‘Attachment Parenting’ Is Code For ‘I’m Doing It Better Than You’

Mamarazzi Presents The Moms & Mayim BialikMayim Bialik is in the news again today because of a comment she made about breastfeeding. She insists it’s not sexual – which I totally agree with. Inevitably, the article moved to her feelings about raising children. Bialik is a very vocal supporter of Attachment Parenting, or as I like to call it – “I’m Doing It Better Than You” Parenting.

Attachment parenting is all about making assertions about the best ways to birth, feed and raise children. It’s not saying, this is the way I do it, it’s saying this is the way TO do it. I find that incredibly annoying and condescending. Here are some quotes from her book that the Huffpost compiled today, so you can see where I’m coming from.

“Many women feel the following way about natural birth: “I’m going to give it a shot, but if I really can’t stand it, I’m going to the drugs; that’s what they’re there for.” It’s a staggering disservice to women to be told to “try” having a natural birth but be given insufficient resources, education, and support to make it happen. Natural birth is not something you try; it’s something you learn about, prepare for, and succeed by completing it.”

I just love shaming women who decide to use the miracles of modern medicine to avoid pain, don’t you? Guess what? Natural birth is something that you try. I spent my entire first pregnancy consumed with it – only to be two weeks late, have my child go into distress and require a c-section. I had all the resources, education and support around – and it still didn’t happen. A “successful” birth is one where baby and mom come through healthy.

Baby Needs To Be Held: “Babies need contact with us and with our bodies. We smell familiar, we sound good, and we feel right. They want to be held close to us, not simply next to us.”

Says who? My baby squirms like crazy when you try to hold her for too long. She wants to be crawling around and doing her own thing. She would rather be next to me than held by me. Are we now guilting parents who don’t hold their children 24/7?

Baby Needs Nighttime Parenting: “I have never owned a crib. Or a bassinet. We have one bedroom in our house. There are two mattresses in that bedroom. They are next to each other. One is a king-size. One is a full. We all sleep together. In one big bed.”

I don’t want a barge of mattresses in the middle of my bedroom. AP’s fifth principle of attachment parenting addresses “safe sleep – physically and emotionally.” I personally feel that my squirmy eight month old is safer in her crib than on the “family bed.”

The eight principles of attachment parenting are reasonable – it just feels strange that there is always a “best” way to be doing things. “Feed with Love” actually means “breastfeed,” as if parents who decide to bottle feed aren’t feeding with love as well. “Use nurturing touch” somehow translates into always carrying or babywearing. “Ensure safe sleep” somehow translates to co-sleeping. “Provide constant and loving care” somehow translates into not using outside caregivers when at all possible. I appreciate the principles – I just don’t agree with the assertion that there is a “best” way to parent for everyone.

(photo: Getty Images)

You can reach this post's author, Maria Guido, on twitter.
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    • Andrea

      OMG THIS THIS THIS SO MUCH THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      THIS has always been what bugs THE SHIT out of me regarding AP. Like if I prefer that my kid not be attached to my tits 24/7 for 5 years straight, then I am not “doing it right”

      UUUUUUUUUUGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!

      Thank you SO MUCH for writing this. That smug assed attitude is beyond annoying.

      • rrlo

        Aw but that’s not what attachment parenting is about. Maybe some perverse version of it reported by the media.

      • Guest

        I can think of several parenting styles or things that have been portrayed as having a smug ass attitude. This is just one of many.

      • Andrea

        If only I could believe that. Unfortunately, I have met APers in real life and yes, that’s how they are.

      • Rachel Sea

        Bollocks, most people are nowhere near that zealous about anything. You don’t know how many AP parents you know, because most people don’t talk about it that much or in that way. It’s like anything else, a few people are noisy fanatics, and most of the rest pick and choose what works for them.

      • Andrea

        Au contraire mon cheri. They really are. And the reason I know many of them is because my SIL guilt-tripped me into going to La Leche League meetings, which is kinda like the mecca of AP.
        So yes I have met several of them and they were all smug about it. I will admit to a certain inferiority complex, because I was the only woman there that worked, and I was also a first time mother; which means I was pretty insecure. But they definitely did not make me feel like I really “belonged” to the club.

      • rrlo

        That sucks! I can totally see where you’re coming from now. Screw them!!!

      • Rachel Sea

        That’s like saying all Christians are fundamentalists after visiting a fundamentalist church.

      • Andrea

        You just said that most people, you wouldn’t know they are APers. I am just pointing out that there are, in fact, quite a few of them that are THAT zealous about it. Whether they are the extreme end of the spectrum or not, I have no way of knowing. I distanced myself from the whole thing.

      • darras

        I only know one set of AP parents, and they’re some of the most relaxed and nicest people I know when it comes to most things. They’ve never been smug braggy with me (I do not AP), and they rarely talk about their AP style, although they’re always willing to talk about it if I’m curious with questions. I guess I got CRAZY lucky with my AP friends :P Or maybe it’s because they’re Dutch.. Dutch people tend to be lovely in my experience.

      • CMP414

        I only have known one AP mom and she is the most smug, opinionated sanctimommy alive. I know it’s wrong to judge all people of a certain group by one but this chick definitely doesn’t do much for representing AP moms in a positive light IMO. And I am pretty much the opposite of an AP person so maybe I just don’t get it.

      • http://www.gamedevwidow.weebly.com/ Theresa Edwards

        Sorry, but I know a ton of APs and the one thing they do have in common is a seemingly endless amount of smuggery. It doesn’t even make me mad, I just feel like they have no idea how boring they are.

      • Williwaw

        I think any parenting style that you feel like you have to stick a label on is probably going to be a bit smug. You know, if you just do what works for your family and adapt as the situation warrants, you don’t have to name it, but if you think there’s a right or a wrong way to do things, you have to name it.

    • Angi Dudas

      I have to defend Mayim here a minute. She has said over and over that attachment parenting works for her and she would never push it on anyone else. She is passionate about it and so maybe that comes off as “better then you”, but she doesn’t seem up on herself. It works for a lot of my friends and I did some of those things that are considering attachment parenting. It’s not a terrible thing.

      • Katia

        Yes! For example, baby wearing! It’s not just to be so super close to your child. It’s also a way to take a walk or get something done

    • rrlo

      I have NOTHING against the concepts behind attachment parenting. There is some good advice there – especially for those it works.

      It does appear that more people practicing attachment parenting with the attitude that they are doing it better…compared to other parents. But I have seen similar attitude from parents following Ferber too. So who knows…

      Also, I don’t know if it’s because the media disproportionately features these people – I suspect it might be. Who wants to hear about reasonable parenting in the media… And celebrities have the resources at their disposal to go nuts with the attachment parenting thing. Rest of us mere mortals focus on not losing our minds raising our children.

    • Jordhorn

      This story couldn’t be more unfair. Seems like the author didn’t read Mayim’s book in total and that she has a pretty big chip on her shoulder. Mayim and I are both parenting bloggers and she is remarkably respectful of views with which she disagrees, including mine. Really unfair to use Mayim as your photo for links and then to assassinate her character.

      • Emil

        I would have a hard time imagining anyone who read Mayim’s book(or her posts on kveller) would find her smug and judgmental.

      • Marie

        Actually, I do read her posts on Kveller quite often, mainly because I find her take on being an observant Jew in secular Hollywood quite interesting, but I find most of her parenting commentary to be incredibly smug and judgmental a lot of the time. I remember her writing about a family trip to Mexico and how she used a visit to some ruins to teach her kids about ancient Mexican culture and why this is why homeschooling is so amazing since you can teach your kids wherever you are! And I thought, suuure… and the rest of us non-homeschooling parents refuse to teach our kids anything about the places we visit because that’s the teacher’s job. I find a real sense of superiority in a lot of the stuff she posts about parenting and it rubs me the wrong way. Not that she’s not a cool person in many ways, but I don’t like the way she comes across when she talks about AP.

      • Katia

        Love your comment, what is your blog?

      • Jordhorn

        Kveller.com; thanks!

      • Ennis Demeter

        She’s an anti-vaxxer. She might respect my choice to keep my child and others safe from death and disease, but I will never respect hers.

    • Guest

      When I was growing up my Mother told me about her coworker who had (“had”) to carry her kid all the time because he would scream bloody murder (because she would never set him down so he was used to always being held). I remember her warning me not to hold babies too much lest they become like this screaming mess who literally had to be strapped to his mother while she mowed the lawn… and now I grow up and find out this is a parenting style? That people like? Whaaa?

