Why does anyone have children? As reported by the New York Times

The Motherlode section of the New York Times, “Adventure in Parenting,” posted the following query submitted by a reader. What would you say to her? I think she answered her own question.

“Why Does Anyone Have Children?
By LISA BELKIN

A reader, Bailey, has a question. It’s a request for advice, but only in the broadest sense. Mostly it’s a philosophical inquiry, a “why”, rather than a “how”, of parenting. She’s 24 years old, working in finance and reading Motherlode in anticipation of a day when she herself is a Mom. All her reading makes her wonder, though, WHY people have children. momgirlwalking

She writes:

One of the largest things I have been thinking about lately is the fundamental question that is at the root of all the essays and articles and comments on your blog: Why have kids? I understand the evolutionary pull (and necessity) of procreation, I get that some-to-most women have ‘the urge,’ but the logical side of my brain can’t grasp why. (And maybe that’s the beauty of parenting, that from a logical brain only perspective it doesn’t make sense, but the best things in life so many times are illogical — take love for example).

Some background on myself. I grew up in a very close family with lots of love, compassion and of course discipline when necessary. From my first memories, I knew I myself wanted children one day. I loved taking care of my little sister, I started babysitting as soon as I was old enough to take the ‘Babysitters Course’ at the local fire station to learn infant CPR and safety measures to put on my Babysitting Resume, and to this day babies make me coo, caw, talk funny and feel warm inside. I am in a committed relationship with a man I love and can see us developing a life together, and that life undoubtedly includes children. But my educational background is in engineering, so the logical side of me just can’t understand why I want to raise children. They’re extremely expensive, at times frustrating, have the potential to wreck havoc on your marriage (and your body), and many times don’t even appreciate all the sacrifices parents make for them. But yet, I love being around them, I love seeing their progress, am amazed at how quickly children learn and grow, and view having a baby a very special gift.

I guess I’m simply interested in knowing and hearing about why other readers decided to (and not to) have children in the face of all of these facts, because when people ask me why I want to have children, I just say ‘Because I do,’ and I’d like to be able to say more than that.

Ah Bailey. Good question. We touched on the subject this spring, in a post titled “Does Having Children Make You Unhappy,” but yours is a somewhat different train of thought. I am interested to see how readers will articulate their answers.

Here’s mine: When I turned 30 I went for my yearly ob-gyn checkup and instead of the usual peek-and-poke, my doctor pulled up a chair. “So,” she asked, “are you thinking of having kids?” I told her that I was terrified of the thought, and that my life was perfect as it was, and that I really wasn’t comfortable around infants and that my work required a lot of travel — but that I also knew that I would regret never having children. I was planning to wait until I was more certain, I said. “When it comes to children,” she answered, “75 percent certain means go for it.”

Evan was born before I turned 31. I am 100 percent sure that was the best decision I ever made.

So, readers — what would you say to Bailey? I know I risk opening a Pandora’s diatribe by those who don’t want children. And I am the first to agree that anyone who does not want to be a parent should not be one. But for those of you who were always certain, or who struggled like Bailey (and I) and decided to “go for it,” I’m hoping you’ll take a moment to tell her why. As Bailey says, there is no logical reason, and yet so many millions of us take the plunge.

Why kids?”

Non-Safety Related Recall of Some H1N1 Nasal Spray Vaccines, Pediatric Alliance Says

thermalI received an update about H1N1 virus that was sent to my by my local pediatrician, Pediatric Alliance.

The e-mail stated: “There has been a voluntary recall of specific lots of nasal spray H1N1 vaccine. The recall is due to manufacturer quality assurance measures indicating a decreased potency in some batches of the H1N1 nasal spray vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states that there are no safety concerns. The slight decrease in potency should not affect how the vaccine works, and children who received the doses in question do NOT need to be re-vaccinated.”


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gave more information on their website by writing: “First, it is important to point out that the recall is not safety-related. As part of its quality assurance program, the manufacturer of the nasal spray monovalent 2009 H1N1 flu vaccine, MedImmune, performs routine, ongoing stability testing of the vaccine. Stability testing means measuring the strength (also called potency) of the vaccine over time to make sure it does not go below a pre-specified limit during the vaccine’s “shelf life.” On December 18 and 21, the manufacturer notified CDC and FDA that the potency in 13 batches (called “lots”) of nasal spray vaccine had decreased below the pre-specified limit or were at risk of falling below that limit within the upcoming week. The vaccine was within the specified range at the time the vaccine was distributed. The slight decrease in potency should not affect how the vaccine works. However, the manufacturer will send providers directions for returning any unused vaccine from these lots.”

Persons who received vaccine for the H1N1 virus from the recalled batches do NOT need to take any action or contact their health care provider.


Breast Feeding Tips 101

I put together a few breast feeding tips, because I think you should definitely breast feed if you can. It saves you money, it’s good for your baby, it’s an awesome bonding experience, and best of all, I weigh 108 pounds because of it (You burn 500-800 calories a day breast feeding).

What you need to do when you get to the hospital to deliver, is let your doctor and nurse know you’re planning on breast feeding. Most hospitals have lactation consultants that are happy to walk you through breast feeding step by step. Also, Women Infants and Children (WIC) is a big advocate of breast feeding, so they will send follow-up breast feeding consultants to your home for free. No matter what your income. They also will provide you with free Medela electric, and manual breast pumps if you meet requirements. They are custom-made for WIC, and they are excellent.

Your lactation consultant will probably recommend a support brest feeding pillow. Boppy makes a great one, with fun pillow cases, that I buy up like candy.

An electric breast pump is really only necessary if you are working or in school. If not, then a manual hand held breast pump will do. Just so you have it if you need to leave your baby for more than a few hours. Or, if your baby has an easy time with the bottle, then it will be useful to have an electric pump to bring bottles with you on outings. But, your health insurance might fully cover the rental or even purchase of electric breast pumps, so why not.

But keep in mind that breastfed babies do have difficulty with the bottle, so you’ll also need to invest in some breast-friendly bottles. Definitely talk to your pediatrician and breast feeding consultant about when you should actually introduce a pacifier and bottle to your breast-feeding baby.

So if your baby is a bottle-hater like mine, you might find yourself breast feeding in public – yep – the big controversy. Even though I swore to myself up and down I would never do that, I do that – a lot. But I do cover up. So you might want to buy one of those breast feeding ponchos that look like a fashionable cover-up. Or what I do is wear a tank top underneath all my shirts. I pull up the top shirt, and pull down my tank top. That covers things all around. If you’re at the mall, a lot of department stores do have family rooms that are breastfeeding friendly.

I do have some nursing bras, but sports bras are just as functional and flexible. Just pull them down. I also suggest buying both cloth and disposable breast pads. You’ll have the cloth ones when you run out of the disposable ones and don’t get a change to get to the store. Because, let’s face it, ya just had a baby. I also wear sports bras to bed, obviously to hold up the breast pads, and also to decrease the chances of sagging.

But I could go on and on about breast feeding and associated gadgets. Just ask me anything! I always have more breast feeding tips. breastfeeding