Tuesday, October 18, 2005

More on the AAP Recommendations

I said in my recent post that I had no problem with the recent AAP directives on SIDS prevention, that include placing a baby to sleep on their backs. For the record, mine, per the then-recommendation, were always put to sleep on their sides, and generally made their way to their stomachs during the night…

However, I realize now that I wasn’t considering all the ramifications. The NYTimes has an article today about how many parents, guiltily and covertly, are still putting their babies to sleep on their stomachs, because they sleep so much better that way. I’d probably do the same…

Quoting the NYTimes:

In the face of so much advice, many well-meaning parents simply balk. Doctors, they feel, issue proclamations without living in the real world.
"I'm very sympathetic to the mother who is so sleep-deprived that she puts the baby on its belly knowing that all the experts recommend not to," said Ms. Lyon, of the RealBirth center. "The role of the professional is to say 'these are the recommendations and this is why.' The role of the parent is to think critically and apply those recommendations in a way that makes their life manageable."
Perhaps surprisingly, Ms. Lyon finds no argument from Dr. Kattwinkel of the pediatrics academy.

"There is some justification to mothers who want to accept some of the risk factors and not others," he said. "You can follow all the risk factors and your baby may still die of SIDS. But as a national organization, we need to warn the public about it."

He added, "Any pediatrician who didn't would not be responsible."

I find this story particularly interesting because it pertains to so many other noble efforts that doctors often foist upon us with little regard for the real life, real world implications of carrying them out.

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