That Time I Was Mom Shamed for Being an at Home Mom

A while back there were some not nice comments being left on my blogs about at home parents and working moms. First, I love the working mom and what she stands for. I also love the at home mom and what she stands for. Whatever you decide is your business, and is the right decision for you and your family. Don’t let anyone else tell you differently!

Anyway, I have told by some of my readers that I was setting a bad example to my children by not working. I was showing them working is not important. I have been told I was showing my daughters how stereotypical it was for moms to be at home and that they would never amount to anything so long as I was not working. I have been told that I am hating on the working moms by asking parents to spend time off with their children. I have been told that I am a bad mother for being at home so I can be there for my children 100% of the time. I should be teaching my children “disappointment”.

Anyone else angered by this? Anyone else see how ridiculous and hateful these comments are?

I have to say I have been fuming over this for several months. You can read more about this in my article “Mom Shaming/Bashing: Why Are We Doing This?” I am writing about it today to help myself build a thicker skin from this. I also want to clarify to my readers that they will NOT break me down. I will not apologize for my family’s and I’s decision for me to be there for my children 100% of the time. I want my children to know they can always rely on me no matter what!

Advertisements

5 Things New Moms Never Talk About

Photo Credit Unknown.

Becoming a new mom was one of the hardest things I ever did. There was so much I expected that never happened. Then there was so much I did not expect that happened. I went in to wanting to become a mother with the thoughts of “I was made to be a mom. I’m ready for this. I can do this. There’s nothing to it. I have so much experience already with parenting and great examples of how NOT to parent.” There were so many emotions I had hoped I felt that I didn’t. Every day it was a new challenge I was not prepared for.

 1) Birthing Plans Gone Wrong

csection vs normal
Photo Credit Health Infi, healthinfi.com. (2017)

Yes, your birthing plan is not going to go how you originally planned. It’s just not. Sorry. If you are fortunate enough to have it go how you want it to you are in a VERY small percentage.

I wanted an all natural birth. By that I mean I wanted to have a natural birth with no drugs to help along the process or help with pain. I ended up having to be induced (strike 1). I had to have pain medication because I was about to rip the railing off of the hospital bed (strike 2). Eventually everything went wrong and I had to have an emergency c-section (strike 3). I know a ton of people who have the same hopes, but end up having to have that episiotomy they didn’t want, or they had to have that pain medication they didn’t want.

 2) Bonding With Your Little One

bonding with your baby
Photo Credit RCGP, emmasdiary.co.uk. (2016)

Bonding with your newborn baby is supposed to be natural…or at least I was always taught that. When they brought her to me I was so scared to hold her. I didn’t have an immediate instinct to want her in my arms. I had labored for 15 hours, had an emergency c-section, and it was late at night. She was sleeping and I was so scared she would wake up and cry and I would have NO IDEA how to care for her. My mother instincts I was so sure that I possessed had suddenly vanished.

 3) Breastfeeding is Hard!

got milk
Photo Credit The Medical Mama, themedicalmamac.wordpress.com. (2018)

From my own article on breastfeeding, “We all go in to pregnancy thinking “I am going to breastfeed. That’s what I’m doing and I’m not even going to consider the possibility that I can’t do it.” Those moms are the ones who refuse to buy bottles, nipples, formula, formula accessories, etc. News flash first time moms: It doesn’t work that way. No, I am not mom shaming. I love first time moms, and there is NOTHING wrong with being a first time mom. They have no idea yet what parenting really feels like, and they have so much joy to spread. You get to be excited with them. I was a first time mom at one point too. Don’t forget that. I love that you have the mentality to go forward with such hope and positivity. It will hopefully get you where you want to go. I know so many women who go in to that mentality (I was definitely one of them) and then were not able to produce the milk like they wanted. Don’t think just because you say you are going to that you are actually going to be able to. Your body decides. Not your brain” (The Medical Mama., 2018).

 4) So Many Emotions

hormones
Photo Credit someecards. (Unknown)

When I got home from the hospital I got in the shower to clean off the hospital smell and get back to feeling like “myself”. I remember standing there crying. I was a mess with no sense of WHY I was even upset. All those hormones rushing through your body from being a new mom to your body all of a sudden doing something it wasn’t used to doing like making breast milk.

