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MoonDragon's Pregnancy Information
MIDWIFERY, PREGNANCY & BIRTH WEBRINGS & LINKS






MOONDRAGON'S BIRTHING LINKS


MoonDragon's Pregnancy Information, Links & Survival Tips
MoonDragon's Articles: Hospital Risks Summary
Birth As An American Rite of Passage by Robbie Davis Floyd - Robbie's Rite of Passage Website is an educational look at the medical "rites" practiced by physicians and hospitals.
HomeBirth Safety & Advocacy - A collection of articles, studies, and links about homebirth safety.
MoonDragon's Pregnancy Information: Pregnancy Calculator - A scanned handheld pregnancy calculator that can be printed out and easily assembled by parents or birth attendants. The calculator can then be used again or saved in the baby's birthbook (babybook) as a keepsake along with pictures and birth/growth information. I find it much nicer to use than the electronic calculators that I have seen here in cyberspace. A permanent, professional copy of this calculator can be purchased through Cascade Health Care Supplies, Inc. for $4.00 (Price may change).
MoonDragon's On-Line Pregnancy & Ovulation Calculator
MoonDragon's Collection of Pregnancy, Homebirth, & Birthing Articles
Gentle Birth Choices by Gentle Birth Alternatives - Gentle Birth Choices by Barbara Harper, RN
Compiled by Andrea Eastman, MA, CCE, IBCLC for The Gentle Birth Alternatives® Website


OBSTETRIC PRACTICES & THEIR POSSIBLE EFFECTS ON THE INITIATION & DURATION OF LACTATION
By Andrea Eastman, MA, CCE, IBCLC (Article appeared in "Keeping Abreast", BMSG(S) Newsletter, Jan-Mar 1999 Issue)




Did you know that some common obstetric practices, and the way mothers birth can directly or indirectly influence breastfeeding? Here we discuss some of them:

BIRTH ATTENDANT (MIDWIFE OR DOCTOR): It is important for the caregiver's philosophy of birth to match our own. There is also a difference between seeing birth and breastfeeding as normal life events, and seeing birth as an illness, and breastfeeding as fraught with complications.

PREP, SHAVE, and ENEMA: The important one here is the enema. An enema taken during labor stimulates the bowels. In addition, it may also make the contractions during labor stronger. Stronger contractions may make a mother choose medication to deal with the pain, and every type of maternal medication gets to the baby, and can affect the baby's ability to stay awake and suck properly.

LABORING IN BED: Women who labor in bed often experience more pain and a slower labor. More pain means that she may ask for drugs. A slower labor means that she is at risk for being classified as "failure to progress", which may mean pitocin augmentation, the accompanying IV drip, etc. Pitocin will mean stronger, more painful contractions. Laboring in bed, possibly flat on her back, the woman's uterus is compressing the blood vessels that supply the placenta and the baby with oxygen. Too little oxygen and stronger contractions may mean that the electronic monitor could show fetal distress. Failure to progress, inco-ordinate uterine contractions, and foetal distress are all reasons to have the doctors do cesarean surgery. Cesareans and the accompanying medications can affect breastfeeding.

FASTING (NO FOOD OR DRINK) except for the occasional ice chips or sips of water. Studies have shown that allowing women to eat and drink during labor can reduce the length of the labor by as much as 90 minutes. Labor is hard work, and the body needs the energy to work effectively. Dehydration means more painful contractions and slower labor. Fatigue combined with a slower labor may make a woman feel that she needs medications. All labor medications get to the baby, and can affect the baby's ability to breastfeed.

