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Milwulkees awful anti cosleeping ad - Page 3

post #41 of 85

http://www.askdrsears.com/news/latest-news/dr-sears-addresses-recent-co-sleeping-concerns

post #42 of 85

I think it's interesting to note that the first thing Dr. Sears says about safe cosleeping is this:

 

For safe co-sleeping:

  • We recommend using a bassinet that attaches safely and securely to parents’ bed, which allows both mother and baby to have their own sleeping space, while baby still enjoys sleeping close to mommy for easier feeding and comforting.
post #43 of 85

Very good link.  Substance abuse is, to no one's surprise, the main culprit and has been all along.  I don't suppose the city would consider handing out co-sleepers instead of pack and plays?  There is something else I've been wanting to say, and it may be controversial, but darn it, I'm tired and I don't care!  Some posters, who I don't doubt are speaking the truth from experience, have painted a very grim picture of negligent, drunk/high moms, and the risks they subject their babies to.  If such a woman is given a crib, designated "safe" by the powers that be, what are the odds she is EVER going to take the poor baby out of it again?  Maybe drop a bottle in the top once or twice a day, and that is it.  Isolation is terrible mental torture for an infant.  If I were a baby and I had the choice, I would take my chances with my grandmother on the couch, just for some human contact, rather than spend the first year of my life in solitary confinement and come out of it emotionally maimed for life.  

post #44 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arete View Post
 If such a woman is given a crib, designated "safe" by the powers that be, what are the odds she is EVER going to take the poor baby out of it again?  Maybe drop a bottle in the top once or twice a day, and that is it.  Isolation is terrible mental torture for an infant.  If I were a baby and I had the choice, I would take my chances with my grandmother on the couch, just for some human contact, rather than spend the first year of my life in solitary confinement and come out of it emotionally maimed for life.  


This is offensive on so many levels I don't even know where to begin.

 

post #45 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arete View Post

Some posters, who I don't doubt are speaking the truth from experience, have painted a very grim picture of negligent, drunk/high moms, and the risks they subject their babies to.  If such a woman is given a crib, designated "safe" by the powers that be, what are the odds she is EVER going to take the poor baby out of it again?  Maybe drop a bottle in the top once or twice a day, and that is it.  Isolation is terrible mental torture for an infant.  If I were a baby and I had the choice, I would take my chances with my grandmother on the couch, just for some human contact, rather than spend the first year of my life in solitary confinement and come out of it emotionally maimed for life.  

That is really offensive.  Some of what you're talking about definitely happens but having worked with parents who have struggled with addictions as well as led support groups for mothers who have and were continuing to abuse and neglect their children, I think you've really missed the boat.  I've never met a parent who does not love their children and I've met plenty of parents who have worked hard to battle both their addictions as well as their tendencies to abuse/neglect their children.  Many of them are able to implement small changes when given some opportunity.  Plenty who struggle with addiction are able to make choices that do keep their children safer--like putting them in a packnplay. 

 

Not only that, but suggesting substance abuse is the only cause of unsafe sleeping deaths is offensive and unfair. 
 

 

post #46 of 85

Maybe it's the lack of sleep from last night, but it does seem to me these days people are coming to this site for the sole purpose of being offended.  I was NOT the one who recounted any of the horror stories in this thread, or suggested, even in jest, that people need a permit to breed.  In fact, I probably have a lot more faith in the ability of ANY mother to co-sleep without smashing her infant than a lot of you.  I've lived in "underdeveloped" countries where it is done routinely by women with less formal education and less disposable income than just about anyone in America.  If substance abuse isn't the "MAIN" culprit, then I would sure like to know what is.  I'm sorry, people, I haven't worked personally with the poor of Milwaukee, but you can't hammer us with the COPIOUS stories of neglect above and then freak out if I suggest someone is going to leave a crying baby in a crib hour after hour and day after day.  And that is crueler than just about anything I can think of.  I speak for myself, none other.  I would rather be with my mom, or my grandmother, whom, I, if none of you, have SOME faith will allow billions of years of evolution to go to work and prevent her from crushing me, than be alone.  Research has shown what this does to babies. 

post #47 of 85

 

Quote:
I don't suppose the city would consider handing out co-sleepers instead of pack and plays?

