HomeArticlesEco-friendly motherhood is the right start

I have never written articles on the site in the first person, but this time I made an exception: the topic covered in this publication is very close to me directly and verified on recent personal experience. Therefore, I preferred the emotional story of a newly-made mother to a dry presentation of facts. 🙂 Here you will not find statistics (for which I do not have enough time) or interviews of scientists. This article is based on the responsibility to our children that we bear for the state to which we will bring the Planet. And the way we behave after giving birth to a child directly affects this state. For already now there is an opinion among environmentalists that curbing population growth is the only way to prevent climate change, no matter how unethical it may sound. It is difficult to guess whether Nature planned that the development of human intelligence will reach the level of self-destruction and lack of control. But now it has become a fact that reducing the number of children born is the most significant contribution to the conservation of wildlife, although it contradicts the idea of ​​evolution. And many and deprives the meaning of life. But the problem is not only in the number of people on the planet, but in what quantities and how it consumes. Therefore, the second question is important for us: the construction of childcare in “civilized” countries with the smallest ecological footprint.

Having learned about the replenishment in our family, I decided to prepare for the expected event in the most impeccable way. Having come to my senses and got used to the endless nausea, I arm myself with tons of books, register in closed “mom” communities in order to find out what a newborn needs for full growth. Since we have not had a TV at home for many years, and my husband and I rarely go to stores and only for specific products, I am horrified to learn how many things (and also at what prices, which makes me even more shocked) are offered to buy for little peanut... Envelope for discharge from the maternity hospital, clothes of various styles, shoes for the correct formation of the foot (it's amazing how people walked without it for millions of years ...), bite shaper, bottles, nipples, nibblers, walkers, jumpers, musical (!) pots , hammocks, sun loungers, toy cleaners, sterilizers, bottle warmers… - the list, as you understand, is endless. It doesn’t fit in my head, as soon as nature was able to give birth to so many geniuses of previous generations without these miracle devices ... But modern fashion, store consultants and friends make an impressionable mother run to the store for all these “necessities”. As soon as someone sees a pregnant woman, questions immediately follow, implying the presence of these products as a given: “Have you already chosen a breast pump for yourself?”, “And what brand do you have an electric swing?”... Of course, future parents get the impression that these necessary attributes for the successful development of a child; and that it is necessary to work day and night to ensure a high level of comfort. Advertising makes parents think that they are inferior if they do not purchase all the entertainment stations for their children.

There is absolutely nothing positive about such abundance. Well, except for Mom's free hands. But, as it turned out in the process of my preparation (and then in practice), it is precisely in these hands that the most vital thing for the baby lies! And this is always available and completely environmentally friendly, and most importantly - it is necessary for the harmonious development of the crumbs! Of course, it costs a lot of effort: the sacrifice of good posture, personal time and career, as well as the inability to chew your lunch at certain moments ... But in my understanding, a warm close relationship with your child is worth it. And the hands are busy for only a few 18 (?) Months 🙂

So, my husband and I decide to buy only the most necessary before the birth of the baby. We got the stroller on sale from one pair of parents (as a result, we use it only within the house as an emergency aid when it is impossible to pick up a child), we bought several pairs of bodysuits, 2 vests and 2 panties at a local supermarket, in the same place found diapers, towels, a few more waterproof bedding and diapers, I ordered in the online store. From children's cosmetics, I bought a mini-set consisting of a balm for the buttocks, lotion, shampoo and massage oil (in the end, I really used only the latter) completely from vegetable organic raw materials. The rest of the things (sling, play mat, children's books) we bought used, clothes and toys were given to us.

At the time of this writing, my daughter is 6 months old. We have not added anything to the purchases listed above. Unfortunately, we are still far from perfection and the concept of zero waste (zero waste). Our family still throws out mountains of garbage, even though we sort it where possible (separate organics, plastic bottles and glass), and go shopping with our bags, which we use to holes. But we are more and more convinced that the needs of the child are very minimal and laid down by nature itself. This does not mean that you need to return to the cave lifestyle. But by using as few distractions as possible, you will see how the child is able to find everything he needs in the space around him. And it leaves a much smaller carbon footprint (on which, unfortunately, the manufacturers of children's "super products" do not pay any duties) and provides the greatest opportunities for creativity.