INTRAVENOUS FLUIDS (IV): given to women in labor (such as glucose) can keep the glucose levels in mom's and baby's blood abnormally high. The body compensates by making extra insulin. Suddenly the baby is born, it's glucose supply is cut off, and it has all that extra insulin. This could lead to neonatal hypoglycemia, which may mean a trip to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), which means separation from mom. Studies have shown that separation from mother after the birth can have almost as dramatic effect on the baby's ability to latch on as maternal medications. Some women on IVs experience fluid overload. Extra fluids in the woman's body means perhaps worse engorgement, which can affect a baby's ability to latch on properly. Severe, protracted engorgement can lead to the death of the cells responsible for secreting milk, and therefore have an impact upon the mother's milk supply.

PITOCIN, given to speed up a labor, in addition to causing stronger, more painful contractions, is also an anti-diuretic, which means that it makes the body retain more fluids which means more engorgement, which can have a negative effect on breastfeeding. Pitocin use also increased the likelihood of jaundice in the baby.

ANAGLESIA - eg. pethidine, demerol, stadol, nubain - affects the perception of pain. Some women experience relief, some women hallucinate. All of these drugs cross the placenta and can affect the baby. Narcotics such as these can lead to what nurses call "blue baby syndrome". Lower APGAR scores can affect the care required by the baby, and thus may mean separation from mother to monitor its breathing, etc. These drugs can also affect the baby's desire and ability to breastfeed. A sleepy baby combined with fluid-overload engorgement is a serious threat to breastfeeding. If the sleepy baby gets jaundiced, then the pediatrician may order supplements, etc. Unnecessary supplementation can have disastrous effects on a mother's confidence and on her milk supply.

ANESTHESIA - epidural, spinal, intrathecal - removes the sensation of pain, as well as stop the production of endorphins in the mother's body (the natural painkillers). Yes, epidurals can affect the baby. The degree to which the baby is affected depends upon the particular "cocktail" used by the anesthesiologist. There are many studies that show the effects of this type of medication can be longer lasting. Epidurals mean that the mother will have to have the whole host of accompanying interventions: IV; internal electronic foetal monitor; urinary catheter; automatic blood pressure cuff; possibly pitocin augmentation, etc. Her labor may slow down, her uterus may contract ineffectively. She won't be able to feel the contractions to push her baby out, which may mean forceps or vacuum extraction, and an episiotomy. It may affect her labor so dramatically that the doctor orders a cesarean. If they let the medication wear off so she can push, she will be deprived of the endorphins that would have helped her deal the intense sensations, and will be left to deal with the fresh, new pain of transition on her own. This may make her request a "top-off", which can mean a prolonged second stage of labor. Doctors rarely let a woman push for more than two hours during the second stage, which may mean a cesarean, even if she has dilated to 10 cm. And cesareans can affect breastfeeding. Epidural use, whether for vaginal birth or cesarean birth, can increase the likelihood of jaundice in the baby. All drugs must be broken down by the infant's immature liver. The liver is also responsible for processing the bilirubin (making it water soluble) so that it can be excreted by the baby.

ARTIFICIAL RUPTURE OF MEMBRANES (AROM): Commonly known as “breaking the water-bag” means that the cushioning forewaters are gone. This can dramatically increase the pain felt with each contraction. The baby's head is suddenly compressed more with each contraction, which may cause the normal dip in the fetal heart tones to dip a little further. The doctor may interpret this as foetal distress and order a cesarean.

EXTERNAL AND INTERNAL ELECTRONIC FOETAL MONITORING (EFM): was developed by physicians determined to detect fetal distress early and therefore lower the incidence of cerebral palsy. However, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1996 showed that routine EFM has not lowered the incidence of cerebral palsy, and questioned its value in predicting cerebral palsy. In fact, some doctors have argued that routine EFM has increased the cesarean rate. Thus, EFM can indirectly have a negative effect on breastfeeding because of the medications used for the cesarean surgery, separation from mother, etc.

