Written by contributor Katie Kimball of Kitchen Stewardship.
I probably drive my OB nuts with the number of times I say “no.” As I detailed a few months back, there are quite a few prenatal norms to which I say “no thanks.” Tomorrow, in fact, at 39 1/2 weeks, I’m going to tell the good doctor “nah, no need” when he says it’s time for the standard 39 week internal exam. I just don’t want to know (and I don’t think my due date is right anyway).
Once the baby is born, not much will change. There are still many medical norms that I don’t see to be necessary.
Disclaimer: Please keep in mind that this post is not advice, it’s simply a list of things my husband and I choose to do or not do. Discuss any medical choices with your own doctor and do more research than just trusting me, okay?
1. Early Vaccines, especially the Hepatitis B vaccine given immediately after birth
The Hep B vaccine falls into the “eye goop” category for us (see previous post). There is zero chance of an STD, so why bother? That started with my first.
I read Dr. Sears’ The Vaccine Book before my second was born and learned to space out vaccinations and selectively decline some as well. Particularly, the goals were (1) baby not too tiny and (2) not too many at once.
2. All artificial nipples, including pacifiers and bottles for the first month
We choose to ecologically breastfeed, and in order to give the baby the best chance at a good latch and avoiding “nipple confusion,” we don’t do pacifiers or bottles right away. At least, that’s the intention. It doesn’t always work out perfectly, but I definitely won’t allow a nurse at the hospital to pacify my tiny infant who needs to learn to nurse for comfort and for nourishment. Besides that, navigating the waters of “which material is safe for baby?” was tricky enough!
And definitely no bottles of water, which only fill the baby up with nothing instead of wholesome colostrum! (That practice is a bit outdated, but I bet some hospitals still provide them to nursing moms.)
Clocks and babies strike me as an artificial relationship, so I always nursed on demand, at least at first. Babies will get straightened out eventually, and you’ll survive those first few weeks when they think night is day and vice versa! Besides that, I can barely get anywhere on time myself, so I didn’t need one more chart or timetable to stress me out.
4. “Cry it out” for 6 months
I strongly believe that in the first six months, baby’s wants are equal to their needs. I won’t risk harming my attachment with my child by forcing crying and sleep before six month old. After that, don’t ask me about sleep. It’s not one of this family’s strong points. 😉
5. Formula samples
I was coerced/forced/pushed into using formula at nine days old with my first, who was slow to gain weight. I hated every second of it and still look back with regrets, wondering what that early introduction to soy and other unnatural foods and minerals may have done to his immune system. I know some babies and families aren’t able to breastfeed, but I really encourage you to try with all your might before turning to formula.
For this pregnancy, I’m adding a new one to the list: Standard baby wash filled with chemicals. I’ll be bringing my own natural soap to the hospital and asking the nurse to use it during baby’s first bath.
What’s your infant-raising philosophy? To what do you say “no” before the terrible twos arrive?