Practical Tips

Let's move from general theory to practical and simplest steps: how to make a child healthy, developing in a timely manner, happy and smiling in the modern world. Let's consider all the points in order.


Even at the stage of pregnancy, it is important to find the right path - after all, a lot depends on the first step. So, if you decide to have a child and want to raise him healthy, then try to eat right, get rid of addictions in time, live in the most green environment possible, and also refrain from too intrusive medical intervention (monthly tests, ultrasound, amniocentesis, tests for genetic diseases, vaccinations, medications without urgent need, etc.). Before making any decision, carefully study the information, weigh all the pros and cons, and most importantly - trust your body, Nature. For thousands of years, women have carried children - this is their evolutionary duty and prerogative. Trust the process, listen internally to yourself and your child and keep the holiness and mystery of this amazing time of your life. 🙂

Home birth

Yes, yes, a very controversial issue! There are both absolute adherents and absolute opponents. But for those who are seriously thinking about the most natural, eco-friendly and gentle invitation of their child into this world and who have no contraindications to this (as well as fears), giving birth at home is an ideal choice. Firstly, you significantly reduce the amount of waste thrown away in the hospital (disposable gloves, syringes, shoe covers, face masks, etc.), as well as medical manipulations (CHT, anesthesia, stimulation, intravenous nutrition, etc.).

Secondly, the atmosphere in the hospital is psychologically uncomfortable and, moreover, can be filled with various viruses and bacteria. According to the WHO (World Health Organization), 15% of medical waste is considered "hazardous material that may be infectious, toxic or radioactive" and "may infect hospital patients, healthcare workers and others." Speaking of ecology in general, "medical waste is incinerated in some circumstances, which can produce dioxins, furans and other toxic air pollutants."

Another positive aspect of home birth is that the child immediately enters his environment, getting used to the microorganisms with which he will have to live, which means the early formation of immunity to them. Plus, at home, no one will give a newborn a bottle of formula and will not force dangerous vaccinations (a topic for separate independent research).

Undoubtedly, home births also have disadvantages, while hospital births have advantages. You should also know that childbirth outside a medical facility in the territory of the Russian Federation is prohibited by law. Although in many European countries, births at home or in facilities that are close to home conditions are common. I believe that how and where to give birth is the choice of every woman who wants the highest comfort for herself and her child. Be healthy and happy! 🙂


If the previous point may seem too extreme, then it will be much easier to agree with this, because now mothers have again become aware that breast milk is the best thing you can give a child ! In our time, the myths about "non-dairy" mothers have sunk into oblivion, and numerous breastfeeding support groups and consultants will not leave you in trouble! I will not list the benefits of mother's milk for the child (and also for the mother!), Because it is worth a separate article. For those who doubt, a lot of books have been written about this, enough videos have been shot and in general there is a lot of information on the Internet. In order not to throw specific medical terms about immunoglobulins and other substances for the development of the child's brain, I will simply say that this is the best food and there is not a single equivalent alternative. I don’t even know why at all somehow protect breast milk, if it is, without a doubt, a miracle created by Nature (evolution 30 million years long) - on a par with the miracle of bearing and giving birth to a child. This is the right start for your baby's life from an ecological, physical, intellectual and psychological point of view.

But, unfortunately, manufacturers of baby formulas are also on the alert and do not hesitate to present their product as an analogue of live, valuable milk. It is interesting how, many years before the advent of miracle powders, humanity was able to grow so actively ... Pediatricians are also on the alert, who look at breastfeeding mothers like an extinct species of Pithecanthropus in a museum and offer a mixture with a smile on their faces. And this despite the fact that milk can be produced in the breasts of even a woman who has not given birth! Feeding a baby with a diluted powder can not only undermine its already immature immunity and introduce alien microflora into an unformed intestine, but also deprive the necessary immune protection, as well as increase the chances of various diseases (diathesis, allergies, constipation, poisoning with toxic substances, etc. .). In addition, cow's or goat's milk is suitable only for the needs of calves or kids, but not for a human child, but returning to the topic of ecology - the production of such products is not only unethical in relation to animals, but also truly destructive for the Planet .