VAGINAL EXAMINATIONS are painful, require a woman to be flat on her back, can lead to premature rupture of membranes, increased risk of infection, and can be misleading if they are overdone, and if they are done by different people. Imagine laboring for hours, and you hit a plateau. You have continued hard labor, but the vaginal exam done to check your dilation every 30 minutes shows no progress. You will probably feel very discouraged. They may put you on pitocin, if you aren't already on it. You may “run out of time” according to the doctor. He will come in, check you and declare that there is no way THIS baby is coming through THIS pelvis, and order a cesarean for failure to progress, or cephalopelvic disproportion (inadequate pelvis size), or inco-ordinate uterine function. We have already discussed the negative effects that pitocin and cesareans can have on breastfeeding.

DIRECTED, SUSTAINED PUSHING: - you know, the circle of people standing around the woman flat on her back or propped up so she is sitting on her tailbone, with her elbows in the air, holding her legs apart, everyone shouting PUSH, PUSH, PUSH, and counting to 10 over and over again! Holding your breath while closing your glottis (the opening between your vocal cords) raises the pressure in your abdomen, which has a negative effect on the blood going back to your heart and then to the lungs. This means that the baby is getting no new oxygenated blood as long as you are pushing this way. Granted, the baby is not getting any new oxygen when the uterus is contracting, but many women push much longer than the actual contraction. This lack of oxygen can negatively affect the baby. The EFM may show fetal distress, and an emergency cesarean may be performed. Interestingly, this type of pushing actually causes the condition - fetal hypoxia (decrease in oxygen to the foetus) - that it was intended to prevent! So you see how this can hav a indirect effect on breastfeeding. In addition, fetal hypoxia is in one of the general categories of causes of pathological jaundice.

LITHOTOMY POSITION: - pushing while flat on your back - in addition to what has been discussed above, means pushing your baby uphill, against gravity, and can lead to a prolonged second stage of labor. This can lead to fatigue, which may mean the woman is unable to push her baby out. The doctor may diagnose this as shoulder dystocia (whereby shoulder is stuck inside the birth canal), and remove the baby with forceps after doing a huge episiotomy. Next time, the mother may be convinced that she can't push out her babies, that her pelvis is inadequate, and she may be talked into a scheduled cesarean.

EPISIOTOMY:- yes, this can affect breastfeeding! This cut at your perineum to enlarge the vaginal opening will make your bottom sore! And if your bottom is sore, you sit further back on your tailbone. This can affect your ability to properly position your baby, which may lead to sore, cracked, bleeding nipples - as well as a slow growing baby who cries all the time.

SUCTIONING of the baby's nose and mouth vigorously can create oral aversions in sensitive newborns. The nose and mouth areas are the baby's first "window to the world", and the focus of their sensory input. Suctioning can scrape their delicate tissues, and give them sore throats. Even worse, when placed at mother's breast, they may vehemently refuse to nurse. Suctioning is a routine intervention that often does more harm than good. Babies birthed over intact perineums rarely need vigorous suctioning. Save this procedure for the rare times when it is really needed.

WASHING THE BABY, EYE TREATMENT, SEPARATION FOR OBSERVATION, USE OF A WARMER : All of these things may mean separation from mom, which can dramatically affect the newborn's ability and willingness to latch on and suck effectively.

It is STILL possible to successfully breastfeed if you have every intervention on this list (and many mothers have!), but it is important for mothers to give birth where they feel most safe and to choose a birth attendant with a philosophy of birth similar to their own. Women need to learn to listen to their bodies and trust their intuition -- they already KNOW how to birth their babies!