You are going to break down and cry about nothing. Just remember you aren’t really upset with your baby or your spouse. This can all be explained by hormones. Make sure you know the difference between baby blues and postpartum depression.

 5) Lots of Sleep Deprivation

sleep deprived
Photo Credit David Wolfe, davidwolfe.com. (2018)

The “funny” thing everyone seems to always say to a first time mom is “Sleep while you still can”. I never found it that funny, but everyone still seems to think it is. I would say it’s more like “Enjoy your sleep while you still can”. It’s so true though. After you have a baby you are so tired. That does not help at all with what I mentioned in #4. You are hormonal anyways. You add sleep deprivation to that and you have a recipe for one cranky mommy.

No I mean it, you will never feel like you have enough sleep ever again. Baby will eventually start sleeping through the night, but they are still going to need you when they’re sick, upset, scared, etc. Nights will be long for the rest of your life.

It’s okay to seek help. Ask your spouse for help. Ask your mom or dad for help. If needed go talk to a professional. It is okay for motherhood to not live up to all your expectations. Just know you now have a little human being who needs you. Make sure you are that fantastic role model and put your child’s needs first.

The 5 Secret Words of the Secret Baby Language You Never Heard of

Did you ever hear about the time the lady on Oprah told the world that babies speak their own language?

I was blown away when I saw this video about 6 years ago. I just knew as a new mother I was not about to follow some “parenting” advice.

However, I have to tell you. This is true. This worked with both my children. There really is a secret language between babies.

Let’s talk about these “words”.

1)”Neh” = Hungry

bottleThis sound derives from their sucking reflex. They put their tongue at the top of their mouth and make the noise “Neh”.

Babies ask “Neh” nicely. When their needs are not being met with being fed it turns in to a little more admiration about getting your attention. If it is still not responded to then it can turn in to a full blown crying fit and baby can be hard to console and get to feed.

2)”Owh” = Sleepy

yawning babyThis one is kind of like when you’re tired and you open your mouth to yawn. When babies do it then it comes out sounding like “Owh”.

Priscilla Dunstan explains this is based on a yawning reflex.

3)”Heh” = Discomfort

discomfort for baby

With this “word” you want to listen for the distinct “H” sound at the beginning of the word.

This could be something as simple as changing their positions with how they’re sitting or laying down. It could also mean they just need their diaper changed.

4)”Eair” = Lower Gas

baby

Priscilla Dunstan explains this is a lower sound because it comes from lower in the belly.

5)”Eh” = Burp

burping baby

This comes there being an air bubble and the reflex to needing to relieve that explains Priscilla Dunstan.

Make sure you check out the video below for more information!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Ways of Putting God in to Your Parenting

Photo Credit Family Matters Practical Parenting Blog. (Unknown).

Proverbs 22:6 says “Teach children in a way that fits their needs, and even when they are old, they will not leave the right path” (ERV).

So what does this mean? For me, personally, this means to teach my children about God on a daily basis through our daily actions and decisions. We can go in to this further by giving examples.

1. Pray Every Day

pray every day
Photo Credit Clipart Station. (Unknown).

This one might seem like an obvious thing to point out. However, how many of you prayed with your family daily? I did. Did you know I pray to God daily as an adult.

Praying with your family before eating meals also instills the “family unit”. It is important to set the precedence for your child and their future. Hopefully they will pass this on to their children to lead a Christ loving life.

You can also pray before bedtime and every morning when you wake up. We started praying with our oldest every evening when she was about 2 years old. She continues to pray before bed time and loves praying. Sometimes I even catch her on her hands and knees praying to God randomly throughout the day. I can tell she strives to lead a Christ loving life.

2. Reading the Bible

reading the bible.png
Photo Credit Unknown.

Reading the Bible with your child helps them not only learn to read, but to go to the Bible for answers. It teaches them to rely on God to lead them in their daily lives.

The Bible tells us in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All scripture is given by God. And all scripture is useful for teaching and for showing people what is wrong in their lives. It is useful for correcting faults and teaching the right way to live. Using the scriptures, those who serve God will be prepared and will have everything they need to do every good work” (ERV).

You can show them to let the Bible guide them through their struggles. In Psalms 119:105 we are reminded “Your word is like a lamp that guides my steps, a light that shows the path I should take (ERV).

