Please help me welcome guest writer Jenny Floria, friend and reader. She’s been a regular part of the community here, participating in the conversations for years. And you may have seen her blog before, The Jenny Life (if you haven’t, go check it out!). I offered Jenny the opportunity to guest write here to get the message out about something I believe in as much as she does – healthy babies.
The other day I said a sentence I thought I would never say:
“They didn’t have those when my kids were babies!”
But there I was, at a co-worker’s baby shower, ooo’ing and aah’ing over items that just weren’t around when my kids were born.
An affordable baby video monitor. A swing that rocks side to side, instead of from front to back. And don’t get me started on the stroller travel systems – they either look like they’re from another planet or from 100 years ago.
I look at my two beautiful girls now, ages 7 and 9, and know that the world of babyhood is changing without them. We are beyond those stages now, beyond midnight feedings, diapers, exer-saucers, walks in strollers and all those things that belong to babies.
Those things don’t seem so far in my past, but after going to that baby shower, I realize how long ago they really happened.
Babyhood is changing for parents today, and in many ways, that’s a good thing. Had my eldest been born 20 years earlier, she would’ve been diagnosed with “colic” and as parents we would’ve been told to “live through it, it’ll pass.” Instead, at six weeks of age she was diagnosed with a dairy allergy. As a nursing mom, I changed what I was eating and within hours she was a different baby. A happier, healthier baby.
And really, that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it. Healthy babies. Whether parents select the expensive convertible stroller or the $19.99 umbrella stroller that folds up, they’re buying it expecting that they’ll be bringing home a healthy baby.
The March of Dimes wants healthy babies too, and they have a new piece of advice to help expecting moms have healthy babies. Their new advice?
Those 40 weeks can’t pass fast enough, it seems. Yet recent research has found that critical growth happens in those last few weeks, and that shortening that time can lead to less-than-healthy babies.
Even with today’s medical technology, a woman’s due date could still be off by as much as two weeks. At 35 weeks gestation, a baby’s brain is only two-thirds the size of its brain at 39 weeks. There are still untold developments that happen to a baby in gestation that researchers are still discovering.
I have supported the March of Dimes since before we had children because I believed in the mission – knowing as much as we can know about what it takes to have healthy babies will ensure that fewer of us endure the heartbreak of losing a child at birth due to untold complications.
I’ll add that to my list of things they didn’t have when my kids were young: knowing that healthy babies are worth the wait.
Thanks to Missy for letting me use her forum (which is so much larger than mine!) to help get the message out.
Jenny Floria is a nonprofit direct response strategist, fundraising fanatic and mom to two growing girls. She has been volunteering for the March of Dimes since 1997 and launched her blog, The Jenny Life, in 2006. Some day she hopes to see the top of her desk.
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