And, of course, garbage dumps outside the city are replenished with more and more new material .... According to mothers, on average, for a child up to a year, 6-9 cans are used per month, which corresponds to 3,000-10,000 rubles / month. It is clear why manufacturers and sellers are interested in covering as much market coverage as possible. Here, “necessary” related products also pop up: bottles, sterilizers, brushes, etc. And this is a vicious circle. Although even with a mixture of a child, you can return to breastfeeding with a strong desire! And how warm and soft it is on my mother’s breast… 🙂 At the same time, it’s good not only for the baby, but also for the mother, because in the process of breastfeeding, the woman’s body actively releases the hormone oxytocin, which is responsible for feelings of love, joy and relaxation.


If you imagine a child in the house, then with a high probability the first picture that comes to mind is a tightly wrapped bundle sleeping in its crib. In fact, sleep is a very important part of the parenting puzzle. This is not just a vacation, but a whole system of physical and emotional recovery, intellectual development and growth (children grow in their sleep, yes, yes!). Therefore, the quality and quantity of sleep is especially important in the first year of a baby's life and should be given special attention. On the issue of sleep - more precisely, where to sleep for our child - I had no doubts: only with me since I'm afraid to sleep alone) did not cause delight. And we don't have much space in the house. Therefore, it was decided to put the baby to sleep with us, which is quite consistent with the evolutionary needs of newborns. From the very first days, the daughter won half of our king size bed for herself and feels great there. I feel great too. Joint sleep synchronizes the rhythms of mother and child , so we don’t have the usual night tantrums and hourly motion sickness. The baby knows that mom is always there, and therefore there is no need to wake up too often to check if she is in place and, if necessary, call her by screaming (the less the child screams, the more resources he has left for development). I instantly react to any rustles of my daughter, and it takes several minutes for us to disembark (see below), feed and fall asleep again. In addition to the psychological aspect, the physical aspect is also important: all adaptive processes in the child’s body (thermoregulation, alignment of even breathing, pulse, etc.), which continue to develop in the newborn outside the womb, are tuned only next to the mother’s body, which is a kind of landmark (9 months inside and 9 months outside). Plus, all family members sleep better, the child eats more often at night, which stimulates the production of the hormone prolactin and guarantees stable lactation and weight gain.

Do not forget about safety measures and a sense of your own comfort and balance. If this method does not suit you at all, look for another more rational solution.

Planting and alternatives

Perhaps, since the moment of passing the pregnancy test, the most acute issue for me after planning the birth was the hygienic issue. I was initially categorically against industrial plastic diapers, but so far I didn’t know about the existence of an alternative, except for the “grandmother’s” method of diapers ... The second option did not suit me, not only in terms of convenience, but also from the point of view of “going out” - I didn’t want to quite cause a stir in the surrounding. Since the rule “there is a request - there is an answer” always works, without any effort on my part, information came from my girlfriend about a wonderful planting method . Encouraged by the possibility of surviving without a ton of garbage diaper bags, as well as a significant savings in the family budget, I began to look for practical recommendations. The same friend recommended a book that made me feel confident that maternal instincts and natural rhythms weren't quite filled with our modern "ideals." This is Ingrid Bauer's book Life Without Diapers . The method is so obvious, simple and environmentally friendly that it did not cause me a single drop of doubt, and from the 3rd day of birth, we began to plant our baby over a basin and sink. I say “we” because not only the daughter actively participated, giving signs, but also the father, establishing close contact with his baby 🙂

Close contact should be mentioned separately, because the method of natural hygiene implies constant attention to your child , a subtle feeling of his rhythms (this is not as difficult as it sounds), responses to his urges. This method builds a “request-response” relationship between parents and the baby, the latter learns to trust, make cause-and-effect relationships, and control the muscles of the pelvic floor. That is, by teaching a child from an early age to cleanliness and the habit of going to the toilet in a certain way, you form a clear scenario of actions and the baby’s confidence that his parents hear and understand him . Our little one has been able to hold her urges since a few months of age until we drop her off. Also, planting in a physiological position (knees pressed to the tummy) helps to prevent all kinds of problems with the intestines in infants (gaziki, colic, constipation), diaper dermatitis and diaper rash, which greatly simplifies life for both children and parents.