3. Remind Them of the 10 Commandments

ten commandmentsThe ten commandments are God’s laws. We should obey them in our daily passing with life and with interactions with others. First, I would like to say I am not perfect and God knows that. I struggle day to day trying to live according to God’s way. We are reminded daily of the ten commandments how we fall short of this.

When a child lies about something they did we can remind them of commandment #9 You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. When a child is jealous of something their friend has they keep bothering you for the same thing we can remind them of commandment #10. I could go on and on about this. I am reminded of these not only in my daily life, but in my daughters’ lives. I remind them daily of God’s laws that he commands us to obey.

4. Point Out God’s Work in Daily Passing

gods work

God does some pretty amazing things. One of them being the world around us. Whenever I see a beautiful sunset or sunrise I say “Wow God. Good job!” I make sure to point out the wonderful things God has done for us on a daily basis. We have a roof over our heads, a big house for the 4 of us to live in that accommodates our day to day needs and then some, delicious food in our bellies daily, and other amazing things I am grateful for daily.

I make sure to point these little things out to our daughters daily. I want to remind them that if it were not for God we would not have the nice things around us. We would not have the easy life we have. We would also not have the beauty outside.

5. Setting the Example of How God Wants us to be

lead by exampleTitus 2:6-7 says “In the same way, tell the young men to be wise. You should be an example for them in every way by the good things you do” (ERV).

This gives us a very clear view of what God expects from us. We should lead by example. We should not only set a good example to our children, but to others we come in contact with on a daily basis. Shining God outwards from within our daily actions spreads God’s love and His word.

Having a child and raising a child is truly a gift to God. You are raising a disciple of Christ. I hope and pray that my daughters outwardly shine with God’s love and give an infectious laugh of joy to pass on to others.

How are you parenting?

Rehashing-Postpartum Depression: What Should I Know?

Photo Credit Creekside Center for Women, 2018

This article means so much to me as I suffered from postpartum depression with my first pregnancy. This is something serious that I feel I need to share and reach out to other moms who are going through the same thing, or even think they might have postpartum depression. Thank you for reading today.

Let’s take a minute to talk about something real.

What is Postpartum Depression?

depression stats
Photo Credit Winnie Palmer Hospital, ahealthblog.com, 2018

Postpartum depression is “depression suffered by a mother following childbirth, typically arising from the combination of hormonal changes, psychological adjustment to motherhood, and fatigue” (Dictionary.com, 2018). Postpartum depression is a real issue that needs to be addressed, especially among the mom community. There is no shame if you are suffering from it right now, or have in the past. Did you know that 1 in 7 women suffer from postpartum depression (American Psychology Association, 2018)? The CDC says that depression varies by state.

My Experience. My Story.

Unfortunately, I have suffered from postpartum depression. I used to feel shameful about it. With therapy I now know it was not my fault, and there are things you can do to help. I will talk about that later in the article as well. I want to share my story to help other moms who might be suffering.

I remember after I had my daughter (5 years ago) listening to her cry. She was colic from an unknown allergy, which we discovered about a year ago. She cried what seemed non stop. We hardly slept at night. We did not get any kind of spacial time away from her unless she was at my parents’ house (thank you mom and dad). I had to keep her on me at all times otherwise she was more unhappy and cried louder. There were times I had to just let her cry in her crib because she could cry just as easily there as she could in my arms. I needed a break. I needed 10 minutes to myself, then I would go tend to her again. She was in-consolable.

I started having panic attacks from the constant crying. Anyone who’s had a panic attack knows it feels like a heart attack in your chest and you can’t catch your breath. I was having these randomly throughout the day too. It would knock me to my knees and I couldn’t get up. That is when I decided to seek help. It was the best thing I did for myself and for my daughter. My husband, bless his heart, was so supportive through it all (thank you husband). I got a part-time job to get myself out of the house and away for a bit. I started going on walks with our dog by myself to have that moment of clarity. This is what worked for me, but it may not for you. I will discuss some strategies further in my article.

If you have suffered from postpartum depression before please feel free to share your story below. This will help other moms as well.

How Do I Know I don’t Just Have the “Baby Blues?”

baby blues vs postpartum
Photo Credit Kristen, The Healing Group, 2014

That is an excellent point! Baby blues are completely different than postpartum depression. It is so normal to feel weepy, tired, and exhausted after having a baby. The first few months are so hard, especially for first time moms (there is nothing wrong with first time moms either). You should have an increase in appetite and start molding in to that motherly role after a few weeks. You also will have good sleep when you do sleep. It’s normal to have worries throughout your thoughts and throughout your day (Bennett, S., 2016). Don’t worry, worrying about your child if you’re doing well makes you already a better parent than those that don’t.

