experience to offer other women, so I really like chatting with these women.

Every couple of weeks, I want to spotlight one of the Diaper Parties’ representatives so that you can get a better feel of the support system available to you if you ever wanted to join them to spread the word about cloth diapers.

Traci Orzeck is a representative that covers the Augusta, Georgia area (including Fort Gordon.) Traci is part of a military family. A former military child herself, she met her husband when they were serving in the same company and living in the same barracks almost five years ago. Because of her history in the military, she has moved around a lot and starts to get antsy every couple of years in one place. So far, she has also lived in Washington, AZ, VA, OH, NC, TX, FL, MD, VA, and SC.

When I asked her what first got her interested in this style of parenting, I was delighted that she responded, “I don’t know which style you are referring to. I’m not any one style. I just do what feels right and hope it all goes smoothly.”  That’s one of the things I like most about the women in the Everything Birth Community. Pretenses don’t really exist there.  They are a bunch of moms doing the best they can, when they can. It’s inspiring and also comfortable.

Traci has kept her parties on the small side, which is often far more comfortable and the women end up learning more that way. A party with six women attending will usually gross about $300-$500 in diaper sales. The thing she enjoys best about them is watching the reactions from the women as they learn just how fun and stylish today’s cloth diapers are. Her personal favorite diapers are the bumGenius and the Flip diapers.

Join us at our community forum, “The Village.” Remember, it’s free and you’re definitely welcome!  If you want to learn more about becoming a Diaper Parties representative yourself, visit the website.

-Dawn Papple

Meet Diaper Parties’ Sara Hughes

On Everything Birth’s free online forum for moms, I had the pleasure of virtually meeting some of the Diaper Parties’ representatives.  The forum is open to anyone interested in any of the areas of natural parenting, but many of the Diaper Parties’ representatives congregate in this forum just to chit chat. They usually have a wealth of knowledge and experience to offer other women, so I really like chatting with these women.

Every couple of weeks, I spotlight one of the Diaper Parties’ representatives so that you can get a better feel of the support system available to you if you ever wanted to join them to spread the word about cloth diapers.

Sara Hughes covers the Northern IL & Southern WI territory for Diaper Parties by Everything Birth. Sara’s largest sale was $600 on an individual consultation!  This wasn’t even in a party, just a private consultation.

Sara is married and is raising one daughter. She was turned on to cloth diapers by her best friend from high school who had been using them on her own child before Sara’s daughter, Juliana, was born. It was the cuteness of the diapers that first appealed to her. Now though, her favorite product that she sells is the Kissaluvs Diaper Lotion Potion.

When I asked Sara what her favorite moments of motherhood were, she endearingly answered, “Oh they just keep getting better. The night-time snuggles when J wants to cuddle in and nurse, the shrieks of laughter when you blow raspberries on her neck, how she crawls over just to hold onto me while she plays with a toy in her other hand… I could go on. Being a mom changed me and really made me slow down with life to cherish the small things. I’ve learned a lot of patience being an AP mom but I’ve also learned to love more than I ever knew I’d have the ability to.”

Join us at our community forum, “The Village.” Remember, it’s free and you’re definitely welcome!  If you want to learn more about becoming a Diaper Parties representative yourself, visit the website.

-Dawn Papple

What Does A Home Birth Look Like?

Most of us know what a hospital birth looks like. There is medical equipment strapped everywhere. Women generally keep the lights dim, except for the bright spotlight shining at the birth canal welcoming her baby ever so boldly from her warm dark sanctuary. There’s bleached white sheets, that don’t fool anyone for a second into thinking that hospital room is anywhere near safe from germs. There’s machines with beeps and lights and wires.

My cousins, Chris and Krystal Hohn, have been an amazing team since they first fell in love. They are both chiropractors in Goleta, CA. They supported each other through chiropractic school and now own and operate their own chiropractic office in Goleta, CA.  Most recently though, was their greatest team effort and payoff  as Krystal gave birth to Chris’ daughter in the home that they made with the help of a midwife.

Chris and Krystal Hohn have graciously offered their photos to Everything Birth’s Blog so that more families will be able to witness the loving and safe environment that a midwife assisted home birth can provide.

In early labor, Kristal Hohn decides to make a birthday cake to celebrate the birth of her daughter.