Of course, a lot of things did not work out and still do not work out 🙂 Sometimes we laugh, sometimes we get angry. But I was surprised when I saw how my daughter, by the age of 6 months, already consciously endures and goes to the toilet when I drop her off in more than 80% of cases. For six months, we used only 20 disposable diapers, and then only when traveling or in places where it was difficult to drop off a child. For comparison: on average, for children under one year old, 6-10 disposable diapers are used per day, that is, 180-300 pieces per month (!). Add in emissions from tree felling, manufacturing, shipping, packaging, and multiply by the number of baby butts in the world…

There is another alternative option - reusable cloth diapers with replaceable liners. We have 5 of these cotton and 10 microfiber liners (you can roll a regular flannel diaper). We use them in situations where I know that I may not have time to drop off my daughter (while playing on rugs, in a store, in transport, etc.).

Another measure that is less environmentally friendly, but still more acceptable than conventional diapers, is biodegradable diapers made from organic materials. There are several of these available on the domestic market: Naty, Bambo, Muumi, Attitude, Wiona. But, unfortunately, the main component of all disposable diapers is cellulose - the same trees that give life to all creatures on the planet. Even if the source of raw materials is protected forest land, it takes decades for a tree to grow to the required size.

In general, too many disposable things have become present in the daily life of a modern person. And with a small child, even more of them appear to provide mom with a certain level of comfort. But a lot of disposable things can (and should!) be replaced with reusable ones , which, with the right organization of your day and caring for your baby, will not be difficult. These include the aforementioned disposable diapers, diapers, wipes, bra pads, bags for expressed milk… and probably a lot more. But since there is no such thing in our house and there was no task to find it, then nothing else comes to mind 🙂 Test yourself and find an analogue of everything disposable. I always ask the question what would I do if I were on a desert island (or at least in a village without supermarkets), and the exit is right there. This approach opens up opportunities for creativity! 😉

Satisfying Basic Needs

It may seem that total attention to the child deprives the mother of time for herself, and makes the baby an egoist. It's not like that at all. When my daughter was 3 months old, I started making time for exercise, relaxing self-care routines, chatting with friends, and reading interesting books (I have never read so much in my life)… and even writing an article! And the child, satisfying his desire in his mother's caress and attention, having had enough, gradually becomes more independent, more and more immersed in the world around him. Russian psychologist Lyudmila Petranovskaya writes about this in her book The Secret Support of Attachment :

“... the child needs not words, but deeds and actions: the constant presence of the mother, warm hugs, milk as much as you want and whenever you want, attention to his needs, which he himself cannot yet name or even realize. Then the child grows calmly, and as soon as some need is saturated, ceases to be relevant, he simply parted with it. The time will come - it will get off your hands, and you will not hold it. If he grows big, he will demand a separate room and be happy in it. If we are full, we will not leave the table with a piece in hand. If we've had enough sleep, we won't be looking all day for an opportunity to lie down. When a need is fully, deeply satisfied, there is no need to hold on to it. Satisfied need liberates."

To help mother's arms and back comes such a wonderful thing as a sling. This is exactly the case when you can say: “New is a well-forgotten old”, since the sash is the most ancient way to carry a baby. The sling evenly distributes the load on the back without overloading the shoulders (if it is a sling scarf), helps the baby to take the physiologically correct position of the legs and spine, frees up mother's hands for classes, and most importantly - gives especially close contact and a feeling of cozy (and so familiar for 9 months) womb and protection. You will also notice very quickly that the sling plus the insertion gives a wonderful result! When the legs are bent and the tummy is pressed against the mother, the baby's intestines are released very easily (to go to the toilet, the baby begins to toss and turn in the sling). Forget about any problems with the tummy (as well as gas tubes, enemas, soaps and other “joys”) and enjoy intimacy with your child! 🙂

Considered purchases

Don't buy everything you see in baby stores. Try to buy things as needed , and not in advance. In the process, you may find out that many children's products simply do not suit you or are not needed at all, but you can do something yourself . Our generation and thousands of generations before us have grown up without all the miracle gadgets, but marketers are great at catching parents on the hook of their endless love for their child.