Below is a chart to help guide your thoughts on whether or not you think you might have some issues with postpartum depression vs baby blues. Please keep in mind this is a guide, and not purposed with actual diagnosing your symptoms online. As always talk to your doctor if you think you might have postpartum depression.

postpartum vs baby blues vs psychosis
Photo Credit thesecrettogivingbirth.com, Unknown

Symptoms and Signs of Postpartum Depression

disinterest
Photo Credit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2017

Let’s talk about symptoms and signs of postpartum depression. You may be reading this wondering if you have it. If you have just given birth and feel symptoms of hopelessness, sadness, exhaustion with sadness, and having a hard time coping with daily life you might have postpartum depression (National Institute of Mental Health, 2018). You could also be feeling overwhelmed, feeling anxious, crying a lot more than normal, over sleeping, or having disinterest. Make sure you do not confuse these with baby blues. If it is baby blues you should start feeling better in a couple weeks after giving birth.

crying in bed
Photo Credit drawingofpencil.com

For me the disinterest is what gave it away that there was a problem. My daughter would cry, and sometimes I literally did not care. I didn’t have that motherly instinct to help her. I would just lay there in bed crying. I knew at that moment it was time to do something to help myself and our child.

Please seek help right away if you are unable to help your baby because of your depression. This is a serious condition.

Please look over this chart and see if you have a significant majority of these signs:

signs of postpartum
Photo Credit Binkgirl, Steemit, 2017

How Does Someone Get Postpartum Depression?

I’m glad you asked. A lot of people are actually unaware of what it is and how someone “gets it”. It is not a disease, or a virus. It is nothing along those lines. It’s not even “regular” depression. They are both clinically different forms of depression. Yes, they share a lot of common symptoms, but they are different.

Clinical Depression Causes

Well, first and foremost clinical depression is not caused by just having a baby. Did you know that depression is hereditary (Meaney, M., 2015)? Let me also clarify this. You can develop depression from other ways. It doesn’t have to just be hereditary (ie. bullying, anxiety, down in life, etc).

Many people suggest depression is a chemical imbalance in the brain. This is only half true. “To be sure, chemicals are involved in this process, but it is not a simple matter of one chemical being too low and another too high. Rather, many chemicals are involved, working both inside and outside nerve cells. There are millions, even billions, of chemical reactions that make up the dynamic system that is responsible for your mood, perceptions, and how you experience life” (Harvard Health Publishing, 2017). So you see, there are many factors influencing depression.

Postpartum Depression Causes

causes postpartum
Photo Credit Lifestyle, LinkedIn, 2016

“There’s no single cause of postpartum depression, but physical and emotional issues may play a role.

  • Physical changes. After childbirth, a dramatic drop in hormones (estrogen and progesterone) in your body may contribute to postpartum depression. Other hormones produced by your thyroid gland also may drop sharply — which can leave you feeling tired, sluggish and depressed.
  • Emotional issues. When you’re sleep deprived and overwhelmed, you may have trouble handling even minor problems. You may be anxious about your ability to care for a newborn. You may feel less attractive, struggle with your sense of identity or feel that you’ve lost control over your life. Any of these issues can contribute to postpartum depression” (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2018).

Okay I Think I Have Postpartum Depression. What Do I DO Next? How is my Doctor Going to Treat it?

 The first thing you should do if you suspect you have postpartum depression is contact your doctor’s office. Make an appointment. Make sure you let the nurse on the phone know what is going on so you can get in faster to help relieve your symptoms. This will help you and help your child.

Your doctor is going to ask you a series of questions. More than likely you will need to fill out a questionnaire to give the doctor more information. They may even order blood tests to make sure there isn’t another hormonal imbalance contributing to your symptoms.

Some things they will suggest are either taking medications (antidepressants), or talking to a psychologist/psychiatrist. This depends on if you want medications. I was able to talk to a psychologist and that helped tremendously. If you are uncomfortable about taking medications, like I was, I would start with a psychologist and go from there. They may recommend medication though.