      • rrlo

        Kids are not so cause and effect – I wish they were… but they aren’t. Many, many babies are held all the time and do not become screaming messes.

      • Guest

        Every baby is different. I will say though that in my circle of friends this has been true for several of them so I know I will personally be wary.

      • rrlo

        Fair enough. Just a note though, holding babies and not letting them cry too much is very common practice in many culture – especially eastern ones.

    • Shannon

      The communal bed worked wonders for her marriage.

      • Angi Dudas

        Rude!

      • Shannon

        TRUTH.

      • Rachel Sea

        Rubbish. My grandfather ate apples, and my grandfather died, but my grandfather didn’t die of apples.

        They bed-shared, and they divorced, but one might have nothing to do with the other. Unless her ex has specifically told you that it was the bed sharing that broke their marriage, your assertion is speculative claptrap.

      • Kelly

        Hey, if you want to hold yourself up as an expert and actually call other people failures for making different choices than you, you should expect people to look at what kind of results you got with your superior, expert methods.

      • Rachel Sea

        She doesn’t call others failures for their decisions.

      • Kelly

        Except she does, because all it takes to have a natural childbirth is to plan and prepare and then you will “succeed” at childbirth.

        She’s calling people with c-sections failures, she’s just avoiding outright using the word. I have no sympathy for her. She’s getting back what she’s dishing out.

      • Rachel Sea

        It only looks like she’s saying that when crap is taken out of context.

      • Katia

        Really, what did she say about c-sections? I would love to have a natural birth but I also loved my epidurals. I don’t feel condescended by her though. She should be allowed to explain her philosophies without dsclaimers and apologies everywhere.

      • Tinyfaeri

        Because we all know the details of their marriage. They’re celebrities! We know everything about them!

      • rrlo

        That’s mean *shock face*! Poor Mayim. Although you’re not the first person to think or imply that :).

      • elmosfuturemil

        It works wonders for mine. Sex on a drye, sex in the kitchen, sex outside.. ;)

      • Kelly

        We’re able to do all that without our kids sleeping in our bed. Crazy but true.

      • Guest

        I don’t think I’d like to have sex in my kitchen, the floor’s really hard.

      • Shikki

        Get out of my head!! LOL

    • Kat

      I thrash in my sleep. My husband survives because he’s learned to occupy the 1/3 of the bed farthest away from me. I routinely grab and kick the cat in my sleep (SORRY KITTY, but really you’d think he’d learn to sleep elsewhere since my unconscious self seems bent on beating him up.) Bringing a tiny baby into that bed would be a very, very seriously bad idea.

      • Guest

        I know my husband, myself, or an animal would crush any baby put in that bed. I remember growing up a friend’s family had a communal bed (everyone except the teenage brother) which seemed SO strange to me. 1.) That bed did not look hardly big enough for two people let alone extras 2.) They each had their own perfectly made beds in their own rooms (why??)

      • Kat

        This! I will never understand why parents create a beautiful nursery and then the kid sleeps in a pack n play in the room, or in the bed. Co-sleep, put the kid in a PNP, whatever, dude. But why did you spend 1K on furniture and crap in a room your kid doesn’t use? Does. Not. Compute.

      • rrlo

        From six months to about 8 months, my kid would cry a lot sleeping alone in his crib. So he and I slept in our guest bed for those two months. He didn’t cry, I got some sleep. I could have spent a few weeks, letting him cry in his crib to see how it would be – but decided it wasn’t worth the effort.

        Then whatever issues he was having, resolved itself – he was back to his own room. There will be period where he comes and sleeps with us – other times he sleeps in his own room. Point being, none of this has to be all or nothing.

        Also, until you have a kid – you can’t anticipate how things will be. Not every kid likes sleeping alone. Not every parent see it worth it to fight it every night. Besides kids go through all kinds of changes the first few years of life – as a parent one has to adapt weighing the pros and cons of these decisions. And unfortunately, expensive furniture rarely gets into the decision making process.

      • Guest

        Exactly- and even in first grade I asked about it because I was like how does your bed look so perfect? It looked like the whole room was never touched. Makes no sense!

      • brebay

        Well, because you don’t know what kind of a baby you’re getting when you do the nursery. I had one crib-sleeper and one co-sleeper. We didn’t change our parenting philosophy or anything; they were just really different babies and we did what felt right with each.

      • pixie

        My boyfriend sleep walks, sleep talks, and moves a lot in his sleep. He’s never slept walked on me but he HAS shaken me awake to tell me something in his sleep, which would be an interesting situation with a baby in the bed, too.

      • Sri

        I’ve heard that having a baby makes you a lighter sleeper. I’ve always been an extra extra heavy sleeper. I’ve hit and kicked things hard enough to break them and woke up the next morning shocked that they were broken. My husband had a nightmare and hit me (in his sleep) hard enough to leave a huge bruise, and never woke me up. I feel like, even as a “lighter” sleeper, I’m dangerous as a co-sleeping parent. My friends and family that really really like co-sleeping don’t seem to get that. They tell me, “No, your body will just know.” Ok, cool. I’ll put my baby in their crib and babysit and co-sleep with your kid, if you’re so confident. These are the same people who freaked out and thought that one piece of sushi or any leftover alcohol in their cooked dessert were going to scar their baby forever, but they want me to take a risk why?

      • http://salemthegoddess.com/ salemthegoddess

        My husband does the exact same thing. There’s been times when my husband has completely flipped over and his feet are on his pillow. There’s no way I’d put a baby in the bed with us because he sleeps like a jerk. Same room for a while? sure, in the bed? absolutely not. Does that make me a bad future parent? well, pretty much any choice I make does!

      • ChickenKira

        “He sleeps like a jerk” cracked me up, I think that accurately describes my husband too.

      • Di Another Day

        Hahah, I am pretty sure I’m usually the jerk sleeper. I hate sharing my sleeping space in anything smaller than a California King.

    • Valerie

      The months my son slept in our bed (because we could not make him sleep anywhere else) were the worst for my marriage for so many reasons- no spontaneous 2am sexy-time, neither of us slept well because we were sleeping with one eye open so we wouldn’t roll over and suffocate our baby and we were both bitter toward the other because of the lack of sleep and sexy time. So a big NOPE from me.

      • Ennis Demeter

        Wait, you didn’t have ll that great sex on the kitchen floor and in the shower and the backyard that co-sleeping parents always claim they have (where the babies and toddlers are when they are doing all of this, I don’t know).

      • Valerie

        I could do it in the backyard if I had one of those sweet tricked-out playhouses that Theresa was showing us yesterday. Treehouse sex could work out very nicely. As long as said treehouse has a bed.

      • ChickenKira

        WHY HAVE I HEARD SO MUCH ABOUT THIS? I d not care where other people have sex. I really don’t. I never recall asking for this information yet I somehow always end up with it.

    • Shannon

      The more and more you espouse the greatness of your parenting methods, the more of a blowhard you come across as.

      Just do what’s right for your family without feeling the need to talk about it with everyone you come across.

    • Heather

      I only judge people who subscribe to a parenting “style”. How about you just parent and do what feels right and works for your family. If that means breastfeeding until your kid tells you enough or feeding formula from day one, great. It may mean mixing “rules” from different parenting camps. Like baby-wearing but formula feeding. Or using a “mechanical mother” like a swing, but breastfeeding on demand. If you choose to parent in a way that “follows” all the rules of a specific “style” of parenting, cool. But that doesn’t mean you can’t change your mind.

      Firmly planting yourself in a specific parenting camp feels so defeatist to me. What happens if a mother finds herself miserable every time she breastfeeds, but so desperately wants to be an “attachment parent” because it’s what she was told was best? She will either continue on in her misery and feel like this is just what she has to deal with to be a good parent, or she’ll stop and feel like a failure and be affirmed in that belief every time she gets online.

      • Mystik Spiral

        Great point! Your post made me think of parenting as similar to religion. I was raised Catholic, and while I like that Catholics put emphasis on good works, and many Catholics I know DO practice this in real life, I hate that Catholics won’t allow priests to marry or allow women to be priests. I like that Catholics encourage adoption, I hate that they don’t approve of family planning or choice. It is because I refuse to adhere to all the prescribed “rules” of Catholicism that I left the church (oh, also the whole not believing in god thing… lol).

        If parents would get away from the attitude of HAVING to follow EVERY rule of their particular favorite parenting “style” and just do what works, everyone would probably turn out for the better.

