Masters of Health Magazine May 2023 | Page 10

Natural birth, or the sacredness of the mother-child relationship, was not something I gave much thought to  until I became involved in a meditation community while in college, obtaining my nursing degree. Having grown up on Twinkies, bologna sandwiches, Oreo cookies, and plenty of TV shows, you can imagine my astonishment when I began meeting all these beautiful women who were giving birth at home, breastfeeding, making their natural baby food, shopping at the co-op, and sending their kids to Waldorf schools. 

After graduating, I began working as a Labor and Delivery room nurse in an inner-city hospital. Talk about a juxtaposition! Part of my day was learning which drugs to give women in labor and how to insert an internal fetal monitor and inject a Vit K shot into newborns (as I whisked the baby away from the mother and off to the newborn nursery). The other part of my life was reading Spiritual Midwifery, meditating, and about how to prepare lentil burgers from scratch.  

The only way I could reconcile these two worlds was to become a Certified Natural Childbirth instructor.  In my Bradley classes (which I taught for 13 years), I tried to educate, equip, and empower parents with the knowledge and tools they would need (including emphasizing a super healthy diet) to have the best chance of experiencing an uncomplicated pregnancy and natural birth. As you can imagine, amid skyrocketing C-section rates, ultrasounds becoming more popular, and the general over-medicalization of the birth experience, unless my parents worked with a like-minded midwife or a very open-minded MD, the odds (especially in an inner city, impoverished community), were not in their favor. 

The birth of my first son also caused a major collision of these two worlds – one that would forever change me – personally and professionally. Although I ate extremely well during the pregnancy, attended natural childbirth classes, and had a wonderful midwife, my son was born with spinal meningitis, which resulted in him being taken from me minutes after birth and transferred, via ambulance, to Columbia Presbyterian NICU in Harlem, NY. Ill never forget when just 10 hours after giving birth to this 9lb 8oz beautiful baby boy, I walked into the hospital on the arm of his dad to meet with the pediatric neurologist who told me that there was a high probability our son would be mentally-retarded, or deaf, or have a seizure disorder. Nothing prepared me for that moment, but it was at that moment that my commitment to natural health and healing began. The strength of a mother lifting a car to save her child emerged within me, which resulted in every fiber of my being knowing I would do everything in my power to heal this child.   

I acknowledge that the medical interventions that ensued – the spinal taps, pathology analysis identifying the bacteria that had invaded his spinal fluid, and giving appropriate antibiotics – saved Seans life.  But I also knew there was more I had to learn.  I had to do everything humanely possible to protect my child and optimize his chance of growing into the healthiest human being he could be. 

It was at this phase of my life that I dove into studying herbs, the role of nutrients for physical and mental health, the importance of extended breastfeeding, the healing power of juicing, homemade organic baby food, fresh air, sunshine, and avoiding antibiotics and other pharmaceuticals as much as possible. By applying all these strategies, Sean, and later his beautiful younger sister, grew into extremely healthy adults. Though by no means did I do everything perfectly, I did bear witness to the benefits of living in accordance with Mother Nature. 

Because of what I was seeing with my children and the fact that the pediatric and medical healthcare systems knew very little about natural approaches, I had to find ways to share the knowledge I had gained. I wanted all women to have the best chance of having a healthy pregnancy, a natural birth, successful breastfeeding, and to know how to raise healthy, happy kids in an increasingly toxic world. 

To accomplish these goals in the 1990s, I accepted a job as the director of Health Education at the Princeton Brain Bio Center in Skillman, NJ.  There, I met one of the best pediatricians of all time –  Sidney M. Baker, MD. Unlike the other prescription-writing, vaccine-dispensing pediatricians I knew, Dr. Baker looked at the underlying causes of childhood conditions – such as ADD, autism, eczema, autoimmune disorders, etc.  Instead of dispensing pharmaceuticals, he prescribed nutrients and herbs, did allergy testing, recommended special diets, and showed parents how to limit their childrens exposure to toxins. He healed many a leaky gut and was an expert at controlling yeast overgrowth.   The changes in health, behavior, and development we saw were remarkable. 


