Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Baby Ethics

Crib Craze
It's amazing how many people suddenly weigh in with opinions when you are about to have your first child. With twins, one of those ethical dilemmas is the crib. I can't tell you how many people have adopted a stern and serious look when I mentioned that the "cribs" were arriving (we pick them up today - YEAH!). They proceed to ask if we are going to keep the twins in separate cribs. Sigh. These cribs convert into beds, and since twins can't sleep together forever, we purchased two of the same, with plans to use one for as long as we can. Why people feel the right to know this, or have some opinion on how our babies sleep is beyond me. The naughty me wants to say, "Crib? They are going to sleep in our dresser drawers for the first few months."

Bottles and Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding is another issue. Indeed, I never considered NOT breastfeeding, and would be devastated if I couldn't, but with twins, it's completely logical to me to pump into bottles in addition to skin-to-skin. I really don't care what anyone else thinks about that. They will still get tender loving care and the best nutrition possible (and others will get to help feed them), but the minute you mention the word "bottle," the reaction can be rather interesting.

With a mother who was a pioneer in La Leche League at a time when breastfeeding was considered taboo, one would think that she would be the one turning up the heat, but not so. Thanks, ma, for helping change the world for the improved health of infants at a time when health professionals didn't get it. Now they really get it, and all of that hard work has changed the landscape of infant nutrition! Also, thanks for committing to never judge someone's feeding choice. That's just commendable for one who was on the receiving end of so much criticism for breastfeeding and laying the foundation for women to breastfeed in public without being charged for indecent exposure!

Alcohol vs. Drugs
We attended our last prenatal class last night. I am sure C asked over and over in his mind why I wanted him to come to that class with me, but there he was, tending to one of our two baby dolls as if it were the real thing. Later he explained, "I just wanted to prove to you that if I can hold and take care of a fake baby for 2.5 hours, I can take care of a real one for at least 10-15 minutes!"

He leaned over after the first two hours and said, "I am bored out of my mind, and the answer to every single question is, 'it depends!'" I laughed because he was right.

When he later mentioned that he never heard the answer to how augmentation impacted breastfeeding, I said, "You were sending an e-mail when she gave the answer. It was, 'It depends.'"

When discussing the ability for Rx drugs to cross into breastmilk, the lactation specialist comforted everyone by explaining that very few drugs do cross over. C, who appreciates a good controversy asked, "What about alcohol?" Everyone in the room stared, including the lactation specialist. She sternly mumbled something about all of it crossing over. My public self wanted to deflect the searing stares by explaining that neither of us drink alcohol, but I just absorbed it all with a sigh. C wasn't impressed with the "alcohol-bad, drugs-good" message conveyed in the meeting, since prescription drugs are abused rather prevalently in our culture.

Parenthood sure opens up a can of rainbow colored worms, and while we are huge advocates for privacy, we are also learning how to adapt to the varying opinions floating around about what's right. A good friend put it like this, "They are your responsibility, so while everyone else will have an opinion, it's up to you to make sure your babies get what they need."

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