      • rrlo

        Honestly, I don’t know a single person in real life who adhere strictly to one parenting philosophy versus another. Most of this stuff is on the Internet or media. After a few months reality sets in for most people and philosophy goes out the window.

      • ChickenKira

        Some of the most vigilant “parenting methods” parents I know online whom I have met in real life are like different people. We organised a big meet-up once and the woman who would harp on and on and ON about baby carriers rolled up with a stroller.

        It’s her own thing, I don’t care what she does, but I do wish she wouldn’t make so many others feel bad about themselves for their choices, especially when she clearly realises that it’s not possible to adhere to those standards herself.

      • brebay

        Totally this! When did people lose all their parenting instincts?

      • whiteroses

        Oh my God, so much this. You do what works for you, and your kid. You kick the tires and find the best option for your family.

    • Ro

      Ah yes, let the bashing of attachment parenting commence. They think this is a good way to do things and we don’t agree so we’re going to mock and judge them and explain why their ways are stupid and would never work for us! Am I right??

      I hate when Mommyish posts articles like these and I am not an attachment parent, it just comes off as cliquey and judgemental.

    • Tinyfaeri

      Any book on parenting – Sears’, Ferber’s, Mommy Needs a Drink, etc., etc. says what the author thinks you should do. They aren’t going to say “you could do this, that, the other thing, or what your Great Aunt Matilda says,” or why have an opinion that you share with others? Why not just have a book that’s one page long?

      “Do whatever the fuck you want to do, and best of luck to you, I’m sure you’ll do great!”

      Because no one would buy that. We can all just do it for ourselves without shelling out $ for a book or wasting time reading an article online. If you’re reading this comment, chances are good that Mayim Bialik does not know you (or me). She doesn’t care about us, or know our history, so she’s not criticizing us. She’s telling about a parenting style that was designed by others and that has worked for her, and she’s doing it publically because she’s a celebrity and the media and blogs like this have conditioned celebrities to think we really care about what they have to say. Calm down.

    • Angela

      When my kids were babies I practiced a lot of attachment parenting principles but not all. Then when my oldest son was three he was having some problems with aggression and bullying. Time outs, sticker charts and traditional discipline were getting us no where so we decided to try a new approach where we avoided rewards/punishments and instead worked to help him problem-solve his mistakes and teach empathy. Most of all we focused on showing unconditional love and acceptance and worked on strengthening the parent/child bond.

      I also got him into a child psychologist who of course wanted to know how we handle discipline so I started describing our methods. When she remarked, “Oh that’s Attachment Parenting,” I actually cringed. It’s not that I’m not fully sold on the methods. They’ve actually worked beautifully for us and in just over a year my son has progressed from the classroom bully to the class leader who his teacher tells me is constantly going out of his way to help others. But even though I know I technically practice all the concepts of Attachment Parenting I still never refer to myself as one because it’s such a loaded term. I feel like it’s come to be associated with super judgey, anti-vaxing, ultra-organic natural parenting and all sorts of other ideas that technically have nothing to do with Attachment Theory.

    • Jennifer Freeman

      I listened to this interview this morning and it came off nothing like this. Maybe out of context the quotes sound annoying, but she really didn’t come off as thinking she was better than everyone else. Also, even she thought Alicia Silverstone pre – chewing her kid’s food was a bit odd, so Mayim can’t be too crazy. :)

      • Jennifer Freeman

        Sorry should have specified that she did an interview on Stern this morning discussing AP.

    • Kati

      People act like all the “parenting styles” out there are so different from one another, but that’s really not true. The actual opposite of attachment parenting would be parents who are physically and emotionally detached from the child, otherwise known as neglect. All of these parenting styles are just variations on the same theme: not being a total dick of a human being and trying your best.

      • Andrea

        But see that’s the implication though. If you are gonna call something “attached parenting” and that means you have to do all the things prescribed in the books, then that means that when you are NOT doing that you are actually detached = neglectful. And you don’t want to be a detached parent right? No way, you gotta hold, co-sleep, and breastfeed till they leave for college.

      • Rachel Sea

        The last two centuries there were a lot of highly touted parenting practices that accidentally encouraged attachment disorders. This philosophy specifically counters those practices, hence Attachment Parenting. It’s no more complicated than that.

      • Andrea

        Listen Rachel, I really do not care how someone else parents. Whatever works for you is great. But that’s not how the people I have encountered act.
        Whatever AP stands for, I do not care. If that’s what some people wanna do, fine. As long as they don’t act like it’s the superior way and everyone else is doing it wrong. Which has been my experience.

      • Rachel Sea

        I think the people you encountered were dicks, who are probably just as smug and zealous about the brand of coffee they buy as they are about their parenting.

      • Kati

        Sure, you can read it that way. But, I just don’t think that a sane person would say that just because you are not physically attached to your child 24/7, you are neglectful. I don’t think that most people who utilize the principles of attachment parenting in their homes, either purposely or because that’s the style they fell into it would say that about parents who make different choices. Only insecure people who are trying to prove themselves would make that argument, so probably a lot of the AP proponents making a fuss online. But most people in their everyday lives wouldn’t make that distinction. Full disclosure: I would probably be described as an attachment parent, although I’ve never read a book. I just sucked at swaddling, breasted because I was home and everyone I knew did and it worked for me, and my second two kids ended up in my bed because I was too tired to get them to sleep alone. Also, I couldn’t sleep unless I could hear them breathe right next to me. And I sucked at swaddling…mostly that. But that doesn’t mean I think less of my friends whose kids are amazing sleepers in their own beds. I’m super jealous, but that doesn’t make me delusional enough to pretend I’m better than them.

      • Ennis Demeter

        Yes, the term was coined by Dr. Sears, and he means quit your job, never sleep alone in bed, breastfeed, and “wear” your baby, like the noble savages do.

    • brebay

      I didn’t try drug-free birth for the same reason I clip my fingernails instead of pulling them out with pliers.

      • rrlo

        I hear what you’re saying (and I had an epidural) but don’t you find it frustrating that on one hand we’re being bombarded with “Tylenol causes ADHD” and then on the other hand “Let’s get you pumped full of Pitocin and epidural”. I can see why so many women would be confused.

      • brebay

        “epidural” is not a drug, and it’s been extensively studied. I personally don’t know why people need to publicly announce any of their medical decisions, but it does seem very smug most of the time.

      • rrlo

        By epidural I meant an epidural anesthetic.

      • Williwaw

        I don’t think the two are equivalent. Every time a single study reports some correlation between pregnancy and whatever (like Tylenol and pregnancy, in this case), it makes a headline and loads of people get all worked up about it. These are usually instance of bad reporting – they report any correlation between pregnancy and something as else as if it were cause and effect, but fail to make this clear, and also never indicate whether the study group size was statistically significant, whether the results were ever replicated, etc. The use of Pitocin and epidurals, however, has been studied in a bit more detail, so there’s a lot more data on which to base your choices. I think you have to read any story that tells you what to do during pregnancy with a grain of salt.

      • rrlo

        I don’t disagree with you.

        However, when pregnant women are told to avoid a plethora of seemingly harmless things – from Tylenol and sushi to cold cuts and soft cheeses. I can see why they would be wearisome of things like Pitocin and anesthetics.

        And to be fair, there are serious side effects (albeit rare) to both Pitocin and epidurals.

        All I am saying is that women are put on high alert during pregnancy – one false move and you doom your child.

        So those that consider a drug-free, natural birth are not crazy ladies from the middle-ages – they have some legitimate reasons for feeling this way.

      • Williwaw

        I don’t think natural childbirth advocates are crazy – but there are risks and side effects with every birthing option. Women may have labour induced with Pitocin because the baby has a problem and needs to be on the outside, or because the pregnancy is threatening the mother’s health. Epidurals may help a woman rest during a long labour so that she has the energy to push later, and generally the risks with an epidural are for the mother, not the baby (in contrast to what the natural birth movement would have you believe). Yes, there are serious side effects possible with both epidurals and Pitocin, but there are serious consequences possible with every birth option. You have to weigh the cost/benefit for every option you consider. Interventions are not necessarily bad/good. Natural is not necessarily bad/good. Every situation is different. Those of us who chose to have medications during childbirth have legitimate reasons for feeling that way, too.

        I agree with you about the “high alert” thing during pregnancy, that’s for sure…I think that’s an area where we could all stand to relax a bit. There are not that many things you are going to do accidentally during pregnancy that will doom your child.

      • rrlo

        Totally agree.