Here is a sample list of things that you don’t have to buy (remember the question about a desert island or village):

  • an envelope for discharge from the hospital (a blanket or towel is quite suitable);
  • bed (at least up to 2-3 years old);
  • canopy over the bed (if you do not live in the tropics with mosquitoes);
  • cradle (mother's hands are the best cradle);
  • baby bath (in the presence of a large bath);
  • slide or high chair for bathing (again, mother's or father's hands);
  • sterilizer (a double boiler will do just fine);
  • walkers;
  • jumpers;
  • deck chair, electric swing;
  • mobile;
  • children's scales (if desired, you can use adults, weighing with and without a baby);
  • changing table (reusable waterproof diapers are suitable, on which you can still sleep and do gymnastics and games);
  • high chair (the best high chair is mother's knees);
  • arena (children's rugs, foams and mats are suitable for playing in the adult's visibility zone);
  • developing table (you can make one yourself);
  • radio and video babysitter;
  • baby food warmer;
  • water thermometer (your elbow will do just as well);
  • nipples, bottles, nibblers, etc.;
  • 2/3 toys from the store (the best toys are those that the baby finds at home while exploring the space).

By not filling your child's room with all sorts of goods, you also teach your baby from birth to appreciate what he has , not to switch every second from one toy to another, but to explore more and be creative on his own. Believe me, without a multi-colored rug and all kinds of squeakers, your child will develop perfectly if you give him the freedom of choice and movement, as well as your attention and care.

Mom and artificial intermediaries

In general, speaking of all sorts of "mother's helpers", I would like to express one main idea: all intermediaries separate the mother from the child (unless, of course, the mother is forced to work for financial reasons). Without them, mother and baby come into close contact every second. You feel every movement of the child, the tension and work of his muscles, organs, breathing, changes in his emotions and mood, you give him your live reaction. All this is hard to imagine when a child lies in his crib in a diaper and looks at the mobile ... Drawing a parallel, imagine the difference between the fact that you came to the forest and lay down on soft green grass, you feel the breath of the earth and the movement of insects under you, and that that you sat on a 5 cm thick karemat, which, of course, is more comfortable, but not lively ...

The modern "civilized" world has created too many plastic substitutes for true warm relationships, deprived people of the possibility of creativity, resourcefulness and dexterity. Returning to minimalism and simplicity , we return to our forgotten nature, learn to find a way out of any situation, train our mind. When you take the child under the arms and teach the first steps, you take these steps together, feeling every movement of the little legs, you adapt to it, as if you yourself are re-mastering walking. But by putting a child in a walker, you only catch moving around the apartment, and the child loses live support and timely reactions. Among other things, such adaptations violate the natural (evolutionary) course of development of the physiological and intellectual skills of the baby, the consequences of which can be deplorable and irreversible.

But, unfortunately, nowadays the “plastic” approach has become commonplace. At all playgrounds, in all parks, mothers with strollers, with trunks of toys, children in diapers, and some even on special leashes ... And very few people think about the possibility of doing without all these "comforts" of civilization. But I was convinced from personal experience how completely my feeling of a child changes when we are separated by an “intermediary”. Those two times when I went for a walk with a stroller (we have a “cane”, that is, the child looks forward, away from me), without seeing or feeling my baby, it seemed to me that I was pushing a supermarket cart. Only by the smiles of passers-by could I remember that I had a child there. And how completely different we walk when my daughter is sitting in my arms (or in a sling) and together we react to everything around.

Nature is always right. She conceived us as sentient, interacting, social beings. In the arms of the mother, feeling her warmth and care, taking a direct part in the life of the family, the child deftly learns different emotions, states, respect for the space of another person, his change of mood, etc. This is a colossal experience of intimacy, which cannot be replaced by anything . After all, when the baby grows up and begins to move away, these moments can no longer be returned. Don't waste them on "plastic" substitutes.

Buy used

If you still find it difficult to refrain from buying "mother's helpers", buy used items: from friends, in local "mother's" communities and forums, as well as on Internet sites - or use the rental service. For example:

In this way, you do not sponsor the production of new things and the expenditure of new resources, and also do not send almost new household items to the landfill. Also, if you still have things or toys (and other items) that have already served their time in your house, do not hesitate to offer them to friends, those in need, or sell them at flea markets . Our daughter, for example, got a suit that was worn not only by my younger brother, but also by me 30 years ago 🙂

