Tuesday, April 1, 2008

The New Mother's Dilemma

“What’s for dinner, honey?”

“Oh corn dipped in trans fats with a side of high fructose corn syrup and a glass of Prozac”.

Recently, I am finding that simple questions have increasingly complex answers.

When I had my son three and a half years ago, I never second guessed basic decisions like what bottles to use or whether or not to get him vaccinated.

I used BPA laden plastic bottles and filled them with formula mixed with Prozac-riddled tap water and didn’t bat an eye.

However, over the past year there has been a baby boom (explosion really) among my circle of friends and I have found myself an old mom surrounded by newbies, fielding a steady stream of questions that I had never confronted.

In "The Omnivores Dilemma", Michael Pollan uses the question “What's for dinner?” to explore the impact of the choices we make as we put food on the table for our families. After reading OD, it struck me that we mothers have a dilemma of our own.

Much like the challenge everyone faces when trying to put a healthy meal on the table, we must weed through tons of conflicting information, alarming headlines and marketing jargon to make decisions about the products we buy for our children. The information overload coupled with a healthy questioning of the intentions of big business and big medicine leaves us confused and concerned. In the next few entries, I will take a closer look at “The New Mother's Dilemma”, how we get our information, evaluate it and ultimately make a decision about what to do or buy.

Here are the questions my friends have been asking lately. I invite you to submit others and we can explore them together.

Which bottles did you use?

What did you use to mix the formula?

What diapers did you use?

What baby lotion did you buy?

When did you get him vaccinated?

2 comments:

Jenni said...

Hi Megan! Congrats on your new blog and biz -- can't wait to see what that's all about.

I'm still breastfeeding the babe, but we're going to supplement with formula while I make the transition back to work. It looks like we're going with Similac's organic version. BPA in can liners is definitely a concern for us. Raleigh's been doing some research (http://www.ewg.org/babysafe) and has found Similac to be among the best in that regard.

I think we'll mix the formula with distilled water, because ours has fluoride.

Currently, we're using Seventh Generation disposable dipes. We have some hand-me-down cloth diapers and want to make the move to those soon. We've been putting it off because Evie's bum is so tiny! She hasn't gained weight very quickly and is still wearing newborn sizes. But we're getting close.

As for vaccines, she got the rotovirus and HIB at two months and goes back for the PC at three months. We're following Dr. Sears' delayed schedule and minimizing the amount of aluminum she gets at each appointment. I highly recommend The Vaccine Book for tons of info on vaccine safety, efficacy, and ingredients.

I look forward to learning your perspective on these issues. Thanks for starting such an interesting and important discussion!

Jenni said...

Missed a couple!

bottles: Medela's, because they're BPA-free and readily available

baby lotion: mostly Burt's Bees baby bee products, although we'd like to investigate the fragrance used in their products

We also some California Baby products that are fragrance-free.