Sadly, in my experience, purposely ignoring pregnant women while riding public transit has become the norm, not the exception. What has happened to humanity? The lack of focus on others, supported by the technological tools to "zone out" or feign ignorance wherever and whenever possible makes this willful blindness not only possible but probable as well.
I know I'm not the first person out there to write about being a sleep deprived parent. If you have kids, there is a 99 per cent chance that you've had a period of time where you weren't getting enough sleep. And if that's not true, I don't want to hear about it from you -- you and your smug face can leave.
Baby C is getting closer and closer to hitting his first birthday. I can't believe it, and because I know this is my last child, I'm feeling a little bittersweet. There are plenty of things I know I will not miss about the baby stage, but when I stop to think about them, I have to admit that I'll miss them, in their own way.
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.