©1997, 1998 by Andrea Eastman, MA, CCE, IBCLC (Used with Permission)
Gentle Birth Alternatives® Webpage (No longer Available)




ORGANIZATIONS, RESOURCES, INFORMATION & OTHER LINKS


MoonDragon's Pregnancy Information: Baby Name Tips - This is a wonderful resource for expectant parents looking for unusual, but beautiful, names for their new baby.
Kabalarians.com: Baby Names
Midwives' Alliance of North America (MANA) - MANA is a national organization that has guidelines and certification protocols & information for midwives who pursue the CPM (Certified Professional Midwife).
Massachusetts Midwives Alliance (MMA) - MMA is the Massachusetts Midwives' organization that has guidelines and protocols for midwives practicing within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Citizens For Midwifery - Citizens for Midwifery is a non-profit, volunteer, grassroots organization. Founded by mothers in 1996, it is the only national consumer-based group promoting the Midwifery Model of Care.
BirthPartners.Com - Search Engine for finding: Acupuncturists, Alexander Technique, Babywearing Consultants, Birth & Pregnancy Art, Birth Centers, Birth Doulas, Birth Photos, Breastfeeding Support, Childbirth Educators, Chiropractors, Counselors, Herbalist, Holistic Family Physician, Holistic Pediatricians, Holistic Practitioners, Homeopaths, Hypnosis for Birth, Hypnosis for Fertility, Infant Massage, Massage Therapists, Mental Health, Midwifery Schools, Midwives, Midwives - Will Travel, Music for Birth, Natural Parenting, Naturopathic Physicians, Nutritionists, Osteopathic Physician, Parents, Postpartum Doulas, Postpartum Pilates, Pregnancy Photos, Pregnancy Yoga, Prenatal Massage, Prenatal Pilates, Reflexology, Sleep Consultants, Waterbirth, Zen Shiatsu.
Ronnie Falcao's Gentle Birth Midwifery Information
Midwifery Today Information Website - Midwifery Today has a great deal of information for midwives regarding seminars and training workshops. Subscription information for their Midwifery Today Magazine is also available.
Plus Size Pregnancy Website - This is a website oriented toward the plus-sized pregnant woman and many concerns she may have about her pregnancy. This site is very "plus-size-friendly". As a "plus-size" woman, myself, I can relate to much of her information about size and prejudices in the medical profession.

Size Wise Seek

Size Wise Seek Award


Starlady's Website & Birthing Links - Starlady has some valuable information and birthing links available for midwives and birthing parents. She also has an excellent On-line Birthing Newsletter available that can be subscribed to by e-mail.
Marilyn's Midwifery Page - Marilyn's Midwifery Page is another valuable resource of information for both midwives and birthing parents.
The Farm Midwives - The Farm Midwives are valuable resource of information for midwives and parents.





EDUCATIONAL, MEDICAL, & MIDWIFERY SUPPLIES & RESOURCES


Mayawrap.com: Wear Your Baby Website - Wear Your Baby specializes in Maya Wrap Baby Carriers.
Earth Mama Angel Baby - Natural Pregnancy, Labor, Postpartum, Breastfeeding, Baby Care Products.
Ace Graphics Midwifery Website - Ace Graphics is located in Australia and is an excellent resource of supplies and teaching aids for midwives, childbirth educators and other healthcare practitioners working with birthing couples.
Cascade HealthCare Supplies, Inc. - Cascade has a great assortment of professional and parenting medical supplies, books, educational materials and much more.
Emergency Medical Products, Inc. - EMP has inexpensive medical surgical instruments (forceps, scissors, etc.) and umbilical cord scissors as well as first aid supplies, emergency medical supplies and clothing, emergency medical equipment along with much more.
Birth With Love - Birth With Love has birth and midwifery supplies with comparable prices to Cascade's and Moore Medical's. She has customized birth kits, a freebie list of free samples, and a swap meet page for used equipment.
WRS Health Education Products - Wonderful health oriented supplies for all aspects of health prevention & education, pregnancy, drug prevention, smoking prevention, alcoholism and more.
Arista Surgical Supplies - Medical, surgical, and home health care & supplies for medical professionals.
Henry Schein Medical Supplies - Medical, surgical, and dental equipment & supplies for medical & dental professionals.
Moore Medical Corp. - Medical, surgical supplies for medical professionals.
Anatomical Chart Company - Anatomical Educational Products.
Birth & Beyond Childbirth/BirthSupplies.com - Birthing & parenting supplies.
GentleBirth.org Supplies, Links & Resources. - Lots of helpful information for professionals and parents alike.
Common Cents EMS Supply - Emergency medical supplies for emergency medical professionals and firefighters.
SurgMed.com Home Page





