We all know that human babies must be protected. They need to be kept warm and dry, well fed and safe. Our babies also need to be held and loved so they learn to trust and be part of our society. The vast majority of parents work very hard to make this happen.
Many of my friends, who are now becoming grandparents, have noticed the incredible number of rules young parents face today. Sleep positions. 6-point car seat harness systems. Safety approved high chairs. Rigid and multiple immunization schedules. Sling recalls. Baby CPR. It's enough to make those of us with older children shudder and wonder how our children ever survived.
An infant injury or death is devastating to parents and family members. And in a perfect world, no child would ever get hurt. In our attempt to create a safer world for children, we must stop and realize that all the rules in the world will not make perfection. And when life throws us non-perfection, we need to avoid judgment. We need to extend support instead.
Parents need role models and support to help take care of their babies. Once parents walk out of the hospital setting, they need to know where they can turn. When they are frustrated, when they need information, when their baby won't sleep without being held, when they need a break or when they need to hear they are doing a good job. All of us play a role in helping parents create a safe and healthy environment for their infants. An environment that will never guarantee perfection, but will help new parents do the very best that they can. It is the most we can ask of anyone.
We hope that MilkWorks, as a community breastfeeding center, is one source of support for new parents. We are here 7 days a week. Ready to answer feeding questions, provide guidance and reassurance, or help parents find the support they need elsewhere. Parents were not meant to parent alone.