Healthy complementary foods

As soon as the time comes for the first feeding (and some, falling for the trick of marketers, start feeding before the optimal time), mother hurries to the store for wonderful colored jars with various tasty and “healthy” purees. Of course, who, if not a large industrial complex, will take care of my baby’s health ... And here again a vicious circle: sitting down on convenient, ready-made products, we are too lazy to cook ourselves, we spend a lot of money on buying baby food, and everything is on earning them free time that could be given to the child. And, of course, production is growing, resources are depleting, emissions into the atmosphere are increasing (which, by the way, the same children subsequently breathe), landfills are replenished ... Where is the way out? Complementary foods with freshly prepared (in winter - pre-frozen) foods : cook mashed potatoes and cereals yourself or give what is on the parent's plate (pedagogical complementary foods). So you can lead your usual way of life, and your child in the future will not have to switch from “canned” food to the usual one that the rest of his family eats. In addition, the long shelf life of baby food indicates the presence of preservatives. Also, complementary foods from mother's plate involve the child's participation at the family table on mother's knees, which means the absence of a special high chair for children and the feeling of being part of the family and its traditions.

The issue of nutrition is important to include a vegetarian / vegan diet. For, as mentioned above, animal husbandry causes great harm to the environment. Eating healthy plant foods rich in all the necessary vitamins and minerals , you are laying a healthy foundation , good habits and conserving natural resources.

Safe materials

The following advice is probably obvious to all mothers: everything that the child comes into contact with should be made from natural and safe materials. Choose clothes, diapers and mattresses made of cotton, preferably organic and without dyes, toys made of safe plastic , detergents without chemical additives (ideally - completely plant origin), cosmetics only 100% natural (the longer the child will do without any cosmetics at all , all the better).

Health as a habit

How to raise a naturally healthy child? Here are some simple recommendations available to every mom:

  • exclusive breastfeeding (on demand) up to 6 months and as maintenance food up to 2 years;
  • the presence of recreational physical exercises, swimming, hardening;
  • planting;
  • a clean but not sterile environment;
  • a lot of games and physical activity, walks in the fresh air;
  • proper nutrition of all family members;
  • cultivating strong immunity by not interfering with the body's natural healing mechanisms.

By the way, speaking of immunity, it should be mentioned that in the first year of a child's life, the adaptive processes of the body are at the highest level. Nature has laid amazing survival in these tiny creatures. Therefore, by giving a load to the immune system (introducing microbes) and not suppressing the symptoms of diseases with medicines (especially high temperature, which is an indicator of the intensive work of the immune system), you ensure good health for the little man. You can read more about this in the book of the famous American pediatrician of the twentieth century Robert Mendelsohn "How to raise a healthy child in spite of the doctors .

By bypassing diseases and, accordingly, their “treatment” with medicines, you further reduce your ecological footprint, as well as build a reliable foundation for your baby’s future.

Proper upbringing

What method of education is the most proven and reliable? Personal example! Only if you yourself profess the principles that you want to see in your child, only then will you be able to subsequently rejoice at the result. After all, we are responsible for the nation that we will grow. Therefore, from an early age, teach your child to take care of nature and the resources used , the ability to get by with little and not chase after all the “benefits” of civilization, respect for other people and all living beings, awareness of the consequences of one’s actions and influence on the entire surrounding space. Instead of watching TV (computer, tablet), take the whole family for a walk in nature, ride bicycles, scooters, make crafts and toys from natural materials (leaves, branches, cones, etc.), enjoy natural landscapes and the diversity of flora and fauna (in free space , of course), participate in environmental campaigns and community work days.

Circle of like-minded people

And in order not to get lost in all matters of natural education, you should surround yourself with like-minded people who have gone through the school of motherhood and have experience in an ecological lifestyle. This will not only give you confidence in your abilities, but will also give you new ideas, inspiration, and faith in a better future for our children. If there are none in your place of residence, be sure to look for relevant forums, groups, communities, attend events and do not be afraid to defend your choice. Defending does not mean rudely imposing on someone, which means that it is always fun and confident to follow your path without turning off. I also recommend watching the amazing movie " Kids " , which will help you understand how far we have moved away from our nature and how much unnecessary rubbish we bring to raising kids. After all, the main thing that our children need is a loving and caring family atmosphere, a healthy environment and a peaceful sky above their heads.

Dear mothers! Feel free to share your ideas about green parenting in the comments below! 🙂

PS For our other recommendations on everyday environmental steps, see the Tips .

We wish you happiness! 🙂


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Victoria Shurupova Victoria Shurupova

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