        My comments were more in response to brebay’s “clipping toenails versus pliers” sentiment – in that it’s not so simple a decision as that.

      • Ennis Demeter

        There are side effects to NOT having pitocin and NOT having epidurals- stalled birth and horrible pain.

      • CW

        It actually isn’t that bad except for the last 3 contractions or so. By the time I actually felt like I wanted the drugs, it would’ve been too late to get them because I was almost to the pushing stage.

      • brebay

        I pushed for 3 1/2 hours with my first. I think if I hadn’t been well-rested from the epidural, I may have ended up getting a c-section. I didn’t have one more push in me.

      • CW

        Wow, that pushing is longer than my entire first labor (3 hours start to finish) and almost as long as my 3rd labor (4 1/2 hours). Did you have a big baby?

      • brebay

        He was 8 lbs, 2 ozs., which we thought was small (I was 10-3, his dad was 9-6) I’m not sure what the issue was, but his heart rate stayed ok, so they let me keep going, finally did an episiotomy. Yeah, when I got home I chucked the only pregnancy book I ever read…the one that said “pushing may last from 45 minutes to an hour and a half…” I guess that book didn’t apply to you either !!!! :)

      • Allyson_et_al

        I pushed for nearly 4 hours, and yeah, thank God for the epidural. But when I told my Lamaze teacher, she said, “You shouldn’t have had an epidural. That’s why the birth didn’t go well.” She said this to me in the hospital, while I was holding my beautiful, brand new, healthy baby. You know what? The birth wasn’t fun, but it went just fine thanks.

      • Harriet Meadow

        “She said this to me in the hospital, while I was holding my beautiful, brand new, healthy baby.” What a See You Next Tuesday…

      • Harriet Meadow

        My sister felt the same way. She had two natural births and said that it just felt like bad period cramps (and that pushing felt good because it was progress). Well, that’s not really what it felt like to me. I had the most epic back labor imaginable – couldn’t even walk or stand to ease the pain, and even *after* I got the epidural (eight hours in) it felt like I was being stabbed in the anus (no joke). Turns out baby’s head was right on my tailbone, and he hadn’t even dropped yet, so I had fifteen more hours of contractions to get through (before an eventual c-section)…What I’m saying is, it’s totally awesome that people like you and my sister did what you did (seriously, I’m in total awe!)…BUT I think different people experience labor in different ways (and I’ve heard that different pregnancies can be different, too!)….

      • SDM

        SO TRUE. I had to internet yell that. I’ve had two babies and the second labour was SO much more painful. And longer. With my first, I was just breathing heavily and concentrating at 7 cms, and with my second, I was screaming with every contraction before I was even at 4cm. Every labour is different.

      • Psych Student

        A brilliant analogy!

    • Elmosfuturemil

      The hate on ap makes me not want to read mommyish anymore. :(

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        I was an AP parent. For me it was just how I wanted to do things when my babies were little. I co-slept, breastfed, and wore my kids as much as I could. For me it just worked out super well for what I considered my lazy moms ways, I was far too lazy and tired to walk down a hallway to a nursery and prepare a bottle when I could just nurse in my bed.

    • Rachel Sea

      Everyone thinks their parenting choices are the right way to do things in the moment that they are doing them. I don’t think your average AP follower thinks they have found the One Way, or cares any more about how others parent their infants than Authoritarians, Free-rangers, or Permissives. Tiger Parents and Biblical parents write books about the right way to do things too.

      Bialik sometimes describes things poorly, or says things in a way that make her sound officious, but mostly she’s just talking about what works for her, in a way that is sometimes socially inept. She’s a neuroscientist, and, from a neuroscientific point of view, AP is a good guideline for infant health. It works for the babies in the middle range of the bell curve. There are always outliers, like babies who hate to be held, but that doesn’t mean the whole idea is garbage, only that (like everything about parenting) it needs to be adapted to individual circumstance.

      • Tinyfaeri

        You mean there isn’t really One Ring? But what have I been calling Precious all these years??

        Oh, never mind.

    • Emil

      I actually read her book and follow her blog and although I have a completely different parenting style I still like her. She doesn’t come off as judgmental or thinking that she’s better than anyone else.

      • Emil

        Actually on second thought she is judgmental towards parents that choose to spank that’s really the only time I thought she expressed judgment in her book.

    • Kelly

      The whole natural birth thing is bullshit. I did not fail at childbirth anymore than people with cancer fail at being healthy.

      She can seriously go fuck herself over that bit. I get that she would have just let her child die if she had been in my shoes rather than having the dreaded, evil c-section. If she thinks that makes her a better mother than I… Well, that’s her dysfunction, not mine. *shrug*

      • Kitsune

        There was a woman in my birthing class who said her greatest fear was having a c section. It made me roll my eyes so hard I nearly hurt myself. Thankfully the midwives at the birthing center were much more practical and nonjudgmental about my epidural and emergency c section.

      • brebay

        Wow, all the things that could go wrong with the baby and THAT’s the biggest fear? I just plain don’t understand that. For me, a c-section was like finding out that Subway was out of meatballs, and I had to have turkey. A midge upsetting, but I sill got a sandwich, which is what I went in for.

      • Kitsune

        That’s a really great way of putting how I felt. My birth plan was “go home with baby” so other than the emergency part being kind of scary I was just happy to have my healthy son.

      • Alfreda Wells Morrissey

        I never really believed my baby wouldn’t be ok. Different people stress over different things. For some reason driving in the market terrifies me. Not because I think I will die or hit somebody but because I am afraid to get lost. I never really think I am actually going to have an accident.

      • CW

        I’m scared of having major surgery, childbirth-related or otherwise. I do think that c-sections can absolutely be medically appropriate but the World Health Organization has stated that c-section rates should be in the 10-15% range. At my local hospital, a staggering 40% of all deliveries are c-sections. I don’t believe for a MINUTE that all those c-sections are done for legitimate medical reasons. I think it’s a combination of $$$ and the doctor covering his/her backside against the threat of a malpractice suit. When I was an Army wife, hardly any of the women I knew had c-sections because the Army doctors couldn’t get sued and the hospital didn’t make any more money for performing c-sections.

      • shel

        There are also moms out there who basically demand a C-section, so it’s not just the doctors pushing for them… but yes, the rates are much higher than they should be.

      • CW

        I’ve heard of busy Type A executives/lawyers/etc. demanding a scheduled c-section for the convenience and also because they plan to have a “c-tuck” (tummy tuck at the same time as the delivery). I have a hard time imagining being that self-centered and I feel sorry for their kids…

      • Kat

        I don’t think the tummy tuck is the part that’s selfish. I think the convenient c-section is selfish.

      • http://wtfihaveakid.blogspot.ca/ jendra_berri

        Yeah, the tummy tuck is understandable. I’d have one right now if I could.

      • Kat

        You and me both.

      • Ennis Demeter

        Why is undergoing major abdominal surgery to safely deliver your child selfish? Because she won’t suffer her old testament punishment of labor pains?

      • Kat

        I didn’t even see this. If whatever you’re talking about is perfectly safe, then we’re talking about two different things.

      • Guest

        Judgemental much?

      • Miriam

        I don’t think it’s self-centered; I think it’s a product of caring about one’s job and the US having shitty maternity leave. Some careers don’t accommodate having a +/- two weeks for a due date, and as long as the doctor vets that the baby won’t be hurt by the c-section and the mother understands the tradeoffs, who the frell cares? I mean, we should care about the shitty parental leave policies, but the C-section itself is a fairly safe procedure for moms and babies.

      • CW

        I worked up until 2 days before each of my first two babies were born. Yeah, it is no fun to be super-pregnant and on the job, but that’s no reason to go around putting your child at risk by electing major surgery for no reason other than your own Type A “I need to be able to put in my baby’s birthdate into my iPhone 3 months ahead of time” tendencies…

      • Ennis Demeter

        Vaginal birth can lead to pelvic injury and has other elevated risks for the baby. Why is it bad to choose one? It is an overwhelmingly safe way to deliver a baby.

      • rrlo

        It isn’t! There is no conclusion anywhere in this world that says an elective C-section is the overwhelmingly safe way to deliver a baby… To say this is just as bad as the NCB nutjobs.