Since Krystal didn't have to spend her early labor getting situated in a hospital L&D room, she had time to decorate her cake.

Instead of walking the germy halls of the labor and delivery floor at the hospital, she eased into contractions in the comfort of her home.

Krystal can feel confident knowing that wall she is leaning on hasn't been thrown up on. Chris, her husband, finds it easy to make himself at home... since he is.

As labor gets more intense, Krystal was able to relax in a birth tub right in her own house.

I've tried being comfortable with my husband in a hospital bed and it just doesn't work. Being comfortable makes labor go much more smoothly.

A midwife assisted birth means that the initial exam is less disruptive for the child. Instead of the baby going to meet the doctor, the midwife, comes down to the baby. None of the most crucial and precious first few moments are lost. Bonding can begin right away.

After proper bonding time has happened, the baby is weighed in total comfort, not on a metal scale.

Krystal kisses her new baby girl. My cousin (once removed) was born in peace and will no nothing of the birth trauma that my children went through in the hospital. That is one lucky little girl.

My children were born in a hospital. So, I’m not about to challenge a woman who delivers in a hospital. I delivered there out of fear. My first daughter was stillborn because of a fluke chromosomal anomaly and for years, I lived in fear. I feel that my own hospital birthing puts me in a unique position to allow the Everything Birth Community to witness the gentleness of a home birth.

I’m not forcing anyone’s opinion. I’m not judging anyone’s choices. I just wanted you to see… because when I saw, tears of happiness flowed down my cheeks. Not because my cousin’s daughter was born, but because a little baby was born… gently.

-Dawn Papple

If you have your own birth photos, we’d love to see them. You can post them in our community forum, The Village. We’re not judgmental, we want to see your hospital birth pictures too!

If You’re Alive, You Need Arnica

If You’re Alive, You Need Arnica

The back of my bathroom door is covered with a long organizer filled with homeopathic remedies of all kinds. I have a remedy for fevers, a remedy for coughs, a remedy for cracked lips, a remedy for throwing up, a remedy for gall stones, a remedy for boogers, a remedy for PMS, a remedy for… Well, you get my point.

If some mean, powerful being suddenly appeared before me and said that I had no choice, I had to get rid of all of my homeopathic remedies except one, I know just which remedy I would keep.

Hands down, I would choose Arnica.

Seriously, the only people who do not need to have Arnica in their medicine chest are people that are not alive.

My very favorite homeopathy expert is a man named Joe De Livera. He has studied homeopathy daily and extensively for over 40 years. It is his calling and his passion. He is eagerly documenting the multitude of ways that Arnica can be used homeopathically, because he is in his nineties and doesn’t want his experience to be lost when he passes on. Traditional homeopathy indicates arnica for muscle soreness, swelling and bruising, yet it has an almost infinite amount of seriously helpful homeopathic uses.

-Dawn Papple

My Other Child

I write about my two littlest children all the time. I do have an older one though. He’s nine. He’s going to be a scientist when he grows up… a DNA mutating scientist to be specific. He reads science books about anthropology, outer space, and all things repulsive. He also really likes The Diary of a Wimpy Kid but I explain to him, that wimpy is not really a nice word. Some kids, like him, are “highly sensitive children” and that that’s actually a good thing, that will make him an amazing adult.

His name is Noah. He’s half grown up now.

It went too fast.

Sometimes, when I’m laying with my daughter Ayla, I squint and pretend for a moment that she is Noah. Their features are similar enough that if I squint, I can live in the past for just a moment. It usually ends with a sadness, as I wonder who I will squint with when my youngest child is nine.

I am highly immersed in the world of infants and toddlers because of my blogging for Everything Birth. There is a whole other part of me that I don’t share on here though that you will all become one day if you aren’t already. If you don’t already know:

It happens too fast.

Right now, I listen to nearly endless monolouges about Ben 10 creatures and Spy Gear. Yesterday, I sat with my fingers on a lie detector testing machine as my nine year old questioned me about the missing chunks of his chocolate bar. (Not really sure why it said I was lying… broken piece of junk.)

Instead of being asked, “What’s Dat?” I get asked way harder questions like, “Why is Jagger so mean to me?” or “What happens when you die?” and “How do you kiss a girl?”

It went by too fast.

If only I could squint and go back in time… I’d burn each smell, touch and tiny, unrecognizable word into my memory.

-Dawn Papple