Friday, February 26, 2010

"Why I can't use a car seat"

"Don't judge me, this is my CHOICE!"


-Author Unknown-


"I refuse to feel guilty for making an educated choice to not put my
baby in a car seat. There are so many militant car seat users in our society
and I am tired of them pushing their beliefs on me. There are lots of
reasons I have made this choice. 



First of all, I want my husband to be able to
drive him around in his car. He can just sit him on his lap when they go for a
ride. This will help him bond and be closer with our son. I don't
want to be the only one that drives him around. It makes my husband, mother and
friends feel special when they can take him for rides. I will be returning to work in 6 weeks and I don't want a big old car seat in the back of our luxury car. I
never put my first son in a car seat and he is just fine. I was never in a car
seat, neither was my mother and we are both as healthy as can be. On the other
hand, my sister in law's cousin used a car seat and her child was seriously
injured in a car wreck. My aunt tried to use a car seat and wasn't able to.
She was never able to latch the baby in the seat properly. In fact, my car
is too small for a car seat anyway. 



What matters most is that my baby is healthy and happy. When I left the hospital, they told me that I should try to use the car
seat, but if it didn't work out that it was all right to not use it. In
fact, in the diaper bag that I received from the hospital, it has some
information for how to safely ride in the car with my son without a car
seat. I tried for 1 week to use a car seat with my first son and it made
both of us miserable. I told my pediatrician about it, and he said it
would probably be best to not use a car seat anymore. Now he is happy and
content sitting on my lap as we drive. 



Using a car seat is just so inconvenient! My privacy is also an issue. Do I want everyone to know when they see my car that I have a child??? Besides, my children need to learn how to ride in the car without being in the car seat. I don't want a 3 year old still
wanting to get in his seat! I know that using a car seat has some benefits, but
there are a lot of people out there who don't use them and their kids
are just fine! There are people out there that cannot use a car seat (can't
latch baby in properly, car is too small, doesn't match with the
interior). Using a car seat is a personal choice and nobody's business. As a
parent I have made the decision for what is best for my child. It works best
for us and our child.....and that is all that is important. It's my choice
after all, isn't it??"



In case you missed it, this is a satire about breastfeeding, and I am not the Author  :-P  

Not breastfeeding poses risks, just as driving without baby in a car seat poses risks.  One, we're willing to make and accept all sorts of excuses about, even if they're stupid, the other is a risk no one (sane) would dream of taking.  Hmmm...

Yeah, yeah, yeah "Some people CAN'T breastfeed", "Who are you to judge?", blah blah blah.  Say what you will, there are some points raised here worth thinking about and discussing.  

Sure, if your kid is in a full body cast or something, you "can't" put them in a car seat.  But if you could, you would, right?  You wouldn't make lame excuses, because safety comes first.  There are some things we can't keep our children safe from, and some risks we can only partially protect against.  When you DO have a chance to avoid putting a child at needless risk, don't you take it?

Using a car seat isn't "best", it is normal.  Anything else carries increased risk to the child.  The same applies to infant feeding.  Breastfeeding isn't "best", it is normal.  Anything else carries increased risk to the child.  A child riding without a car seat may be "fine", but not all are, and the worst may be yet to come.  Again, the same can be said about infant feeding.  "Fine" may be temporary, and you won't know until it is too late.

To go with the analogy, this isn't about "you fail as a mom for not using car seats".  This is about "Whenever possible, baby needs to be in a car seat".  We can help other moms who are struggling, learn to properly use their "car seats", to have faith in them, to overcome the difficulties, and to care about safety above vanity and convenience.  Then they'll never have to think "If only I had used a car seat..."


*Risks of artificial feeding* 

*What every parent should know about formula*

*The risks and disadvantages of formula feeding*

*101 Reasons to Breastfeed*



31 comments:

Amber said...

i have seen this before. I love it!!! I HATE when people say " my kid is just fine" well "just fine" isnt good enough for MY children.

Tiffany said...

Thank you so much for this, and I 100% agree. I'm sad that I didn't know as much 4 years ago as I do now, but I'm glad that I at least breastfed both of my kids for some amount of time (E for 2 1/2 months, C for 11 months).