Just remember to talk to your doctor if you even suspect you might have postpartum depression. It might be baby blues, or it might be more serious. Do not feel shameful if you experience any of the symptoms. This is a huge issue that needs to be discussed to help others.

As always please share your story below to help other moms and parents.

Resources:

American Psychology Association. (2018). Postpartum Depression: What is Postpartum Depression and Anxiety? Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/pi/women/resources/reports/postpartum-depression.aspx

Dictionary.com. (2018). Postpartum Depression. Retrieved from https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-1-ab&q=Dictionary#dobs=postpartum%20depression

National Institute of Mental Health. (2018). Postpartum Depression Facts. Retrieved from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/postpartum-depression-facts/index.shtml

Bennett, Shoshana, American Pregnancy.org. (2016). Do I Have the Baby Blues or Postpartum Depression? Retrieved from http://americanpregnancy.org/first-year-of-life/baby-blues-or-postpartum-depression/

Meaney, Michael, Psychology Today. (2015) Is Depression Hereditary? Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/hope-through-research/201509/is-depression-hereditary

Harvard Health Publishing. (2017). What Causes Depression? Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/what-causes-depression

Mayo Clinic Staff. (2018). Postpartum depression. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/postpartum-depression/symptoms-causes/syc-20376617

 

Rehashing-The Power of the Steam Shower

Photo Illustrated by Getty

I want to start this article off with letting all the parents out there know YOU ARE doing a great job. Don’t get discouraged with anything you read. Don’t hesitate to get help when needed. You are fantastic, beautiful and doing great!

Cold and Flu Season is Among Us.

It is cold and flu season, so I wanted to talk about the power of the steam shower. There are so many benefits to a steamy shower for your child. These benefits include loosening congestion, opens your lungs, and helps soothe a cough. Some other benefits, other than it’s great for your pores, include relief of asthma symptoms, and croup. According to an article in Steam Showers Inc., which you can read about here, cold weather can lower your immune system. Your immune system allows you to fight off infections and viruses associated with the common cold and influenza. This is why I am so passionate about showing parents the power of the steam shower. It will work miracles for you and help your little ones not only feel better, but get better as well.

My Child and a Steam Shower? How the Heck Does That Work?

My favorite way to do a steam shower with my daughter is to actually make her take a hot steamy shower. I let the “hotter than normal” water run and she can sit/play/relax in the shower as long as she wants. First, I want to clarify when I say “hotter than normal” water I mean I use a safe temp then make it a little warmer. I still feel the water to make sure it is not going to burn her skin or become dangerous in any way. Also, my daughter is 5, so she can tell me if the water is just way too hot for her skin.

Now if you have a baby or a little one my recommendation for incorporating a hot shower includes you (the parent) getting in the shower with the baby. Hold the baby against your chest and help them breathe in the steam. Be sure they don’t ingest the water as to avoid dry drowning later. Some parents prefer to just sit in the bathroom and let the water run. Then the steam from the shower fills the bathroom and they allow their baby/child to breathe it in that way. Personally, I prefer being in the shower with my baby. First, it promotes mother-baby bonding time and skin to skin contact. Second, it gets your baby in the shower with the shower curtain to help keep the steam in the shower.

How do I Know if the Steam Shower is Working?

Your child will start to cough. That is okay. That just means the lungs are opening up to allow air flow now. Coughing up “gunk” is a good thing for your child. I always look at it as I’m coughing up the germs making me sick. After a few steam showers your child will start feeling better. They will have had a chance to give their lungs and sinuses some time to “heal” essentially. You might be asking yourself “How often should I be giving these steam showers?” I am glad you asked. I recommend one in the morning after waking up to help open up the lungs and chest for the day. And another one right before bed to help do the same thing. This will give your child’s lungs a chance to function normal at the beginning of the night, so they are not up the entire night coughing or struggling for air.

What Else Can I do to Alleviate These Symptoms: Humidifier VS Vaporizer.

Everyone loves breathing in steam to help them feel better. I recommend when your child is really sick (but has already seen the Dr, or isn’t sick enough to see the Dr) to leave them in a room with you and the door shut with a humidifier or vaporizer going.

Let’s talk about vaporizers and humidifiers.

