This past year, I became your mother. As I watch you grow I'm amazed by the things you are learning, and the unique and spunky little person you're becoming. Already, I see you picking up so much from me and others around you, including the good, the hilarious and the not so great. I realize just how much of an impact I am having with the example I set.
Exclusive breastfeeding to the age of six months, with continued breastfeeding to the age of two and beyond, is a child's first vaccine. It strengthens the body's resistance to disease, and with a strong immune system, newborns are better able to fight off infections immediately and throughout their lifetime.
If your child is anything like mine, he can sleep through the apocalypse, once he's deep in sleep. Seriously, 15 minutes into a nap, the fire brigade could pull up in front of our house with sirens wailing, and he wouldn't do anything more than sigh deeply and roll to one side. However, falling asleep requires a special kind of silent juju that I still haven't got straight, after two kids.
WHO recommends vitamin A supplements to improve child survival. Vitamin A supplements have been shown to reduce the number of deaths from measles by 50 per cent, in populations with vitamin A deficiency. For children who are vitamin A deficient or undernourished, it would seem a simple solution -- immunization against measles and better nutrition -- to save lives.
You're finally out the newborn stage, adjusting to your new normal (and maybe even fitting into your pre-pregnancy jeans). Then, seemingly out of nowhere, your sleepy, somewhat predictable little one turns into a fussy, four-month-old all-night party animal. Welcome to the infamous four month sleep regression.
Men, just remember that a vasectomy won't stop you from pitching a tent. It simply means that when the volcano erupts, the lava won't flow and the villagers won't have to run for their lives. Why not man up and undergo a routine procedure that you won't even feel or remember, one that's along the lines of your circumcision (if you had one, and if you didn't, then along the lines of your first routine infant vaccination)?
As a society, we really need to stop pulling out the bully card with such ease and lack of thought to its meaning. More so as mothers, we really need to stop overusing it, labelling each other as one when we don't like what another mother has said. Otherwise, the word and definition will lose all meaning, giving real bullies power to carry on.
If you should experience any or all of the scenarios I have described, please don't wait to seek help quickly. What I did not know is that this is PPD, and I was not alone. What I also didn't know is that there are people who will not judge you, and who are trained at helping to heal you. Please always remember this.
Last month, it was reported that an Edmonton woman was badly beaten by her spouse. Though the attack put her in the hospital, the police offered a silver lining by stating that her unborn baby, at least, wasn't harmed. Sadly, this claim underestimates the profound effect severe stress can have on children's development in their first years of life, including while they're still in the womb.
It's been a month since my wife gave birth to a beautiful baby girl and WOW has it been a learning experience! Changing diapers at 3 a.m., figuring out how to sterilize bottles, bathe the little one, strap her into the car seat, and rock her to sleep. One of my personal heroes, Ram Dass, once asked his guru "How can I attain enlightenment?" His guru replied: "Feed people and serve people." OK.
I'm frequently asked questions about all the glorious obstacles we are faced with when it comes to feeding the most important members of our family, our children. First off, I start by telling moms to "do what works for them." With this being said, I decided to take a few of the common questions and share my responses, because at some time or another, one of you readers may be faced with the same issues.