This post is my first foray into “What I Believe” hosted by The Natural Mommy. Basically the idea is to post something you are passionate about and that you truly believe in. Many participants use the opportunity to post something perhaps a bit controversial but I am not one to shrink back from the juicy controversial stuff here so those are not in short supply. ;) Today I thought I would post about something I am passionate about.
Generally I believe that conventional views of birth, baby care, health care, and overall care for children is actually an assault of sorts on our precious children. From the moment they are born we poke and prod them…with fetal monitors, salve in their eyes, vitamin K shots, vaccine injections, circumcision…all of things are uncomfortable or painful and yet we do them anyway to our smallest and most vulnerable members of society. And with all of these things going on it only stands to reason that they need comfort and care to the highest degree but so many opt to let their babies “cry it out” in their own beds, be comforted by a vibrating chair instead of a mother’s arms. They also may elect to feed them food that does not contain the antibodies and nutrients they need to fight off the chemicals we injected into them via vaccines, fed to them, applied topically in the form of dangerous talc baby powders, lotions, and creams, or surrounded them with via disposable diapers and flame retardant sleepers. Many of these practices work against their building immune system when we should be trying to help them develop a strong one.
I believe that natural babies thrive….
A natural birth is better for baby – Unfortunately, our society today usually views the safest birth as one that is “sterile”, fast, and entirely pain free for mom. In fact, the less inconvenienced we are by birth, the better. But I think the benefits to mom AND baby of a natural birth have been established and the way I see it…I didn’t decide to bring children into this world because it was easy…in fact I don’t think there are many times that word can be applied to raising children.
Medical interventions are often not necessary – The salves, the vitamin K, the vaccines, the circumcision…why are medical interventions that cause pain to our babies and have little benefit so widely accepted? Wherever possible I denied all of these interventions or unnecessary procedures.
Breast is best – After all of the assaults mentioned above they need the BEST nutrition possible and that is breast milk…not formula which can be contaminated, have unhealthy preservatives, or be stored in plastic or in BPA lined cans that leach chemicals.
Glass bottles or BPA free bottles are the best choice for bottle feeders – Many conventional baby bottles leach BPA into your baby’s food.
Natural baby food made at home is vastly superior to the tiny jars you buy at the grocery store. By taking the organic foods you are eating and pureeing them you save time and money and you feed your baby healthier food.
Natural home cleaners are better than conventional ones – Why use harsh chemicals to clean your home when natural products like baking soda, vinegar, lemons, and vegetable oils can get your home clean and shiny too? I wrote a great report with recipes for homemade natural cleaners…if you want to take a peek just leave a comment and let me know and I will send it to you.
Cloth diapers keep baby’s tushie chemical free – They are the healthier for baby, they are better for the environment, and they are cost efficient.
The “cry it out” philosophy is cruel – Co-sleeping allows for you and your baby to bond and it provides them with a sense of comfort. My first two kids liked to co-sleep and my third baby prefers his own bed and has since he was a couple months old. Every child is different in that respect but I would never allow any of them to cry it out so that they can learn to sleep alone or self soothe.
Wearing your baby has many benefits for mom and baby – With my last two kids I ditched those vibrating chairs and baby swings and decided to wear them. It was one of the most rewarding things I have ever experienced.
Organic bedding and clothing cuts down on cumulative exposure to chemicals. The flame retardants they put in baby pajamas, crib mattresses, and bedding is toxic stuff and is believed by many to be a big contributor to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Go natural and organic to cut down on the amount of chemicals your baby is being exposed too.
Does all that sound scary? You’re darn right it does! Why didn’t this sound so scary 16 years ago when I had my first baby? It has been a journey to get where I am now but I truly believe that natural babies thrive… Does that mean I am being critical of parents that don’t do exactly as I do. No, I am being critical of the way parents are educated or NOT educated about all of the implications of their choices. Some parents may decide that some benefits to conventional ways outweigh the risks and that is fine….just as long as they know there ARE risks. I certainly never gave much thought to these choices when I had my first baby and that is supposed to be the time in your life when you question everything! I hope that more and more moms come to challenge the status quo.