 

I don't think that's really practical. They're expensive for one thing -- pack-n-plays are cheap. Also, you have to attach co-sleepers safely to a safe bed, same level, no crevices, etc. -- it's all too complicated and assumes a quality of life that isn't realistic. Mattresses on the floor or couches may be all that is available.

 

And if there's smoking/drinking/drugs involved, it's not really safe to have a baby in a co-sleeper next to you either.

post #48 of 85

Also, not every person who can't cosleep or bed share safely is an addict, alcoholic, or obese person. Some people need a ton of warm bedding because they live in a cold climate and don't have adequate heating. Some people have beds that are too small for two adults and a baby. Some people are simply heavy sleepers. Some people take legal, prescription medication (that they are not abusing) that interferes with sleep patterns.

post #49 of 85

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arete View Post

Maybe it's the lack of sleep from last night, but it does seem to me these days people are coming to this site for the sole purpose of being offended.  I was NOT the one who recounted any of the horror stories in this thread, or suggested, even in jest, that people need a permit to breed.  In fact, I probably have a lot more faith in the ability of ANY mother to co-sleep without smashing her infant than a lot of you.  I've lived in "underdeveloped" countries where it is done routinely by women with less formal education and less disposable income than just about anyone in America.  If substance abuse isn't the "MAIN" culprit, then I would sure like to know what is.  I'm sorry, people, I haven't worked personally with the poor of Milwaukee, but you can't hammer us with the COPIOUS stories of neglect above and then freak out if I suggest someone is going to leave a crying baby in a crib hour after hour and day after day.  And that is crueler than just about anything I can think of.  I speak for myself, none other.  I would rather be with my mom, or my grandmother, whom, I, if none of you, have SOME faith will allow billions of years of evolution to go to work and prevent her from crushing me, than be alone.  Research has shown what this does to babies. 


I'm not offended by your uninformed response, but I do have to chuckle because a lot of people responding to you have been around longer than you.  Should they assume you came to this site solely to be offensive?  No.


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by alittlesandy View Post

Also, not every person who can't cosleep or bed share safely is an addict, alcoholic, or obese person. Some people need a ton of warm bedding because they live in a cold climate and don't have adequate heating. Some people have beds that are too small for two adults and a baby. Some people are simply heavy sleepers. Some people take legal, prescription medication (that they are not abusing) that interferes with sleep patterns.


I think this needs to be repeated.  Further, the people that choose not to sleep with their babies in their beds can still have amazing, attached relationships with their children.

 

post #50 of 85

When I got to this thread yesterday, I had just finished reading two others (one in Homebirth, one in Health), neither of which I was part of, where various people were claiming to be extremely offended, and I could not figure out why.  Also, I have seen a number of posts from women who have been on this site longer than I complaining about an increasingly acrimonious climate.  They, not I, have said Mothering isn't as supportive and friendly a place as it used to be, but I am certainly beginning to agree.  I mentioned the co-sleepers because the Sears link, as a pp noted, listed it as the very safest way to co-sleep.  I know they are expensive and cumbersome, but other co-sleeping options exist, more portable and cheaper.  How effective they are I don't know, because I haven't tried them all.  It's a funny comment about mattresses on the floor, since "a big mattress on the floor" was winning the poll on this site for favorite co-sleeping devices last time I checked in.  And in an unheated room in a WI winter (yes, I live here too) one would absolutely have to bring the baby into bed to prevent him freezing to death.  P.j.s don't come warm enough to withstand this cold.  The fact is, public health authorities are simply not interested in fostering safe co-sleeping, whatever science people like Dr. Sears and Professor McKenna have to offer.  It is still seen as weird.  Our culture wants babies in cribs, in separate rooms if parents have them.

