Parenting by media
You’re only mom enough if you nurse. You should be able to get your post-baby body back in just a few weeks or you’re not trying hard enough. Don’t share breastmilk or your baby is going to be poisoned. All of these opinions are drawn from studies or hype that the media has delivered to us in recent years.
Do you believe all of that?
Good. Me neither.
But what if you did, and you felt horrible guilt over something you did (or didn’t do)? Or worse yet, you changed what you were doing and ignored your gut because something in the news made you question yourself.
Here’s what I want to blog about today: how are we as parents supposed to interpret and digest all of the information that the Internet and news outlets hurl at us on a daily basis? How do we know what’s legitimate and what is filler? Even with a medical degree, I often find myself combing through studies to try to understand if they’re really any good, and that takes time, effort, and a knowledge of statistics (yeah, that’s not super fun).
Take our recent Buying breast milk online: is it dangerous? article. The article was written based on reporting from a recent AAP study showing that milk purchased online had a high rate of bacterial contamination, and because of this, women should be wary of such types of milk sharing.
What followed on our website was one of the reasons Bundoo is awesome—an intelligent conversation regarding the study’s evidence and interpretation of the data. That doesn’t happen on most parenting websites, right? I have to say I’m proud we have parents who push us and ask the hard questions.
Anyway, back to the article. The gist was, “The FDA recommends that you first talk to your doctor. If together you agree that human breast milk is best for your baby, your doctor can help you find a safe source.” Bingo. While this study had some flaws and I am thrilled we got to highlight them, the article’s message about personalizing this issue to you, and involving your doctor, is really what we need to remember.
So in the end, if you see something on the evening news that appears to be the latest and greatest in pregnancy or parenting, take pause and consult a trusted a source before giving it 100 percent credit. Talk to your doctor. Do your own research. Stop by Bundoo and ask us what we think. We’re happy to help.
(And for the record, breastfeeding didn’t make me mom enough—birthing a child and surviving teething did, and I find the idea of losing the pregnancy weight in a few weeks hilarious/insane. Take that, media giants!)