Why Do We Still Have Babies?

It’s Pregnancy Awareness Week as I write this blog. One of the reasons I chose midwifery and babycare as my speciality is because as I cared for older patients in my early nursing career, I realised that to truly solve physical and emotional illness, one had to get health matters correct right at the very beginning.

However, I have to admit that sometimes I feel a tad disillusioned with the thoughtlessness with which people go about this ‘having a baby’ business.

Some hope that having a baby will save an ailing relationship – this almost never works, but I’m not talking about this.

Others spend their pregnancy as if it isn’t important to take into account the immense influence their social habits are having on their developing baby, like smoking, recreational drug use or excessive alcohol intake. Not nice, but that’s not even what’s making me sad today.

It’s not even the all-too-common elective caesareans or labour inductions that have nothing to do with how Mother Nature intended birth to be, although that in itself breaks my heart because I know how important it is to let birth unfold as it is supposed to, for the best outcomes afterwards.

What disillusions me is when a seemingly responsible couple who really and truly wanted their baby, go on to act as if that baby is not that important once out of the womb. Is anyone prepared to make the sacrifices that parenting requires nowadays?

Babies are treated as mini-adults from Day 1, and parenting seems to be about ‘knocking them into shape’ to ‘prepare them’ for a harsh, selfish world. So few want to give the time and input that breastfeeding requires, no matter how good it is for Baby. Very few want their baby to sleep close to them because they think it will disturb their nights.

Babies are dressed up to the utmost as if they are supermodels, but very little time is spent actually playing with them. How often are babies offered unhealthy foods, even though we know that these cause ill health? Before they can wipe their own eyes, babies are in daycare – yes, sometimes there is no other option, but when there is, it doesn’t seem to change things for many. It doesn’t even seem to matter that daycare choice should be about fantastic emotional care more than anything else – ‘designer’ choices extend even to child care!

If we don’t want to make the sacrifices that go along with the territory when raising babies, why have them? They are not living, talking teddy bears, nor are they adornments. It takes an honest person to realise that if one wants to live life on his or her terms only, it’s best to not involve a new little soul, who is sure to be affected by these choices.