My experiences with Dr. Baker were profound, I decided to organize conferences on both womens health and how to raise healthy kids naturally. I invited authors of books on natural health and doctors I greatly admired to speak at my conferences. To my great surprise and delight, they all accepted my invitation. As it turned out, they were also hungry to share their knowledge of natural health.

I didnt know the first thing about organizing conferences.  But, I believed that if you brought good people and good information together, focused on solutions, and kept the energy positive and uplifting, people would come to learn and connect — and they did!  Eventually, word got out about these educational and inspirational forums, and I was asked by Dr. Bernie Rimland, the founder of the Autism Research Institute, to organize DAN! conferences. 

For the next ten years, I organized the Defeat Autism Now conferences where parents, researchers, and physicians came together, built a community, and discovered many underlying causes of autism. During those years, I met some of the smartest, most dedicated parents of autistic children who were doggedly determined to get to the bottom of what had happened to their once normal-developing child. It eventually became clear that oxidative stress, gut issues, allergies, nutrient deficiencies, mitochondrial dysfunction, impaired detox pathways, inflammation, etc., were all culprits.  And, addressing diet, environmental toxins, and vaccine toxicity, children often improved. These 3-day conferences, think tanks, and physicians and nurses training courses had world-renowned presenters focused on discovering mechanisms of harm and ways to recover, or at least improve, the health and behavior of children with autism.   


Many wonderful speakers became part of this DAN! family, including Dr. Sidney Baker, Dr. Andrew Wakefield, the late Dr. Jeff Bradstreet, Dr. Karl Reichelt from Norway, Dr. Liz Mumper, Mark Blaxill, Lisa Lewis, PhD, Dr. Nancy OHara, Paul Shattock from the UK, and many others. After years of listening and learning from these speakers and witnessing improvements (and, in some instances, recovery of children on the spectrum), I thought surely, the world would catch on to what the DAN! community of parents, physicians, and researchers had discovered. Looking back, I see how naïve and wrong I was. Instead of embracing the approach to identify and treat underlying causes, the pharma-funded, profit-driven propaganda machine created a new narrative.  This carefully constructed narrative emphasized accepting autism as the new normal and demanded that parents and doctors no longer seek out or question underlying causes. The result: instead of 2 per 10,000 children with autism, as in the 1990s, the numbers have climbed to 1 in 36 children, the most recent data from the CDC. 

Given my personal and professional experiences, my belief in natural approaches to health, and after ten years of organizing these conferences - what was I left to do?  I had to focus all my efforts on prevention. To that end, I co-founded Saving Our Kids, Healing Our Planet, a large activity-filled, interactive educational forum with healthy food and supplement vendors, and speakers for parents, teachers, physicians, and children. I poured everything into this new venture, but I quickly learned that prevention was a tough pill for people to swallow. Changing diets, finding affordable holistic practitioners, and implementing lifestyle changes before getting sick were, in most cases, too high-a-price to pay to minimize the chances of a child developing autism or other chronic childhood disorders. Besides, the medical or health world was not enforcing this preventive concept.

While these events produced a low turnout and a high financial loss, my personal life was uplifted as my kids and step-children began producing beautiful, healthy grandchildren. Starting in 2004 and ending in 2022, I now have 12 grandchildren.

Grandmotherhood took me to another level of reflection, mainly because I no longer had a lifetime ahead of me. Ive heard a rumor that some people slow down as they age. I hear the word retirement is something I should consider. However, becoming a grandmother sparked a stronger warrior or defender of the child- like spirit in me, culminating in a few trips to Washington, DC, to meet with congressional leaders and senators to discuss the ever-escalating health problems our children were experiencing. On a few of these occasions, I had the great privilege of accompanying Robert Kennedy Jr., Del Bigtree, and other amazing activists to these meetings. Unfortunately, no matter how articulate or well-prepared our presentations were, our pleas to address the dire statistics were often met with blank stares. It became crystal clear — politicians didnt care what was happening to our kids. 