Clarinda said...

Love it!!

I would normally post this on my FB wall but last time I posted something pro-breastfeeding I had all the formula feeders come out and flame me. But I might share this on my blog ;)

Anonymous said...

this as the website advertises Infamil baby formula... kind of ironic

Salina

mandy_moo said...

does anyone else find it really ironic that the biggest users of formula are low-income families? hmm... isn't it like... a LOT cheaper to breastfeed...? or am I crazy?

Sherwood V Dunlop said...

Love it! Could be many things in parenting where the research is available and people choose to block it out so that they don't have to face the reality that they are providing their child with 2nd, 3rd, 4th best options.

innerchild777 said...

About the low income families... I blame WIC. I just read that they spend $4BILLION on formula for low-income mom's a year. (That was in 2000, up from previous years of 3.7 billion.) INSANE. I keep saying that $4 billion spent on educating, promoting and assisting those moms about breastfeeding would be MUCH better spent!!!

Rane dae said...

I have a friend who works in Iraq and was traveling there with her infant son who she breastfed until he was 14 months old. Everyone there said, "you can afford formula, so why breastfeed?" They think that anything "West is Best" so she's in the awkward position of reeducating supposedly intelligent people on the health and benefits of breastfeeding.

Joy said...

Well this definitely grabbed my attention and I about ripped you a new one until I realized it was a metaphor. Oh boy my blood pressure was rising!!1

Joy said...

Mandy Moo- most likely because they have the least support and people on welfare go to doctors/hospitals that are so busy and full that they're often just ushered through the system as quickly as possible without any regard to the outcome.

Catrina said...

lol, i hate the satire article cause I know people who do that! it's stupid and sad... but it makes a good point!

Jaz said...

I am completely pro-breastfeeding and totally understand that the benefits of breastfeeding are huge and proven. However, I also know many people who have suffered extreme pain, anxiety, depression and terrible guilt through their attempts to breastfeed. I had a horrific time myself, and my husband could tell some great tales about wiping my nose for me because I was using both hands to try to feed my baby, as I sat sobbing in agony, desperate to give him enough to satisfy him. Even typing this now I feel extremely anxious and am nearly crying, remembering the experience.

I am glad that you mentioned supporting mums who are having a hard time, but also consider people that might read this analogy who had an experience like I did (and mine was nowhere near the worst I have heard!) and decided they'd rather be mentally well than continue breastfeeding.

Most mothers want to do what's best for their baby, so individuals have to weigh up whether they will be the best mother they personally can be breastfeeding or not. And no one except the individual can know exactly what they feel, whatever you've felt yourself.

I thank God every day that I am able to breastfeed my son. If I hadn't been mentally strong enough to take the pain and pressure I experienced constantly for the first 4 weeks, I would be utterly devastated upon reading something like this, written by people who obviously don't understand.

I think many women who don't continue breastfeeding react the way they do around opinions like this because they already feel guilty about their decision (rightly or wrongly) and feel the need to defend themselves. I don't think anyone has any business making them feel guilty for a decision that was theirs to make.


(I think that's a well reasoned argument and not a rant, I hope it gets published to give a balanced view!)

Mama J. said...

Here is a stdy on breastfeeding that will knock your socks off - Women who breastfeed their babies are less likely to abuse or neglect them:

essentialbaby.com.au/parenting/baby/child-neglect-linked-to-feeding-20090127-7qgh.html

Technically speaking, less than 5% of women have breastmilk in insufficient quantities to sustain their child.

Even so, a combination of breastmilk and artificial human milk would be better than none at all.

The vast majority of women (I am not saying all, but if you are offended by my comment you probably fit into this category) who choose not to breastfeed do it because of body issues, self-esteem issues and convenience issues.

I breastfed my sons for 16 and 30 months respectively.

L. Jones

mystic_eye_cda said...

You need to block:
http://www.enfamil.ca/en/products/babies/enfamil-gentlease-a+.html?utm_source=banner&utm_medium=cpm&utm_campaign=gentlease&gclid=CLSGg7akk6ACFQli2godd1Imcg

But I don't think you're ever going to be able to get them all if you can't block entire sites.

mystic_eye_cda said...

