Archive for June, 2013

Whose job is it to keep chemicals away from babies?

June 5, 2013

So, women have today been “advised” by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists” to “play it safe” when it comes to exposure to chemicals. I would like to “advise” the Royal College of Obstetriciams and Gynaecologists to “play it safe” when it comes to messing with a pregnant mother’s mind.
I would like ask the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists to consider exactly how a woman might avoid chemicals in our world that is simply littered with them? Bags, soaps, creams, packaging, babies’ bottles, best selling baby shampoos, the list goes on. Why are women being “warned” to avoid the impossible, but society is allowed to continue to produce them and market them as safe? Is this really a pregnant woman’s job to have to worry about this? Is it not hard enough, worrying about whether or not you got enough folic acid, whether or not you can eat cream cheese, prawns, hotdogs, one glass or none of wine. This is not a pregnant woman’s job, it is society’s job. Society needs to step up and look after the wellbeing of our pregnant women, not heap more responsibility and blame onto them.
No-where is this more important than in the area of protecting a pregnant woman from excessive stress. I won’t go into the research here, but trust me, it matters that pregnant women and new mothers are looked after psychologically. Notice, that I don’t say it matters that a women avoids excessive stress. In my view, it is not her responsibility to avoid stress, because to ask a woman to do this is asking the impossible, and laying the guilt at her door. It is as unhelpful as asking her to avoid chemicals. It is our responsibility as a society to protect her from stress.
And thus, I rest my case. Please, Royal Society of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, do not heap more stress, anxiety and responsibility on the already burdened shoulders of pregnant women (especially as you have followed up the advice with a statement that you have no idea if they actually are even damaging to baby in the first place. Getting ridiculously unhelpful now.). Please, Royal Society of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, make a statement about society’s need to address the potential issue of dangerous chemicals in household items, including mother and baby products, and those used in the actual hospitals. And then you might want to go on to urge the government to prioritise maternity provision to incorporate emotional wellbeing, so that we can, as a whole, create a healthy future generation. That would make my job as a birth doula, and a support for pregnant mums, redundant. Roll on that time…
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