A humidifier releases cool mist in to the air. “Humidifiers release cool moisture into the air by breaking up cool water particles using a rapidly turning disk submerged in water, dispersing cool mist into the air” (Air and Water, 2017). They do generally cost more than a vaporizer. Also, they require more maintenance. You are more likely to get mold and mildew in/on your walls and furniture. You might be wondering which humidifier you should choose. I have heard a lot of great things about the Honeywell brand. You can look on their site here for a Honeywell humidifier. They do need to be cleaned often to remove this mold and mildew from the humidifier as well.

Let’s talk about vaporizers. Vaporizers release a warm mist in to the air. They contain a heating element to boil the water. “Inhalants such as plant extracts, herbs, and other medicinal vapors can be used with vaporizers to help with coughs and colds.” (Air and Water, 2017). These do not require as much maintenance, but do require some still. There is a lesser risk of germs and bacteria being released in to the air because the water is being boiled.

I want to put a link here for buying the one that we use, and the one I highly recommend. It is the Vicks Warm Steam Vaporizer. I recommend this one because we can actually add the smell of Vicks to the warm mist being released in to the air. It is perfectly safe for children to inhale. You can put little pads in the designated spot, or you can use a liquid that pours in to a little container that is also designated on the vaporizer. This vaporizer is amazing for helping my asthmatic child when it flares up from having a cold or virus. This is why I highly recommend this one, however everyone’s child is different and you should use whichever one is best suited for your child and your home.

Which one do you prefer? Comment below and tell us please.

Other Resources:

Steam Showers Inc. (2014). Treating a Common Cold with a Steam Shower. Retrieved from http://steamshowersinc.com/blog/treating-a-common-cold-with-a-steam-shower/

Mauer, E. (Unknown). Dry Drowning: Know the Signs. Retrieved from https://www.parents.com/kids/safety/outdoor/dry-drowning/

Air and Water. (2017). Humidifiers Vs. Vaporizers: Which One Do You Need and Why? Retrieved from https://www.air-n-water.com/humidifiers-vs-vaporizers.htm

 

Rehashing-Don’t Touch My Child!

Photo Credit vegeta the saiyan, Reddit.com

Since we’re still in cold/flu season with the weather changing I want to talk about how easy it is to spread germs to a newborn/baby/young child. I think the number one thing I hear moms with new babies (not to be confused with first time moms) is that everyone seems to think it’s okay to touch a baby’s face, or put their fingers in the baby’s mouth. Gross!

Let’s Make a List:

Don’t touch a baby’s/child’s face.

Don’t touch a baby’s/child’s mouth.

Don’t put your hands or fingers near or in a baby’s/child’s mouth.

Don’t smoke around a baby/child.

Don’t cough or be around a baby/child if you’ve been under the weather at all.

It just amazes me how many people think it’s okay to do these things.

What Do Statistics Say?

I’m glad you asked. This is going to sound like beating a dead horse, but keep in mind you got vaccinated as a child. You are an adult, so your vaccinations have been completed. You are a fully functioning adult with semi good health. No history of diseases or viruses that could be prevented had you not been vaccinated because you were vaccinated completely as a baby (now give your mom a call and thank her). Babies (especially those before 1 year of age) are not able to fight off things that can be prevented from being vaccinated. They have not grown enough to have received all of their vaccinations or developed a fully functioning immune system yet. This is why it is so important that we 1) vaccinate our children, and 2) keep our hands/face/kisses/germs to ourselves.

Hand washing

hand washing
Photo Credit Gary Kibble, Perpetual Preparedness

According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) hand washing can reduce the risk of respiratory infections by 16% (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2013). That might not seem like a big number to you, but it is to me and anyone else who could potentially die from contracting a respiratory infection. I’ve seen what respiratory infections do to low immune system patients. Washing your hands can save a life.”Researchers in London estimate that if everyone routinely washed their hands, a million deaths a year could be prevented; More than 50% of healthy persons have Staphylococcus aureus living in or on their nasal passages, throat, hair, or skin; Trachoma, the leading cause of preventable blindness worldwide, is related to the lack of facial hygiene” (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2013).

