• Mommy Myth Buster

    Many parenting "news" items are lies, myths, exaggerations and marketing designed to scare parents into buying products. Here we bust up those myths and reveal the truth so we can relax and enjoy parenthood.
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Myth 24: Breast is best

milkfactory“In certain overachieving circles, breast-feeding is no longer a choice — it’s a no-exceptions requirement, the ultimate badge of responsible parenting. Yet the actual health benefits of breast-feeding are surprisingly thin, far thinner than most popular literature indicates. Is breast-feeding right for every family? Or is it this generation’s vacuum cleaner – an instrument of misery that mostly just keeps women down?” Excerpt from the new article “The Case Against Breast-Feeding” appearing in the April issue of The Atlantic written by Hanna Rosin. Continue reading

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Myth 23: Breastfeeding prevents obesity

1-23babybottle1According to David Barker, M.D., Ph.D., professor of clinical epidemiology at the University of Southampton, UK and professor of Cardiovascular in the Department of Medicine at the Oregon Health and Science University and one of the authors of the report, “A longer period of breastfeeding was associated with lower BMI (a measure for weight) at one year of age. This relationship disappeared by the age of 7 years.” Similarly, there was no significant difference in BMI at the age of 60 years associated with duration of breastfeeding.

These findings may help explain why some studies that examined breastfed infants during the first year of life suggested a protective effect of breastfeeding and obesity, whereas other studies that examined the relationship later in life have found no such effect. Continue reading

Myth 22: People who use genetic testing want designer babies

Genetic Testing

A new study by researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center found a high desire for additional genetic testing among consumers for life altering and threatening medical conditions including mental retardation, blindness, deafness, cancer, heart disease, dwarfism and shortened lifespan from death by 5 years of age. Consumers, however, are less interested in prenatal genetic testing for traits including tall stature, superior athletic ability and superior intelligence. Continue reading

Myth 21: Carseats are safer than seatbelts for ages 2+.

23273103thbEvery child who is 1 year old and weighs 20 lbs. is allowed to ride in a front facing car seat (if only because they get too huge to fit rear-facing anymore) and at age 4 and 40 lbs they can graduate to a car booster seat until they turn 8 or until they are 4 ft. 9 inches tall. Endless studies show that carseats and booster seats are safer, safer, safer. But safer than what? And under what circumstances are they safer? Are parents even qualified to install the carseats they buy? Certified child passenger safety seat installers and Highway Patrol officers are required to complete a 4-day course on carseat installation. Do carseats and booster seats for children age 2 to 8 actually make your child safer or are you being bullied by carseat companies into spending $300,000,000 per year on complicated safety devices that have no more benefit than a properly used seatbelt? Is improved safety for small children through the use of carseats and booster seats a buckled down fact? Or is the sense that these seats provide more safety for your kids just a well marketed myth?
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Myth 20: Avoiding peanuts prevents allergy.

Note: This myth is not 100% busted, but the premise is starting to show its slip a little. Read on.

11-7peanutNew research casts doubt on government health recommendations that infants and new mothers avoid eating peanuts to prevent development of food allergy.  The study, published in the November issue of The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, shows that children who avoided peanut in infancy and early childhood were 10 times as likely to develop peanut allergy as those who were exposed to peanut.

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Myth 19: Flu shots don’t work in “bad vaccine match” years.

Flu VaccineChildren who receive all recommended flu vaccine appear to be less likely to catch the respiratory virus that the CDC estimates hospitalizes 20,000 children every year — even during “bad vaccine match” years.

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Myth 18: Light drinking in pregnancy is bad for children.

11-7wineChildren born to mothers who drink lightly during pregnancy – as defined as 1–2 units per week or per occasion – are not at increased risk of behavioral difficulties or cognitive deficits compared with children of abstinent mothers, according to a new study led by researchers at University College London (UCL)

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