Also, I know this is about breastfeeding but I get that crap about car seats all the &%$*#@ time from my in-laws.

Their kids were "just fine" and car seats are "too expensive" and "bull&$%*"

Its just "around the block", "for a minute", "to the store".

Just take the baby out if he's crying/fussy/bored/tired/wants to play

He should be in the front seat so you can see him/he won't choke.

PS Mandy Moo -its not "cheaper" to breastfeed if you get free formula from WIC. (Well it still is because of doctor's visits and whatnot)

mary said...

GIVE IT A BREAK. Breast feeding isn't that important and the fact that you would even compare it to not using a car seat shows pure stupidity.

Anonymous said...

Cute post!

The sad thing is, I've met plenty of moms who adamantly defend food substitutes and incorrect carseat installation/no carseat/premature forward facing etc.

So it's funny, but at the same time sad, b/c I have heard those excuses given.

Now, last time I looked, the CDC said only 5.7% of women in America breastfeed at ALL for at LEAST one year.

Yet everytime something is posted about breastfeeding, dozens of women come crawling out of the internet woodwork to say they are offended and "couldn't" breastfeed.

I don't get it. If I can't lactate with my next child, I will still be out there trying to promote NORMATIVE feeding for infants.

Food substitutes for robots. Human milk for human babies!

~guggie

Anonymous said...

@ Mary--Saying breastfeeding isnt important shows a lot more stupidity than this carseat analogy. BF is what kept the human race going until just the last century when completely inadequate substitutes were produced. Not using a carseat puts your child's life & health at risk, as does not breastfeeding. So the analogy is pretty spot on.

Jill said...

Obvious Troll is Obvious.

Also, if your kid was in a full body cast he'd likely be in the hospital till it was off...but if he needed to be transported, they make special carseats for babies that can't be in regular carseats due to health issues. I've seen them used for preemies who are going home frmo the NICU but need to be hooked up to machines still...the special carseat enables them to be safely restrained while still hooked up.

I know this was satire, but I just thought I'd mention it.

Anonymous said...

Woah, it is as important as a car seat. sorry lady but in some countries breast feeding is the only option. I can understand if you try hard and cannot due to medical reasons or mental as a woman above said. I just hate women who dont bother at all. It breaks my heart to hear about moms not breast feeding. Im proud that seaworld has a breastfeeding room too, go boobs!

Lorien said...

Love this! I breastfed my twin girls until they were 2, and it was the best decision I ever made! I can't imagine the money I would have spent on formula for 2 babies, and the number of bottles...ugh time wasted. If I can nurse 2, almost anyone can nurse 1.

Confessions of a Girl said...

Breastfeeding is so very important, the instant i found out i was pregnant with both my children i knew i'd BF. I BF my son for 7 mons and had to stop due to school and work and i couldn't pump. now i'm a SAHM on WIC that is BF my 14 mon old daughter. Not all moms on WIC or Gov't Assistance uses formula, that shit is exspensive. Plus WIC gives you know where near enough vouchers to feed a baby for a month. Plus why would i want to waste money,time,energy to make bottles and clean them when i have the perfect food readily available!?

Emma said...

I love the article. Although I noticed that right next to it is an advert for a machine that makes up formula instantly....

Michele said...

Wow!! I had not seen this before...I didn't understand why on earth someone was promoting not using car seats...until the end.
I BF my one and only daughter until she was 2 1/2. It worked brilliantly for us. I am so blessed to have birthed her in a BF friendly hospital. The nurses there were incredibly supportive....they never took the baby to sleep anywhere else...they let her stay with me...they did everything they could to ensure that I was ready to go when we left the hospital.
I feel the biggest problem with BF in this country is that women are encouraged to just try it and if it works great, if it doesn't no big deal...we can feed the baby artificially if you don't like it or it just doesn't work for you.
People would say to me when I was pregnant with my one baby they knew my intention was to BF, they said to me, "Well, I hope you will be able to." It's all about the attitude you have going in to it and your ability to jump the initial hurdles...once the hard part is over...it is absolutely natural and you can't believe you ever doubted your ability to feed your little baby!!