We have had pediatric patients come in not being able to breathe and have to go to the hospital because of a respiratory infection. My daughter has asthma so badly enough that every time she gets sick any respiratory virus symptoms is exaggerated for her because of her asthma. I have had to take her in to the hospital in the middle of the night because she can’t inhale any air. She can only cough without taking a breath to keep air moving through her body.

baby intibated
Photo Credit Kristy Ramirez, Baby Gaga

If that were your child how would that make you feel if someone came up to your baby and stuck their hands in your child’s mouth? What if when your child got sick it was that bad every single time? You have nails and crevices in your hands and fingers. Think about all the bacteria being harbored there. The nails are the first place that get other people sick. They are hard to wash and keep clean. This is why nurses are required to keep their nails short. There isn’t as much space for the breeding ground of infections, viruses, bacteria, microbes, etc. Please think before you touch someone’s baby. Ask them. More than likely they will say “Yes.” They will not allow you to do things like touch their baby’s face or stick your fingers in the baby’s mouth.

Kissing the Baby

dont kiss the baby
Photo Credit Erin, Baby Memes

This is a huge one at the hospitals that families visiting immediately wants to do to your newborn baby. Don’t kiss the babies! Some huge issues with kissing babies include cold sores (Herpes Simplex Virus), RSV, food allergies, chemicals on clothes or body, Mono, stomach viruses, whooping cough, and hand foot mouth disease (Ramirez, K., Unknown). I highly encourage everyone to read this article. Let’s also not forget the flu and cold viruses you could be carrying on you (or in your finger nails that you you’ve been sticking in your mouth and touching your face with all day long). In case you were not already aware all of those things mentioned above does have the potential to kill a baby. Just because you don’t “feel sick,” or you don’t “look sick” doesn’t mean you aren’t carrying something. You could have the virus on you and it is not effecting you because you already have the antibodies to fight off this virus. A baby does not, by any means, have any way to fight off these viruses and infections. Their immune systems are not fully developed and functioning yet. They also are not big enough to get all their vaccinations at once.

Smoking Around a Baby

smoking around baby
Photo Credit Cardiff Student Media

I realize I am more than likely going to get some criticism from this, but let’s be real and talk about smoking. We don’t live in the era where we we’re not educated about smoking and it’s effects on ourselves and others. We live in 2018. We know what smoking does.

Let’s talk specifically about second-hand smoke. “Removing cigarette smoke from a home can reduce the risk of SIDS by up to 80%” (Vaping Daily, 2018). Are you willing to put a baby’s life at risk because you want to light up around baby?

second hand smoking
Photo Credit U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services

Not to mention all the harm it does to not only your lungs, but to baby’s lungs as well. Again, we know this. This has been researched and followed for decades. It’s not like this is a news flash. Please be considerate and put a baby first. Put their health first.

Being a Smoker and Holding a Baby

third hand smoking
Photo Credit newyou.com

This is considered third hand smoke. Just because you don’t smoke around a baby/child does not mean you are not hurting the baby/child. You have smoking residue on your clothes and on your breath. Did you know this will increase the risk of SIDS for that baby? It can be fatal. I am not saying you should change your lifestyle. I am saying though that the baby/child is not choosing to smoke. Change your clothes and take a shower. Wash your hands too. Make sure you scrub all the way down before touching/holding a baby. Don’t put your child in a smoker’s home where this could increase your baby’s risks. The smell also irritates the nasal passages. This makes breathing harder for baby. If the child has asthma that is an even bigger issue.

Please Stop and Think Before You Touch Someone’s Baby!

germs
Photo Credit Mayo Clinic Staff

If you are a family member, friend, distant relative, or you are a stranger who sees an adorable baby please stop and think before you just go touching someone’s child. Think about all the viruses, bacteria, microbes, GERMS you could be carrying on your body. Even if you wash your hands you still have some of those potentially harmful things on your skin. My advice to moms is just keep your baby at home as much as you can for a while. I understand that is not practical, but as a mom you have to do what you can still.

Good luck to all the moms with babies and who are having these issues with others touching their babies. It’s scary taking your baby in public. I understand. Hopefully sharing this article with others will help educate others on the potentially harmful things that people carry on them every day.

As always please share your story below in the comments section. This not only helps other moms, but it helps anyone who is thinking about children as well.

Resources:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2013). Hygiene Fast Facts. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/hygiene/fast_facts.html

Ramirez, Kristy. (Unknown). 13 Horrific Reasons Not to Let People Kiss the Baby. Retrieved from https://www.babygaga.com/13-horrific-reasons-not-to-let-people-kiss-the-baby/

Vaping Daily. (2018). The Dangers of Tobacco Use: Daycare Staff and SIDS risk. Retrieved from https://vapingdaily.com/support/newborns-toddlers-health/