      • telepanda

        We agonized over whether to induce our second baby one week early for “convenience” reasons – I was on bed rest for a couple of months due to preterm labor and our grandparent support system simply ran out three days before the due date. That left us with literally no one to take care of our toddler if I went into labor. (The doctor was worried about a fast labor and said that the person we were going to take him to was too far away and we were not allowed to drive there first if I was in labor)

        In the end I couldn’t bring myself to induce early. We scheduled an induction for my due date and held our breath. Made it to the scheduled date, took the toddler to the person we’d arranged with, went to the hospital, and had our baby.

        But it really was a hard decision.

      • Psych Student

        It’s awesome that you did what was right for you and your family and I’m happy to hear it turned out well. :)

      • Ennis Demeter

        There is absolutely nothing wrong with pushing for a c-section. Vaginal birth has risks as well, and a mother may want to avoid them. There is no totally safe way to get a baby out of a mother.

      • Ennis Demeter

        That is not true about the WHO. Here is a good blog post about it:
        http://www.cesareanrates.com/blog/2013/1/8/world-health-organizations-15-percent-cesarean-rate-recommen.html

        No one knows what the safest level of C-section is because you can’t withhold surgery in order to see if the baby lives for the purposes of a study. In any case, c-section rates aren’t the point, DEATH rates are the point. If doctors adhere to an arbitray low guideline for c-sections, there will be more deaths.

      • Abbe

        Stop. Making. Sense

      • Harriet Meadow

        Yeah, there was a woman in my prenatal yoga class (I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised, given that I was the ONLY one who was willingly giving birth in a hospital) who was crying hysterically about her midwife telling her she was going to need a c-section – I can’t remember the exact reason, but it sounded pretty serious. She was blubbering and going on and on about how her birth experience was being “stolen” from her. I admit that I was upset when I labored for 23 hours and then found out I was going to need a c-section, but it was because I was scared about having major surgery (I’d never even had stitches before) and scared about the healing process (also, it would have been nice to know about the c-section BEFORE I labored for 23 hours haha). I was happy about finally getting to meet my baby, though. For goodness’ sake, when did the birth stop being about having a healthy baby afterwards? I don’t even understand why women are so adamant about a drug-free birth. They talk about babies being “drugged out” afterwards, but I was on ALL the drugs (you know, because of the c-section) and my baby was totally alert!

      • Courtney Lynn

        I fell asleep during my son’s emergency c-section. I was in a drug-induced haze and I heard him wailing right after I heard, “It’s a boy”. His eyes were very open and he was fully awake. I wasn’t, but I got there eventually after the drugs wore off.

      • Karen Milton

        I had the very same sort of labour with my second! I agree that being told I was at 3 cm for the entire 22 hours was annoying – I would have gladly accepted a way to, you know, not have to do that. That said, my daughter was born strong and healthy, so mission accomplished. The idea of surgery (and subsequent immediate newborn care) was scary for sure, but I find that throughout our lives at times we have to do things we find ever so shitty for the benefit of our kids (the same could certainly be said about vaginal birth, which I’ve also done and didn’t find particularly awesome either). You grew a person. That person has exited its uterine premises forever and ever. Excellent.

      • Ennis Demeter

        Ricki Lake kicked all that into high gear with her bullshit movie. She actually asks a woman who had preclampsia and a lifesaving c-section if she felt “cheated” in it.

      • SDM14

        My first baby was growth restricted (like the film’s director’s baby – mine was full term and only 4 lbs) and I was particularly upset by that. IUGR is extremely serious. Mine was detected early and my baby was monitored closely, but IUGR fetuses can easily die in utero. They’re at much greater risk of all sorts of complications, including SIDS. I wanted to scream at Ricki Lake at the part of that film, mostly because my experience was still so raw. (Luckily my baby is a healthy toddler now.)

      • Courtney Lynn

        It was THAT kind of mentality that made me feel so shitty about my son’s birth.

      • Alfreda Wells Morrissey

        Actually that was a huge fear of mine but it had nothing to do with attachment parenting. They cut your stomach open? Run in terror! I was totally going in, “Please don’t let me have a c-section!!!” I was also terrified of the epidural. Pain I can handle, a needle in my spine no thank you. I was so scared of paralysis.

        As it turned out, I was induced with the first and required an epidural but thankfully did not require a c-section. The epidural only paralyzed me for a few hours which was gross and scary but everything came back normal. It did make my knee jerk which freaked me out terribly. Plus I was completely numb from the arms down and could not walk until the next morning. The nurse let me sleep with my baby though so I didn’t need to get up to feed her.

        My neighbor had a c-section with her first and was terrified to give birth vaginally because she knew what the recovery was like. With the first she labored and then required a c-section so with the second she scheduled one a little early and didn’t have to feel anything. That made her comfortable.

        We both have 2 healthy babies each and we are both healthy so I would say we both had successful births.

      • brebay

        Girl, what kind of epidural did your have? It’s not supposed to paralyze you, if it did, how would you push?

      • Alfreda Wells Morrissey

        Well they gave me some. Then the anesthesiologist noticed I was still feeling the contractions and automatically gave me more. I do tend to have a delayed reaction to freezing, although I guess if it is in your spine it should be immediate but I think he overdosed me.

      • EmmaFromÉire

        I can understand being afraid to have a major surgery, was it that, or was it a stigma thing?

      • Kitsune

        She was very very pro natural birth so it very much was a stigma issue not a fear of surgery, which I would have been more sympathetic too. She definitely had the attitude of a c section birth being lesser which is what I found ridiculous.

      • dcford

        Well…isn’t that super judgmental of YOU to judge someone else for fearing a c-section? It is major surgery that has a different recovery than vaginal birth, so if that’s not what she hoped/planned for, why isn’t she allowed to have her own reservations about that? Maybe her fear had nothing to do with your experience at all. What’s easy for you may not be for others, and vice versa.

      • Kitsune

        I wasn’t eye rolling at her fear so much as her attitude. I get highly annoyed at people who get really forceful about their beliefs and judge them right back. Likely not the best tactic I admit. I hadn’t had a c section when this happened so I didn’t really have a personal stake in it beyond annoyance.

      • Abbe

        My greatest fear would be my baby dying, but to each their own I guess.

      • mememe

        While I totally get that there are way scarier things in childbirth than having a c section, I think telling women that they’re not allowed to have certain expectations surrounding their own birth process is just as bad as telling them what “style” of parenting is best.

        I have friends who have felt sadness and depression following traumatic births that ended in c sections, so I totally get that fear. Yes, they now have healthy babies and that’s really important, but how about the mom’s feelings or her ability to bond with the baby afterwards?

        I had a super easy natural birth the first time around, and more complicated pregnancy the second time, resulting in a baby in an unfavourable birth position. I did a lot to get that baby into position in order to have another natural birth. It was important to me for a number of reasons; short labour and easier healing being really important to me. I was legitimately afraid that I wasn’t going to have the birth I wanted. And even though people told me that all that matter is a healthy baby, I couldn’t get over how *I* was going to feel afterwards. Luckily baby moved and I was able to have another natural birth. I’m not saying that I did it better than anyone else – because 2 hrs into labour I asked for that epidural only to be told that I was fully dilated and ready to push.

        I look back on the births of both of my kids and it’s a good memory. So don’t judge the women who want that for themselves.

      • Kitsune

        I’m much less annoyed by the wanting a specific type of birth and more the attitude of it being the only way to go. She was very militant about her beliefs which rubbed me the wrong way, as “One True Way”ers of any kind do. I guess I’m judging the judging? Which might not have come across . I also had a friend who was sad that she had to have a c section and I would never tell her she shouldn’t feel that way. Feelings are hard to predict and even more so when there’s all sorts of hormones and biology involved. I’m just concerned that there’s this huge push to have a perfect birth experience that you can plan like a wedding and anything else is a failure, and how that is affecting how women are reacting to their births.

      • Psych Student

        Very well said!

      • Jenna

        I don’t think thats unreasonable. Its one of my biggest fears. Its not just about birth smuggness. Its a major abdominal surgery which increases the risk of mortality. Every C-section I have ever watched terrifies me – getting a spinal, being physically restrained, having the baby and husband whisked away a few minutes after birth and having to lay there bored for 30 minutes while they close everything up.

        Its not that I would absolutely refuse it under any circumstances, but I would definitely push for any way to avoid it because I’m very afraid.

      • Katia

        Oh yeah, so her book says people needing c sections should let their babies die?! Reaching much?

      • Tinyfaeri

        Comments on the internet and hyperbole go together like Bailey’s and coffee, don’t they?

      • Allyson_et_al

        Great. Now I need to go out into the cold to buy Baliley’s today. Damn you, Tinyfaerie!

