Go to any forum dedicated to mothers and you will find that a number of issues can always set off a heated discussion. When discussing these issues, every person involved has a stake in the situation and an opinion that is not likely to be swayed. Inform yourself on the concepts behind these issues, and you will be a more effective parent.
1. Cord Blood Banking
Cord blood banking is the process of saving the blood from your baby’s umbilical cord and storing it. This is done because umbilical cord blood supplies stem cells that can be used in the same way as bone-marrow cells from a donor. Unlike a donor, however, these cells are a guaranteed match.
Blood banking can be expensive, and you need to pay ongoing fees to the storage facility to keep the cord blood safe. It’s not routine in most facilities, so you will need to set it up and pay for it ahead of time. Most people will never have to use the saved blood, but if your child should become ill with a disease like leukemia, the blood could prove to be lifesaving. Click here to learn more.
2. Natural Birth
Mothers who have labored to have their children without the aid of an epidural or other medication are often quite proud of their accomplishment. The most important outcome of any delivery is a healthy mother and child. Each individual mother and pregnancy is different, and what is right for one may not be right for all.
3. Scheduled Cesarean Sections
Celebrities are known for having scheduled C-sections, often before their child’s due date. Many other mothers have begun to emulate this practice in order to make childbirth less inconvenient. Opponents of this practice express concern about the baby being born before it is actually ready. Additionally, C-sections tend to be harder to recover from than vaginal childbirths.
4. Breast-feeding vs. Bottle-feeding
Most experts agree that breast milk is the best source of nutrition for babies. Many mothers still opt for bottle-feeding, either because they need to return to work, because they physically can’t breast-feed, or for other personal reasons. This is a decision that should be between a mother and her doctor.
5. Attachment Parenting
While many mothers practice attachment parenting without even realizing it, attachment parenting has recently been identified with parents who are on the more “extreme” end of the spectrum. Co-sleeping, extended breast-feeding and baby-wearing are hot topics right now. Parents who practice attachment parenting argue that it creates healthier, better nurtured babies, while those who oppose it believe that it creates children who are more dependent on their mothers.
6. Organic Products
Everything babies need, from blankets to healthcare products to food, is now being produced in an organic version. Parents who choose organics feel that they are giving their babies the best and are reducing exposure to chemicals. Those who do not often find these products cost prohibitive or unnecessary.
The question of whether or not to spank creates a great deal of back-and-forth discussion. Pro-spanking parents often claim that they were spanked by their parents with no ill effects while parents who are anti-spanking believe that introducing spanking confuses children and causes them to think that violence is a solution.
8. Cloth Diapers vs. Disposable
On the one hand, cloth diapers are reusable, create less waste and cost less in the long run. On the other hand, they can be inconvenient, time consuming to clean and require a higher upfront investment. Companies have come a long way in making cloth diapering easier than it used to be, but many parents still prefer the convenience of disposable diapers.
Parents who don’t vaccinate their kids base this decision on the concern of their child developing autism or other neurological conditions. Other parents still vaccinate but choose to do so based on a schedule other than the one recommended by the CDC. Unfortunately, this information is based on a flawed study that has since been rescinded by the journal that originally published it, and the doctor who conducted the study has lost his medical license. Failure to vaccinate children has caused a rise in communicable diseases such as whooping cough that were previously almost eradicated.
Parents choose to homeschool their children for a variety of reasons. Some are concerned about bullying and crowded classrooms in public schools while others have religious or other cultural reasons for doing so. As long as the child gets the education necessary to succeed in life, either homeschooling or public schools are a reasonable option.
Ultimately, parents must make the best decisions they can based on the information at hand and sometimes on intuition. There are often no right answers, just answers that are right for you.