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Some clarity…

May 22, 2011

I have strong opinions on a lot of things – and I won’t apologize for that. However, I do feel like I should explain some things; I’ve also had my opinion change on occasion, and it feels like time to update that. I’ll start with, in my opinion, the most controversial thing I’ve possibly ever said to anyone.

It is my firm belief that those who are medical professionals need to be as free from biases as possible. Doctors who believe firmly that c-sections should be the standard way of giving birth because it’s convenient to them, for example, are putting their patients in harm’s way. On the other side of the coin, a midwife who insists that a woman’s body will deliver a child regardless of anything else (placenta previa, inability to dilate, etc), is equally dangerous. Vaginal delivery is generally the best option, of course, but there are always circumstances that make that impossible or impractical for some women. I strongly believe that c-sections should only be used when necessary to literally save the lives of mother and baby (or babies). Women should also be the ones to decide whether or not they want to attempt a VBAC or do a repeat c-section – not the insurance companies! Our bodies are strong, but we all need to respect our own abilities and limitations. There is no room for a personal vendetta against a procedure in the delivery room – regardless of how it happens, a baby is being born there and mom needs all the support she can get.

Breastfeeding. I’m something of a “lactivist”, without the violent urges to expose myself while nursing in public or to berate moms who bottle feed. I don’t know that that’s always come across. Just like delivering, each mother has a different situation – if breastfeeding works out best, awesome! It’s a major challenge, and given the obstacles I’ve faced, I feel pretty awesome about being able to continue to nurse my toddler. If formula feeding turns out best, that’s awesome too! It’s not easy to have to make a bottle at 4am! There are difficulties to both. It’s all about what works best for mom and baby. Any more, formula has made leaps and bounds towards being nutritionally the same as breastmilk. That’s phenomenal!

I don’t think my mind will ever change regarding vaccines. They’re fully necessary and DON’T cause autism. More and more, they’re proving that it is genetics that cause – in particular, it often comes from the father. Short-term discomfort is outweighed by the long term benefits.

I feel like I had more to say…but I can’t think of it now.

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