      • Tinyfaeri
      • Ennis Demeter

        If you read even a little bit about the natural bith movement, you will discover that there are indeed mothers who have let their babies die in utero or in childbirth because they were following advice of NCBers and going post-dates until their placentas failed or having breech babies out of hospital. I doubt very much they wanted to lose their children, but the cult of NCB and avoiding life and health saving interventions and monitoring is claiming lives (and brain function) , there is no doubt about that.

      • Allyson_et_al

        You seem very adamantly against natural childbirth in all of your comments. I had an epidural for baby #1, and pitocin and, ultimately, a c-section for baby #2, but I have no problem with other women’s choice to go “natural”. Tragically, babies die during c-section and induced births, too. Fortunately, in this country, most births result in living, healthy babies regardless of the parents’ birthing methods. Why so judgy?

      • Ennis Demeter

        I’m not against natural child birth. I HAD natural childbirth. I am against the natural child birth movement because it is anti-science and it misleads a lot of women into thinking that birth is safe and not to trust their ObGyns. People with no medical training freely advise pregnant women that c-sections or inductions are bad for babies, or pitocin leads to c-sections, or to let their post-dates babies to decide when to come out all on their own. It is actually very rare for healthy infants to die in hospitals, but people like Ricki Lake and Bialik tell women that childbirth out of the hospital is perfectly safe and that pain can be managed by changing their attitude or by deep breathing (no evidence for either, but if you want to try it, fine). A woman in my town was convinced by a midwife she could deliver her breech baby safely at a stand alone birth center, and the baby died after being stuck in the birth canal for hours. Of course, he died in the hospital, so people like Lake and Bialik will say it was a hospital death. The NCB, anti-vaxxer movement these women are a part of is a cult and children are dying because of what they teach. THAT is my problem with it, and yes, I judge them and I judge hard.

      • Tinyfaeri

        That’s a very, very small percentage of wackos. I went through a midwife-run birthing center, and they have very pragmatic views on interventions – if you need one, or are outside 36-41 weeks, you go to the hospital, and whatever interventions are medically necessary at that point will happen. Most birth centers in the US are like that from what I’ve read, and a lot of midwives work out of hospitals. Some even work with family practice and women’s health clinics like the one I used to work at in Colorado. For my birth, I did not have an epidural, and no Pitocin until I had some mild hemorrhaging at the end (which was dealt with efficiently by my CNM and the nurse assisting her, across the street from one of the best hospitals in the area). It’s what worked for me, and a whole lot of other people. Nothing bad about any range of interventions, it’s just what worked for me. No need to paint an entire group of people with a wacko brush because of a select few wackos that happen to have megaphones.

      • Ennis Demeter

        I agree that most birth centers are probably staffed by reasonable people. I know that there is a loud wacko fringe. Bialik is a part of that fringe, though. She advocates home birth and not vaccinating. She’s a celebrity, and people listen to her. And then there are the casual remarks on forums such as these that call women selfish for choosing s-sections, for no reason I can fathom, except that it is “bad” to not want to suffer labor pain and to want to avoid the risk of pelvic injury.

      • Tinyfaeri

        I think you need to take a walk, get some fresh air.

      • rrlo

        Out of 150+ comments – like two said elective c-sections are selfish. Elective c-sections are a bit questionable. Even the medical community is uncertain about elective c-sections.

      • CW

        There are women who elect a repeat c-section rather than attempting a VBAC, and then there are women who elect a c-section purely because it can be scheduled and they can get a tummy-tuck at the same time. I don’t think anyone has a problem with the first kind of elective c-section. But, yeah, the second kind is TOTALLY SELFISH and I’m not afraid to call a self-centered, vain b*tch what she is.

      • Psych Student

        It’s hard to remember that not all members are a group of wackos when the biggest wackos speak the loudest (the same is true of all other groups as well – from pro-lifers to atheists).

      • doodlebug2

        Can we be friends?

      • lsugs

        clearly you didn’t read her book. all she believes is that every mom should do what feels right for herself and her child. those are her big crazy beliefs! oh no!! and of course she would get a c-section if there was a medical issue. read the book. or I guess you could keep making stuff up.

      • SDM14

        Ugh, before I had my kids, I was so supportive of everyone’s birthing choices (and I still am, except for my own). Somewhere along the line, I internalized some of these ideas about “failing” at birth. I never judge other women for this, but I tried to have a natural birth with my second baby and begged for the epidural at 9 cms. I totally feel like a failure. I get upset even reading about birth now. And then I get mad at myself for feeling like a failure, because it’s silly. There may be some PPD mixed in there, too. It sucks.

      • Emil

        9 cm? I only made it to 4 or 5. I know we are not supposed to care about this stuff (got the healthy baby and all) but I wanted to hold out as long as possible and was a little disappointed that I caved so early.

    • Jessifer

      Who the hell (besides people on Mayim’s budget) can fit both a king-size and a full-sized bed in their bedroom anyway? I had to play a weird game of “tetris” with my furniture just to get our double bed and my son’s crib in there.

    • Sara610

      A friend loaned me Dr. Sears’ “Baby Book”, and because that was the first book I read on how to take care of babies, I stupidly read it and though, “Oh, okay, this is how you take care of babies.” Except that a lot of aspects of attachment parenting DO NOT work with who I am and I was horribly depressed from trying to jam my square-peg self into that round hole.
      It wasn’t until I came around the idea that a) maybe I don’t have to do ALL the attachment parenting stuff, just the parts that work for me and b) that’s okay, that I started to really enjoy being a parent. (That, and my daughter getting over her colic didn’t hurt.)
      Sure, I did some things that were “attachment-parent-y”. I also stopped nursing and switched to formula at four months and NEVER had her in our bed after she left the newborn months, and sleep-trained a la Marc Weissbluth (God, I love that man). I just took what worked for us and left what didn’t. No big deal.

    • Williwaw

      I can’t comment on most of what Mayim Bialik has supposedly said, since I haven’t read her book, but the way she is quoted in the article above is bit annoying:

      “It’s a staggering disservice to women to be told to ‘try’ having a
      natural birth but be given insufficient resources, education, and
      support to make it happen. Natural birth is not something you try; it’s something you learn about, prepare for, and succeed by completing it.”

      The implication from the quote above is clear – that if you have sufficient resources and support, you can make natural childbirth happen. Saying that it’s something you “learn about, prepare for, and succeed by completing it” strongly implies that if you don’t complete it, you have failed. Also, saying that women are told to try and have a natural childbirth and then don’t have the resources and support to follow through is really condescending. Maybe they just decided it was pointless to endure unnecessary physical pain. Some women don’t give a shit about having a natural childbirth. Some women are fully educated on all the options and just choose to have an epidural. If people choose natural childbirth, great, but if they choose an all-drug birth, that’s great too. All pregnancies and births are not identical. All women are not identical. What matters is that the mother and baby come through birth healthy (and even then I would hesitate to use the term “success”, because sometimes things go wrong, and I don’t conclude from that that the woman somehow “failed”). I’m tired of the condescension and the implication that women who never had any interest in natural childbirth are unprepared or poorly educated.

      • CW

        I think you and Maria are totally misreading the quote. What she’s saying is that a mom can’t just waltz into L&D without any preparation whatsoever and expect to be successful at having a natural delivery. You wouldn’t just one day wake up and decide to run a marathon without ever having trained for it, would you? Well, if you want to have a decent shot at a natural delivery, it helps to get training in the Bradley Method or Hypnobirthing or whatever. The preparation isn’t a 100% guarantee of a natural delivery, but without it, the odds of having a natural delivery are slim. That’s all Ms. Bialik is saying.

      • hbc

        I do find it a bit amusing to talk about “natural” birth and simultaneously talk about how much preparation, training, and support you need for it. It certainly undercuts the “women have been doing this for millennia with no problems whatsoever” argument.

      • guest

        Well, back then it was more the norm, so a laboring woman would have had a lot more support (For instance her mom, aunts, grandmother and neighbors would have probably all labored without medicationmedication, the midwife helping her would be experienced in unmedicated delivery, and so on). We’ve lost a lot of that with the predominance of hospital birth over the last half century or so.

      • Ennis Demeter

        A lot of those aunts, grandmothers and neighbors would have died in childbirth, or would be incontinent, have prolapsed uteri, and obstetric fistulas too. Our fore mothers feared childbirth, and with good reason.

      • hbc

        We haven’t lost that knowledge, we’ve added to it. Midwives are *more* knowledgeable now. Look at the mortality rates in places untouched by modern medicine and see how much we’ve “lost.”

