Good Parenting Reads

A postpartum with an awesome couple reminded me of something: a parent's best gift they can give themselves is grace to ask for or seek out help if they feel they need it! With that, I figured I would share some great reads for new parents are all over the blogsphere this month!

"While things have come a long way since the days when mothers were routinely given injections to “dry up” their milk, there are still a number of breastfeeding issues which are often overlooked during our hospital stay.
How do I know?  Because when I see moms in the community and notice these issues, they report that no one did in the hospital.  Or if they did, it was often either ignored or mismanaged"- Booby Traps Series: Five frequently missed or mismanaged breastfeeding issues in the hospital
Nurturing Self/Baby:
"Giving your babies breast milk is one of the greatest gifts you can give them, regardless of your nutritional status. But over my 8+ years as a momma studying pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding, I’ve learned of several ways we can take that wonderful gift of breast milk and make it even more beneficial to our babies. We’ve probably all heard that consuming lots of omega-3 fats (through fish and plant sources) will benefit our babies’ brains and our own emotional health, but there are other ways to improve the quality of the milk we produce for our babies. Here are just a few of them…"- Building Better Breastmilk

"Carrying your child in a sling has many well documented benefits yet it often seems that society is still playing catch up. Parents using slings report negative reactions from friends, family and even complete strangers. Being told that a choice you are making for your child is wrong can be hard, especially if it is a choice that feels so right for you.

When deciding how to deal with negativity to your choice to carry your child in a sling – or any parenting choice- it can be useful to consider why they feel the need to express the negativity in the first place. The vast majority of comments fall into these two categories:" - “Why don’t you ever put that poor baby down?” and How to Deal with Babywearing Negativity
When I was a younger mom, I used to count the hours. I counted the meager number of hours I slept each night, the number of hours I spent rocking a screaming baby, and the number of hours I spent nursing. I counted the number of hours I spent making meals and cleaning up the kitchen, the number of hours spent folding laundry and vacuuming. I counted the number of hours my boss was late in picking up her son, and how many hours I spent in traffic trying to get home. I counted the number of hours I spent editing my husband’s papers and the hours he spent away at class each day. I counted the hours until he came home.
With all the hours counted, I knew just how tired I could be, or irritated, or unproductive. I knew how much to require of other people and how much to coddle myself. I knew what I could or could not do." - Counting the Hours
"There are so very many options after baby is born. One of the seemingly less considerable options is to bathe or not to bathe baby in the moments following birth.

Routinely, hospitals encourage families to have the hospital nursery staff bathe their baby within 2-4 hours after birth to 'decontaminate baby' from the messiness of birth." - Baby's First Bath
"My education about the male body was the same as most kids growing up in the Midwest in the 1980/90s. I don't recall even hearing the word "circumcision" until I was at least 16. It was only about 5 minutes of the human sexuality class at my Catholic high school. It consisted of our teacher basically saying, "The foreskin is a flap of skin on the end of the penis that is removed soon after birth, for hygienic reasons. I once knew a man who needed to be circumcised in old age, and the recovery was horrible. So it's better to do it early..."

I remember my B.S. meter going off at the time, but I didn't revisit the issue until years later. What I found out horrified and angered me. The foreskin wasn't just a “flap of skin”, it was a healthy and functional part of the male body, with a purpose. I looked into the history of circumcision in this country, and saw that it wasn't health concerns that had driven its rise at all, and that in fact, there were no health benefits to doing it. Once I learned that no health organization in the world recommends routine infant circumcision, that was it. No way would I even consider doing such things to a child of mine." - Why I Speak Up

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