After these disappointing but eye-opening experiences in DC, I was divinely inspired to pull myself up by my bootstraps, dust off my conference organizing hat, and contact many of the thought leaders I had worked with for years in the health, freedom, and vaccine risk movement (as well as a few newly emerging leaders). I brought them together to discuss ways to build our strength and impact as a movement.  Over 50 thought leaders came to the mountains of NC for a 3-day summit. We made progress, built bridges, and Millions Against Medical Mandates was formed as an overarching inclusive umbrella organization to keep the collaboration concept active. Little did we know when we met in May of 2019 how much we would need each other as the COVID debacle was just around the corner.  

During this new phase of my career as the founder and director of MAMM, I had a health scare that took me to my knees. After months of grappling with fear (mainly over the pressure to enter the sick care” system dominated by the pharmaceutical industry I so adamantly opposed), I emerged stronger, healthier, and more resolved to continue my work of building collaboration, with the help of my incredible husband, my family, and many dear friends.

This dark night of the soul experience better prepared me to enter the COVID insanity without falling prey to the strategically-designed fear-mongering that had permeated the world.  As a result of this newfound strength and the opportunity to work with many first-class physicians, attorneys, journalists, and activist volunteers, MAMM took on the mission of cutting through the propaganda and BS the world was being influenced by and instead speak truth to power.  MAMM put out dozens of articles, videos, and toolkits focused on strategies for staying well amid all the misinformation the public health system and so-called experts were throwing at us.

The beauty of MAMM is that we gather great minds to discuss what is needed to help educate, equip, and empower the moveable middle, and then we make it happen. We share everything with our associated allies and affiliated organizations. Everything we create is open access. We collaborate with other organizations like Childrens Health Defense, Health Choice, America Media Periscope, Autism Action Network, Age of Autism, etc. to accomplish our goals. When MAMM was named one of the top 5 organizations spreading misinformation (along with, Del Bigtrees ICAN, NVIC, and CHD), I knew we were doing our job of getting our messages out beyond the censorship and delivering the Truth to Millions around the world.   

COVID has taught us all so much – such as who your friends really are, what is important in life, why and how to believe in and support your God-given immune system,  why its crucial to listen to your common sense and use your critical thinking skills and to follow through when you receive Divine inspiration. 

In December 2022, I received a beautiful honor from the Zelenko Foundation.  Along with my colleagues Dr. Christiane Northrup, Dr. Sherri Tenpenny, Dr. Judy Mikovits, and Barbara Loe Fisher (the cofounder and president of the National Vaccine Information Center), we were acknowledged for being the Grandmothers of the Vaccine Risk Awareness Movement and for being some of the first warriors on the scene.

Mother Nature, Divine Feminine Energy, Great Spirit, whatever name you choose to give that love-filled guiding force, has shown me, in no uncertain terms, how and why to live by her rules. From it, I learn, grow, and wind up on the right path.  I call it- following the Golden Thread.

Although the world is going through tremendous upheaval and transformation, I am incredibly grateful to be alive during this time. I appreciate all the experiences that taught me to trust in and follow the laws of Mother Nature. I am proud to be a woman, mother, and grandmother.  Also, I am grateful to have met so many incredible people who shared their knowledge and wisdom with me through these many decades.  

Now, as I stand on this magnificent planet and look up at the majestic mountains near my home, I have a strong intuitive knowing that we are all here at this particular time to witness and participate in the collapse of the old, failing, corrupt systems and help usher in a more loving, compassionate world where Mother Earth will be honored for all her cycles, all her seasons and all her gifts.

Blessings to the Warrior Mothers and Grandmothers…   We are the power, and Love is our medicine!

Natural Mothering –

from DAN! (Defeat Autism Now)

to MAMM (Millions Against Medical Mandates)

by Maureen McDonnell, BSN, Ret. RN

  Founder & Director, Millions Against Medical Mandates (MAMM)