      • CW

        “Natural” does not mean “easy”. Where did anyone claim that simply because something is the way God/Mother Nature (depending on your POV) made it, it will automatically be easy to do? Natural childbirth is not easy. Making it through the early weeks of breastfeeding is not easy. Raising your child yourself rather than outsourcing it to a nanny or daycare center isn’t easy. That doesn’t mean those things are not natural or best for the baby.

      • hbc

        I’m not sure there’s any point responding to someone who uses the disparaging term “outsourcing” for child care is worth responding to, but…

        Plenty of people imply that it’s easy and that you’re a technology-dependent wimp if you can’t or won’t get your child out of your body without the benefit of modern medicine.

      • Surfaces

        My sister did, twice. Explain that.

    • Katia

      Maria about holding the squirmming baby close maybe you and mayim are thinking of different ages / stages.

      • CW

        As mom of 3, I’m firmly convinced it’s a temperament thing. I had one baby who always wanted to be held or worn, one baby who HATED it and would scream her little head off any time she was placed into the sling, and one baby who could take it or leave it.

    • Justme

      I’m no fan of Mayim Bialik, nor the AP community based on my own experiences and close encounters…but perhaps this is a case of Glennon Melton’s avocado story?

      (If you have no idea what I’m talking about, go look it up.)

      • Jessica

        I <3 Glennon Melton. I used to read her blog when I was up late nursing after my daughter was born. So many great articles there

    • doodlebug2

      “Attachment parenting” is a bunch of bullshit. That’s all.

      • CW

        Most of the practices have been around for ages, they just weren’t labeled as a specific “style” of parenting. The name is just Dr. Sears’ branding to get a new generation of moms interested in traditional practices like on-demand nursing, babywearing, sharing a family bed, etc.

      • Layla

        So I’m not an attachment parent (well maybe by default since we used to co sleep but out of necessity for my own sleep!) but I don’t know if I would say it is all bs. I’m pretty sure the cavemen were co sleeping with their children and wearing em all around. It is probably only modern society that has led to kids sleeping separately from parents, etc.

      • Ennis Demeter

        I bet cave people longed for more privacy.

      • Layla

        Do you think they carved out separate spaces for themselves? Hehe maybe they used animals as mechanical moms. Or leaves to make wraps for their babies ;)

      • rrlo

        How is it not smug calling a parenting style that so many people subscribe to and believe in “bunch of bullshit”? How is what you are saying any different or better than what the whole point of this article was about?

      • doodlebug2

        Let me clarify. It’s not the style of parenting that I consider to be bullshit, but its use and application by white people in western society. It’s the “fad” that I consider to be bullshit, not the specific practices themselves (though I prefer for my and my husband’s bed to be ours and ours alone, thanks). I take issue with white hipsters fetishizing a style of parenting that has been used by people of color and, in particular, indigenous societies since…well, pretty much since forever. But where is the voice of those people in the so-called modern “Attachment Parenting” movement? As usual, it’s a voice that’s been hijacked by upper-class white people who glorify this practice while marginalizing those from whom it originated. Here is an interesting article on the subject: http://www.thedailybeast.com/witw/articles/2013/08/29/are-we-not-mothers-too-women-of-color-and-attachment-parenting.html

    • Courtney Lynn

      I don’t mind if people are simply stating “this is what works for me”. The bit about natural childbirth is rude and absurd. So I guess I “failed”. I wanted a natural birth. I really, really did, but for medical reasons, I was induced which resulted in an emergency c-section. Hey, I wanted me and my baby alive. That’s a win, if you ask me and I honestly believed at the time I was looking out for me and mine. I was also judged for having a repeat c-section by some because I didn’t want to risk complications by attempting a VBAC. More power to moms who have done it, but it wasn’t for me.

      I also babywear (it’s fun and easy!), have coslept (still do sometimes) but I also don’t throw out my own instincts to follow a rigid, prescribed set of rules. Hell no. I know my kids and myself. I know my daughter likes to roll around on a blanket and gets pissed if I pick her up while she’s trying to get herself to sleep. She can fuss a little!

      Why can’t we just all stop the mommy wars? Stop the judging and just do what you do, I’ll do what I do and we can all be happy?

    • Sarah

      Umm she is an educated woman a pHD in neuroscience shes pretty well qualified to judge!

      • Abbe

        My husband has a phd, does that mean he has the right to tell you how to live your life? A lot of really educated people (not my hubs of course) may be book smart but can’t think their way out of a paper bag.

      • Jessifer

        Her PhD dissertation had absolutely nothing to do with AP. My understanding is that she has never actually published any peer-reviewed research in a reputable academic journal on the subject of AP and child behavioral development. That means she is actually NOT qualified to judge.

      • Abbe

        No no, go ahead and shut your brain off. One person with a PhD has figured out life for us, so we don’t have to think anymore. Yay!

    • lala

      You know I’m not sure how I feel about articles like this. As a parent, I would hope that we all are doing what we feel is best for us and our families. We are allowed to defend those choices. I don’t ever choose anything for my child with the mindset “Well that is a mediocre choice for them, there’s a better option but I’m not going to do it”. For me SAHM is the best option, for others working is the best option (well in most cases also not an option but that is another issue entirely). For some cosleeping is what works best for their families and for others sleeping in separate beds is.. I don’t think there is anything wrong with championing what you have found to be best for you. As long as you aren’t smug and condescending about it to others.

    • Jezebeelzebub

      There’s something bad wrong with me, and I think I know what it is. I think my narcissism is so large and in charge that when it meets up with other people’s narcissism, our narcissims fight and my narcissism kicks their narcissism’s ass. It’s like Narcissism Thunderdome and I’m the reigning champ. Because when people I don’t care about tell me how much better at totally subjective shit like parenting or being great at religion they are than I, and how I fall miserably short of their expectations, the ability to hear/see/sense them just goes away. I already don’t care about them, so… what the hell do I care how they feel about anything I do? Not only are they People I Don’t Care About, but also now they are recategorized into ASSHOLES I Don’t Care About. Clearly they are assholes, right, and that makes them wrong. Which then make ME right, and I’m right so I win. A tiger doesn’t lose sleep over the opinion of sheep. RAWR, baby. NEXT.

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        here’s the deal, it’s disgusting, I hear you, but like if you had one in your house? That was all clean and only used by you? Then I would be all up in that wonderfall.

      • Jezebeelzebub

        if I had one in my house, everything would be dipped in chocolate. I mean food- of course- but also things I don’t like. I would dip things I don’t like in chocolate because then I would like them. My alarm clock, for instance. So I just realized I need my own chocolate wonderfall.

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        I want to go to there.

      • Tinyfaeri

        Pffft. I eat from the Wonderfall. I like to live dangerously, and besides, if you’ve got to die from something, is contaminated chocolate really that bad? At least it’s tasty!

      • Jezebeelzebub

        You are hardcore. Respect.

      • Tinyfaeri

        lol

    • Ennis Demeter

      Dr. William Sears, who coined the term “attachment parenting” was on the NPR show On Point last year (i think). A man called in who was the father of a seven year old. His wife adhered to AP and refused to have the child sleep in his own bed. The child didn’t want to, and the father was contemplating divorce because he wanted to have privacy, after 7 years, in his bedroom, and he wanted his son to begin to grow up and act his age. Dr Sears’ advice: “very soon, you will begin to reap the rewards of co-sleeping….” The man is a total quack. So is Bialik, by the way. She is an anti-vaxxer.

    • guest

      I parent mostly out of sheer laziness and cheapness, and it just so happens to align with AP. Examples: no pain meds for birth, so I could save money on our hospital bill (we also pushed for discharge a day early). Cloth diapers and wipes save money and trips to the grocery store. Breastfeeding is free and you can do it while asleep or internetting. Dragging my kid into bed helps me sleep better because I don’t even have to wake up to feed her (see previous point). And baby wearing rules because I can do stuff around the house with my hands free (and feed her at the same time). I swear my Moby wrap almost fused to my skin for the first two months of her life. Finally my laziness and scrooginess is paying off!

    • Emily A.

      Have there been any examinations of divorce rate of AP folks vs. non-AP? That would be interesting.