MOONDRAGON WEBSITE VISITOR RECOMMENDATIONS

These links have been submitted by visitors to the MoonDragon.org website. Thank you for sending me these links. I always enjoy hearing from my visitors. If you have some favorite links you would like included here, please send me an E-mail and I will check them out for content and include them if they will be of benefit to my visitors.
Healthline: Pregnancy Symptoms, stages & Tips
Chiropractic Care: Find Chiropractic Offices Near You
DrugWatch.com: Drug Education Resources





MoonDragon's Pregnancy Information Index
MoonDragon's Pregnancy Information & Survival Tips





QUALITY SUPPLIES & PRODUCTS



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Kalyx: Complete Prenatal System, Rainbow Light, 360 Tabs: K


  • Nutrition Basics: Multimineral Supplement Information
  • Nutrition Basics: Multivitamin Supplement Information






  • MoonDragon's Womens Health Index

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    Health & Wellness Index





    AROMATHERAPY: ESSENTIAL OILS DESCRIPTIONS & USES


    Allspice Leaf Oil
    Angelica Oil
    Anise Oil
    Baobab Oil
    Basil Oil
    Bay Laurel Oil
    Bay Oil
    Benzoin Oil
    Bergamot Oil
    Black Pepper Oil
    Chamomile (German) Oil
    Cajuput Oil
    Calamus Oil
    Camphor (White) Oil
    Caraway Oil
    Cardamom Oil
    Carrot Seed Oil
    Catnip Oil
    Cedarwood Oil
    Chamomile Oil
    Cinnamon Oil
    Citronella Oil
    Clary-Sage Oil
    Clove Oil
    Coriander Oil
    Cypress Oil
    Dill Oil
    Eucalyptus Oil
    Fennel Oil
    Fir Needle Oil
    Frankincense Oil
    Geranium Oil
    German Chamomile Oil
    Ginger Oil
    Grapefruit Oil
    Helichrysum Oil
    Hyssop Oil
    Iris-Root Oil
    Jasmine Oil
    Juniper Oil
    Labdanum Oil
    Lavender Oil
    Lemon-Balm Oil
    Lemongrass Oil
    Lemon Oil
    Lime Oil
    Longleaf-Pine Oil
    Mandarin Oil
    Marjoram Oil
    Mimosa Oil
    Myrrh Oil
    Myrtle Oil
    Neroli Oil
    Niaouli Oil
    Nutmeg Oil
    Orange Oil
    Oregano Oil
    Palmarosa Oil
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    Peppermint Oil
    Peru-Balsam Oil
    Petitgrain Oil
    Pine-Long LeafOil
    Pine-Needle Oil
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    Rosemary Oil
    Rose Oil
    Rosewood Oil
    Sage Oil
    Sandalwood Oil
    Savory Oil
    Spearmint Oil
    Spikenard Oil
    Swiss-Pine Oil
    Tangerine Oil
    Tea-Tree Oil
    Thyme Oil
    Vanilla Oil
    Verbena Oil
    Vetiver Oil
    Violet Oil
    White-Camphor Oil
    Yarrow Oil
    Ylang-Ylang Oil
    Aromatherapy
    Healing Baths For Colds
    Aromatherapy
    Herbal Cleansers
    Using Essential Oils


