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Thread: Parenting and Fear Mongering
5th April 2013 08:55 AM #1
Parenting and Fear Mongering
I was just reading this article: Hold the Dose of Fear on the PBB site and it got me thinking about my experiences as a brand new parent.
Just like the woman in this article I faced a great deal of fear mongering, which was exacerbated by choices which incited opposition. These included requesting Vitamin K syrup rather than an injection, co-sleeping with my baby, extended breastfeeding and deciding not to vaccinate until my child was older (and not the full schedule then). Even my commitment to baby wearing was at that time (8 years ago) seen by some as the actions of an overly clingy mother making a rod for her own back.
Has anyone else faced this type of opposition which has been delivered along with a message that you are somehow harming your child or putting at risk by your 'radical' actions?
10th April 2013 07:14 AM #2
What a refreshing read this article is.
Yes - I most definitely have been on the receiving end of 'fear mongering'. In fact, my very first contact with my doctor when I found out I was 5 weeks pregnant in my first pregnancy was to tell me 'lots of pregnancies end in miscarriage so that may happen to you'. I sometimes wonder if the stress I felt after being told this by my GP contributed to this first pregnancy sadly ending in a miscarriage.
Then later, with my second pregnancy, there were the birth fear stories and yes I did have a traumatic first birth. But no-one told me how to relax, and breathe and go with your body.
Then more fear mongering. How much weight the baby had/ hadn't put on. Co-sleeping. Baby wearing. Tandem feeding.
Enough! I love my local breastfeeding support group, my amazing hypnobirthing doula and this excellent pregnancy forum. I want to spend this precious time just letting my children and babies be. I know when they are ill or we need extra help. I am their mother. And what we want most is to play, cuddle, breastfeed and co-sleep whilst they explore the world at their own pace.
Thank you for sharing this. I believe that positive, educated, caring parenting is always better than parenting out of fear.
22nd April 2013 05:25 PM #3
You and I could be twins separated at birth! There is so much fear mongering in our society these days that it is no wonder many women face birth and motherhood convinced of failure. My first (and only) successful pregnancy ended in a cesarean after a long and difficult labour. I recall looking in my baby's blue book and seeing the words 'failure to progress' and thinking 'great. I have already been branded.'
From day one the hospital staff seemed to go out of their way to scare me into submission. Letting my day-old baby sleep on the bed beside me while I read a magazine (with the bed side up!) was going to result in a head injury. Putting a cute little hat on her just to take some photos would result in cot death if I forgot to take it off! It was insane.
I quickly made enemies by refusing to listen. These were some of the reasons I had wanted to birth at home and while I hated being there, it was oddly vindicating to see that I wasn't a radical - the hospital system really were fear mongering extremists! Okay... maybe that's a little extreme but I am sure you know what I mean!
Like you I have embraced circles, groups and individuals who turn their backs on the fear mongering!
24th April 2013 06:53 AM #4
How wonderful that you have said no to the fear mongering and instead gone on a gentle, positive and empowering parenting journey! After all, the parenting style you talk about is the most natural. What a terrible shame that so many parents are too scared to follow their parenting instincts. Here's hoping for change!