    • Valerie

      I always find it so strange, for those who claim to feel so judged, who claim to hate feeling so judged, in turn judge another for sharing their opinion. No one can “make” you feel shame. You control your feelings. If you choose to feel shame rather than just acceptance that someone is doing something different from you, then I feel for you. I empathize that you have a right to your feelings, but do not fail to acknowledge, that you get to choose your feelings.I hope you can move beyond that realm into acceptance.That people will do some things different, but the goal is the same. To raise decent kids. You dont have to subscribe to anything,other than you are doing everything in your power to raise your children well. Mayim is sharing her experiences. Some people find that helpful. I think it works in every mother’s favor if we just welcome differences instead of criticizing. No one wants to be judged and no one is always confident that they are doing everything right. Parenting is a learning process and it’s hard. Some people are raised in such dismal situations where they NEED outside advice, they NEED helpful suggestions which they can find from people like Mayim because they cannot draw on their own childhoods or experiences. No one person knows everything and just because they want to learn more about parenting doesnt make them less of a good parent or instinctive parent. Not everyone has the luxury of growing up in a nonabusive household so maybe they dont want to go on instinct alone. Knowledge is power, so they say. The more information out there, the more experiences out there shared by everyone can help make sense of the very difficult and confusing journey of parenting. You dont have to listen. You dont have to partake in the information, but I am personally grateful it is there.

      • Valerie

        How are there two of us with the exact same username? Lol.

      • Valerie

        Um? Not sure, but this is my actual name. Hi, Valerie, I’m Valerie too? Perhaps we can start a club?

      • Valerie

        Mine too. Sounds good- maybe we can gather some really high-profile Valeries to join. Like Valerie Harper? And…um…Valerie Plame? Should be a pretty tiny club- we are a rare breed.

      • Valerie

        I was named after Valerie Bertinilli so, she should definitely in get involved in this.

      • Valerie

        Pretty sure my parents were inspired by the Monkees.

    • guest

      There is some serious judgy bullshit in here against women who want to have a natural birth. For the record I had an unmedicated labor and delivery that I worked very hard to prepare for and consider myself fortunate to have achieved. There are no guarantees in birth, so I would never fault a woman for what happens in the unpredictable events of labor and delivery. I do not give one ounce of a shit as to how you choose to birth your baby or manage your pain. All I care about is that a woman’s birth attendant respect whatever a woman’s choice is provided it is reasonable and safe, and that women are given access to information about their care to make informed decisions.

      If you are out there saying a woman has a right to natural birth, you also have to support a woman’s choice to be electively induced at term, to have an elective c-section for any number of perfectly valid reasons, to have access to pain medication, and conversely to not have meds offered if she doesn’t want it, to refuse routine interventions that aren’t needed, etc. Stop being judgy bitches. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all birth out there.

      • Tinyfaeri

        And this is where most people, I think, are. Everyone I know, anyway. My friends and family and I have all had a huge range of births (mine was unmedicated until I needed Pitocin at the end for mild PPH), and all possible amounts of interventions or lack thereof. No one cares beyond “is everyone OK?” There’s none of this “us against them” crap, and no one’s bashing anyone. We can’t be that uncommon.

    • Abbe

      What kind of humans are we creating? In the near future we are going to be inundated by young adults who were carried eveywhere as a baby, who where never told no (because you’re supposed to redirect now instead), whose parents spent their child’s every waking moment with activities and undivided attention, never letting the child gain independence or use their imagination to free play. It’s going to be an ‘it’s all about me’ world, even more so than it is now.

      • rrlo

        Of course – the conclusion to be reached here is humanity is doomed. End of discussion.

      • Tinyfaeri

        It’s the only rational one, isn’t it?

      • Abbe

        Yeah that was TOTALLY my point! It doesn’t matter what parenting fad you go with, whether it be by a world overrun with special snowflakes or a zombie apocolypse, we are doomed. wtf

    • MaebykittyRN

      All this time I just thought I was being lazy by co-sleeping and babywearing. Maybe I’m actually an attachment parent, lol. Seriously though, whatever happened to just plain old parenting? I don’t see why it needs so many sub-genres.

      • Abbe

        Nope your good parenting doesn’t count unless you give it a fancy name and then blog about it.

    • Hutch

      My baby would throat punch me if I tried to hold her as much as AP “suggest.” Girl has places to be (namely the dog food bowl – working on her pincer grasp).

    • SA

      Anyone that says they ‘subscribe’ to a specific style of parenting is most likely judging you.

    • personal

      Do you know, I didn’t even know I was practicing ‘attachment parenting’ until I’d been doing it for over a year! Had NEVER heard of it, never had plans to co-sleep, planned to breastfeed for 6-10 months or so…
      4 years later, 2 kids are asleep in my bed after having been nursed one after the other. They are the ones who showed me what they wanted and needed. And I truly believe that every child and every family are different. My plans to wean and send to sleep in a crib, to have them play in a playpen and nap in a baby carriage instead of a carrier when they were small might have worked with different kids in a different family. But for these kids, they weren’t the right plans.
      Honestly, I couldn’t care less if other moms breastfeed until their kids go to school or stop at 2 days, whether they co-sleep or not, etc. Who am I to judge? (Though I suspect a lot of people would judge me for breastfeeding my 4 1/2 year old…)

      • doodlebug2

        Ok, I have to make a confession and I am ashamed of it. I do judge moms who breastfeed their children into the preschool years. I’m not proud of this, and so I feel like I need to own up to it and just be honest about it. I know that it’s wrong to judge and I’m sorry! (But we all judge, even if we don’t mean to–it’s part of human nature). I’m sure you’re an amazing mother and you obviously love your children very much. I guess I just don’t understand extended breastfeeding. I don’t know anyone who does this and I guess it’s not the “norm,” so when I hear about it, and especially when I see it, I bristle a little bit. Can you explain why you do it? Maybe if I understand more I won’t judge, as judging is certainly not something I want to do.

    • nych

      Cosleeping is NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT “safe sleeping” being a MAJOR factor/cause in SIDS deaths. Some cases due to actually inadvertently rolling onto the child or the child getting trapped in civers or pillows but some correlative cases could not be traced to direct contact or other accident, yet the correlation was still there. Bottom line is NO MATTER HOW “CAREFUL” you THINK you are being, cosleeping represents a real and unnecesaary rick to your baby’s life with no correspondingnproven benefits, except making the mom feel “closer” to the child or less unsecure with the child next to her. It is important to ask oneself”am I really doing this in the best interest of my child, given the cost/benefit, or am I making the decision for emotional reasons and attempting to justify my already made decision with specious after the fact reasons?” I am NOT trying to be a knowit all, I truly think based on REAL EVIDENCE that cosleeping is FAR too dangerous to the child to outweigh any physical or mental benefit which MAY OR MAY NOT EVEN BE REAL. I cant stand the thought of a single child coming to harm in this way since my best friend was the father of a SIDS baby. Co-sleeping wasnt involved in that case but if there is a known and PREVENTABLE risk it must be addressed.

    • AnonyMouse

      Her parenting style (not just AP, but extreme, talk about it all the time, book writing AP) cost her, her marriage. There is a difference between following the AP parenting style, and letting it consume you, and your relationship.

      Every time she talks about it, which is often, I get the impression her parenting style became the only thing that mattered to her, and her marriage took a major blow because of it. I could be wrong, but that’s the way it seems to me.

      She definitely doesn’t need to write a book that makes it seem like she thinks she’s superior. No one needs that, and the pressure for all women to breastfeed, have natural home births, and co sleep are ridiculous. What happened to people doing it their own way? As long as we take care of our children and provide them with what they need to grow, what does it matter if they ate from a bottle or a boob?

      I was a formula baby, and I have a Master’s degree and a great job. I’m also healthy. Not getting breast milk has not hindered me in any way, and it’s insulting when people insinuate that formula babies are “less advance or healthy” than breast fed babies.

      • CW

        Unless you’re Ms. Bialik’s marriage counselor (in which case you’d be breaking therapist-patient confidentiality), I don’t think it’s fair to speculate about what caused her divorce. Maybe her lifestyle choices played a role, and maybe it didn’t. That’s between her and her ex.

    • Reba

      Everyone thinks they’re right about parenting, it’s not just attachment parents. Why so much hate?

    • AutoIronic

      “I hate these [insert generalization] who judge people who do X. *I* only judge people who do Y.” Can you hear the problem there?

    • Psych Student

      Yeah, I don’t even share a bed with my wife, there is no way in hell either of us is going to share a bed with a baby. We can probably have the baby in the same room, maybe even do the side crib thing, but not in the same bed. My wife, especially. Any little movement wakes her up. And babies wake up enough as it is.

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