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Archive for the ‘baby bottles’ Category

After a post went up from a Babble blogger that shamed mothers who breastfeed without a nursing cover, and piece over at Slate that indicated the simplest way for us to move forward as women in society would be for lactivists to care less and the market to over better nursing covers, I was invited to write a guest post for Annie at PhD in Parenting. I hope you will visit me over there and join our conversation about misogyny, the female body, judgments and the mommy wars.

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It’s too insane to be real. A baby-swinging mother, from Russia now living in Egypt, can show you on the internet how to do ” intense baby yoga” with your newborn. And it is crazy. Sane mothers everywhere look at their screens and hope it is a newborn doll – like the slightly surreal looking ones used in childbirth classes at hospitals.  The video quality is just poor enough to allow for disbelief. But then, Gawker says it is real.

I’m hanging on to disbelief – yes, for the obvious reasons – I don’t really think this is a safe newborn practice. I am old school:  swaddle them, support their heads, keep them warm! Plenty of time for nose-dives when they are 2, that’s what I say. I’m also hanging onto disbelief because this woman seems to be offering herself as a path for mothers to take – come, you can belong here, be part of our baby-yoga-swinging community. You can do this and belong.

We seem to be finding smaller and smaller camps to divide ourselves into as mothers. Are we so unwilling to hang out with people who do not mother similarly to ourselves? Do we do this while we tell our children they are unique and special? Do we do this while we teach them to celebrate the diversity in their communities, be that home or school, town or country?

Did our mothers so sub-divide themselves, or where their fewer divisions. You were poor, middle class, or rich and  you were black, white or latina. You lived in the suburbs, country or city – but that is all. Are we more fearful? More confused? More lonely?

When I had my first child the term “Attachment Parenting” was just hitting the streets of my community. There was no internet in the way we have now. No websites, coaches, groups and fan pages. There was one sling for sale in the whole wide world.  I visited an attachment parenting play group and felt it was a group too exclusive for me.  I could not believe there was only one right way to mother. I could not be so vehement about umbrella strollers. I’d grown up in an odd little corner of Manhattan where Harlem met Columbia University. To me, attachment parenting meant rigid hippies in suburbia who had Subarus. If they had to walk as far as the mothers of Harlem, they’d have umbrella strollers too.

I never went back. I continued to breastfeed. I continued to use a stroller and a baby carriers of various sorts. I continued to “co-sleep” until none of us slept well and then we put the baby in a pak-n-play. We didn’t call it “co-sleeping.” We called it sleeping and the babies slept, with us, until they didn’t. When friends or family asked how we slept, we said, “great!” or “terrible,” depending on the day. I breastfeed and let them grab food of my plate – and formula fed when faced with Henry’s intense medical challenges.

Before the wrath of the attachment parents visits my blog in the night, I have many friends now who refer to themselves as attachment parents. They use strollers, have a long way to walk (and some of whom have Subarus.) But I won’t pick.  I won’t pick breastfeeding or formula feeding or extended co-sleeping or cribs, schooling or not – nor will I pick attachment or whatever its opposite may be.  And I will not pick intense baby yoga swinging. I’m assuming you won’t pick that one  either, but I’d love to know what you won’t pick. Or if you have picked, why it works.

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Lots of special needs children in the news these days, huh?

Today I have my own agenda to push forward and it is about that cursed stuff – BPA! More news breaks. The government is spending plenty of time not deciding what to do about it – even though consumers are turning away from it, when they have affordable options (unlike the SIGG water bottles I bought my kids, which are super cute, but pricey!) In any case, here’s the very, very latest pseudo-update, non-emphatic decision to not really do anything except freak me out:

“In a study set to be published in this week’s issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Canadian and U.S. researchers concluded low doses of BPA hinder the formation of synapses in the brain that allow neurons to communicate with one another, and are important for how we interpret and remember experiences.

for more go here –
http://www.cbc.ca/health/story/2008/09/03/bpa-tox.html

What can I say? I feel like I am beating a dead horse, but until the FDA bans this substance, everyone will keep hearing from me.
Quick, quiz: Which of my three children used baby bottles with BPA in them?

Yes, LP, the one with Sensory Processing Disorder. Yes, it really does seem that he has trouble interpreting experiences, that is for sure. When BPA comes up in the news, usually the phrase neurological comes into play. I’m just waiting for more information – waiting for that next leap. As of right now, the National Toxicology Program has given the chemical a rating of some concern. Yes, I’ve got the concerned part covered, but now what. Ban it? No, we haven’t. So now we get to have ongoing “some concern, ” or would that be some ongoing concern?

Every mother, everywhere must be able to go to the store and buy a bottle that will safely feed her child. It is particularly problematic with baby bottles – babies get almost all their nutrition in liquid form. The way I see it is this: if you use a plastic water bottle for 64 oz of cold water a day & you weigh about 130lbs your body process BPA much better, then if you weigh 16 lbs and drink 48 oz of warm formula a day. The heat of the liquid may make a difference too – there is a some indication that more chemicals will leach out of the plastic (same reason we are advised to microwave on a real plate and not in glad ware – there has been little concern about storing your food in glad ware when it is cold -the advice is to transfer it out before heating, right?)

So, every chance I get I will be raising my voice in protest and asking you to sign petitions until the FDA listens to parents and not corporations. Ban BPA from at least baby bottles, or bottles, sippies and kiddie bowls and spoons. I’d prefer it to be banned altogether. Now the upscale bottles are BPA free, but not everyone can afford those bottles. Even the cheap bottles from Gerber bought at CVS on a city street corner must be proven safe.

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