Melanie said...

I probably shouldn't post that I'm related to such people, but one of my relatives 1) formula fed both of her children and 2) did not use a carseat. Yet she had the gall to tell me not to hold my son so much because he would smell my milk and want to nurse. Gotta love family.. *sigh*..

Megan said...

So moms who try to breastfeed and can only do it for a little while because there is not enough milk being produced are idiots, useless and not putting their childs needs first??? So those moms should starve their children because they do not produce enough milk? Are you f*****g kidding me? I think this is a ridiculous post and of course what I have to say will be deleted but so be it. Don't be so self-righteous and try to understand that someone women cannot breastfeed for a variety of reasons not all of them do not do it because they do not want to.

Anonymous said...

I think Breastfeeding is great, i was a young mom, and 1st never thought about it, but after reading moer into and getting more educated about teh possitive things breastfeeding does for you child, I changed my mind and been pro-breastfeeding ever since, i am on my 4th baby now, I breast fed my 1st and 3rd child, my 2nd, was special needs and was tube-fed.. I pumped for 2 months but it turned out she had allergies to dairy proteins and stuff so they wanted to put her on special formula that is the only reason she was not breastfed.. but It is a womans choice to breast feed or not but In my opinion ther are more possitive things that breastfeeding does for a child then formula...

Brittney said...

@Megan: I don't think that the article was intended to bash moms who genuinely do not have the ability to BF. To quote, "this isn't about 'you fail as a mom for not using car seats (i.e. BF)'. This is about 'Whenever possible, baby needs to be in a car seat (i.e. BF)'. Whenever possible. I think that too many women who have difficulties in the begininng with BF (which is fairly common) think or are even told by others that they cannot BF. What an unfair (and often untrue) pronouncement! BF can be very difficult to establish, but most women DO have the physical ability to BF.

I know I had trouble BF my daughter and nearly gave up (even after delivery, the nurses at the hospital tried to convince me that I couldn't do it and that I should just give her formula). It just took one kind LC who took the time to work with me to help us get back on track. I BF my daughter for 14 months and LOVED it!

Sorry to be so long winded. ^_^

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to mention that WIC is actually extremely pro-breastfeeding. I am currently BFing my 8 month old and 3.5 year old sons and am congratulated every time I go to a WIC appointment. Knowing that I BF, they ask at every visit if I have any questions or need any help and have referred me to a free lactation consultant on one occasion. They even called me a few days after the birth of my second son to ask how BFing was going.

BFing moms are eligible to receive WIC for an additional 6 months longer than formula-feeders, and BFing moms receive several more food items than formula-feeding moms. I have received free reusable breast pads, a pretty nursing shirt, and a nursing cover from WIC.

WIC goes out of their way to encourage and support BFing. Providing formula does not make them "part of the problem". The bottom line is if someone simply isn't going to or can't BF, and isn't financially able to purchase enough formula, isn't it at least better to help to provide the child with enough? (Or prevent the "watering-down" of formula.) Or help defray the cost so that the money can be spent on other necessities?

I am a HUGE BFing advocate, but I am also a child advocate. Regardless of my position on BFing, the CHILDREN of formula-feeding parents should not be denied assistance because of their parents' choices or complications. And I believe that WIC provides formula for this very reason.

Christa Terry said...

It's probably just that I run in pro-nursing, pro-pumping, pro-milk donation, etc. social circles, but almost down to a woman the people I know who didn't breastfeed or stopped earlier than recommended and ultimately used formula were all people who tried and tried and tried to nurse or couldn't pump sufficient amounts. These are people who drove ... See Morethemselves crazy with anguish going to LCs and so on. So when I read things like this comment: "The vast majority of women who choose not to breastfeed do it because of body issues, self-esteem issues and convenience issues." it just breaks my heart. I don't know a single person who didn't nurse because they thought it was gross or because they didn't want their boobs to sag or anything like that.

Bethany: breast-less, formula-feeding cancer survivor said...

Feed the baby; how is secondary.

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