    AROMATHERAPY: HERBAL & CARRIER OILS DESCRIPTIONS & USES


    Almond, Sweet Oil
    Apricot Kernel Oil
    Argan Oil
    Arnica Oil
    Avocado Oil
    Baobab Oil
    Black Cumin Oil
    Black Currant Oil
    Black Seed Oil
    Borage Seed Oil
    Calendula Oil
    Camelina Oil
    Castor Oil
    Coconut Oil
    Comfrey Oil
    Evening Primrose Oil
    Flaxseed Oil
    Grapeseed Oil
    Hazelnut Oil
    Hemp Seed Oil
    Jojoba Oil
    Kukui Nut Oil
    Macadamia Nut Oil
    Meadowfoam Seed Oil
    Mullein Oil
    Neem Oil
    Olive Oil
    Palm Oil
    Plantain Oil
    Plum Kernel Oil
    Poke Root Oil
    Pomegranate Seed Oil
    Pumpkin Seed Oil
    Rosehip Seed Oil
    Safflower Oil
    Sea Buckthorn Oil
    Sesame Seed Oil
    Shea Nut Oil
    Soybean Oil
    St. Johns Wort Oil
    Sunflower Oil
    Tamanu Oil
    Vitamin E Oil
    Wheat Germ Oil





    HELPFUL RELATED MOONDRAGON NUTRITION BASICS LINKS

  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Amino Acids Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Antioxidants Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Enzymes Information
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Herbs Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Homeopathics Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Hydrosols Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Minerals Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Mineral Introduction
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Dietary & Cosmetic Supplements Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Dietary Supplements Introduction
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Specialty Supplements
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Vitamins Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Vitamins Introduction


  • NUTRITION BASICS ARTICLES

  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: 4 Basic Nutrients
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Avoid Foods That Contain Additives & Artificial Ingredients
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Is Aspartame A Safe Sugar Substitute?
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Guidelines For Selecting & Preparing Foods
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Foods That Destroy
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Foods That Heal
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: The Micronutrients: Vitamins & Minerals
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Avoid Overcooking Your Foods
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Phytochemicals
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Increase Your Consumption of Raw Produce
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Limit Your Use of Salt
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Use Proper Cooking Utensils
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Choosing The Best Water & Types of Water





  • RELATED MOONDRAGON HEALTH LINKS & INFORMATION

  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Information Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutritional Therapy Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutritional Analysis Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutritional Diet Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutritional Recipe Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Therapy: Preparing Produce for Juicing
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Information: Food Additives Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Information: Food Safety Links
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Index
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Articles
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Back Pain
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Labor & Birth
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Blending Chart
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Essential Oil Details
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Links
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Miscarriage
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Post Partum
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Childbearing
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Problems in Pregnancy & Birthing
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Chart of Essential Oils #1
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Chart of Essential Oils #2
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Tips
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Uses
  • MoonDragon's Alternative Health Index
  • MoonDragon's Alternative Health Information Overview
  • MoonDragon's Alternative Health Therapy Index
  • MoonDragon's Alternative Health: Touch & Movement Therapies Index
  • MoonDragon's Alternative Health Therapy: Touch & Movement: Aromatherapy
  • MoonDragon's Alternative Therapy: Touch & Movement - Massage Therapy
  • MoonDragon's Alternative Health: Therapeutic Massage
  • MoonDragon's Holistic Health Links Page 1
  • MoonDragon's Holistic Health Links Page 2
  • MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Nutrition Basics Index
  • MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Therapy Index
  • MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Massage Therapy
  • MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Hydrotherapy
  • MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Pain Control Therapy
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  • MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Therapy - Herbal Oils Index







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    Kalyx.com Herbs, Foods, Supplements, Bath & Body


    Chinese Herbs Direct


    Ayurvedic Herbs Direct


    Pet Herbs Direct


    TakeHerb.com


    Wild Divine - Stress relief training software and meditation.


    Aleva Health - Hosiery, Orthopedics, Wound Care, Support, Diabetic Socks


    ShareASale Merchant-Affiliate Program








    MOONDRAGON'S REALM - WEBSITE DIRECTORY


    A website map to help you find what you are looking for on MoonDragon.org's Website. Available pages have been listed under appropriate directory headings.