 

There has been a shift on this thread since it was begun.  First it was about if the ads were distasteful and misleading.  Then it was about the neglect, and shall we say, poor choices of parents quoted by pps, and why they necessitate such a campaign.  Now, it seems to be about responsible parents, who because of medical conditions or other unavoidable circumstances, CANNOT safely co-sleep, but can't afford a crib.  I was responding to the second of these topics, and only that.  Like all of you, I know many loving moms and dads who use pack and plays for sleep or a 15 minute break for a much desired shower.  But they would be fatally easy for a neglectful parent to use as a cage, yes, let me repeat that, CAGE.  I have been deeply moved in the past by reports coming out of institutional orphanages in places like Eastern Europe, and other circumstances where infants spend literally months in cribs, taken out only to be fed and cleaned.  They are severely traumatized by this, emerging devoid of empathy and incapable of forming loving relationships.  And let me stop you before you ask me if I'd prefer the babies to be dead as a result of unsafe co-sleeping.  No, I wouldn't!  When a child is abused, do we say, that's okay, at least he's not dead?  We try to stop the abuse.  An old fashioned cradle, with only room for a sleeping baby (I know they likely wouldn't meet modern safety requirements), or a Moses basket, or anything that only accommodates SLEEP, would be a far better option to my mind.  Every baby mammal and bird wants to be close to a parent at night, and the much-vilified parents of Milwaukee are in this sense obeying instinct, which is usually right.  I wouldn't have thought on a thread called The Family Bed, this would be such a foreign concept.

post #51 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adaline'sMama View Post


Obviously.
However, since Milwaukee has a much higher infant death rate than most cities, and most of those deaths are due to complications with premature births, I think my point stands. Im sorry if I offended you. I only meant that I think education would decrease more number of deaths by educating women and with smoking cessation programs than with terrifying ad campaigns that will likely result in mothers all over the country not sleeping with their babies and possibly making nursing more difficult for them.


Milwaukee has also made major efforts recently to try to figure out why the rates of premature birth and infant deaths are so high, and solve the root causes. However, I have to agree with APT - the ads make sense given the realities in the area (I grew up in one of the targeted zip codes). Like many of you, I was taken aback by the ads at first - I coslept safely with my kids and would make the same choice again - but I think an education campaign like this has to be tailored to the sleeping conditions of the majority of families in the area - and from there, individual families can figure out what makes sense for them and what is safe for their family.

post #52 of 85

 

Quote:
It's a funny comment about mattresses on the floor, since "a big mattress on the floor" was winning the poll on this site for favorite co-sleeping devices last time I checked in.

 

Yes, but we're not the targeted community of this ad.

 

A mattress on the floor doesn't make co-sleeping safer if it's slept in by boyfriend/older siblings/grandma -- or if there's substance use involved.

 

EDIT:

I want to add: I bet breastfeeding rates for the targeted zip codes are very, very low. Professor James McKenna, who is a big advocate of bed-sharing (as we all know), does not recommend co-sleeping if you don't breastfeed. He has suggested before that co-sleeping deaths are associated with not breastfeeding.


Edited by Ginger Bean - 11/21/11 at 8:32am
post #53 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by tntmom View Post

As to the point that Milwaukee has a high rate of infant deaths due to prematurity it could be attributed to the fact that Milwaukee is home to one of the largest Children's Hospitals in WI. So they get many babies from all over the state and occasionally even from different states. There are very few NICU's in the rest of the state that have the technology and space. With my first I was sent to Milwaukee and had my insurance not changed I would have been there for my second as well. Just food for thought.



The Milwaukee Department of Health looks at the child/mothers originiating zip code with these cases and not just the zip code of where the death occured.  CHOW is located on a suburban side of Milwaukee, and the target zip codes are located east of CHOW in central Milwaukee.    The health department has a report posted with this data (2005-2008) on their website under Infant Mortality

 

 

post #54 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by redbirdlady View Post

The mortality rate among babies/children in Milwaukee is apparently tied to particular zip codes, and is heavily skewed toward the African American population (which has more than double the mortality rate for babies as Caucasians.  LINK)  Further, the mortality rate there is linked to socioeconomic status (Link for that one - here.)

 

Based on all of the studies, it looks like Milwaukee's biggest issue in terms of infant mortality is health care, followed by smoking.  There's also alcohol and drug abuse mixed in there as well.  I mean, handing out Pack and Plays is all good, especially since there are people who cannot afford cribs, except when the mom doesn't have access to decent health care, or is drunk.  Because I'm sure someone who has a drinking problem is going to stop before they pass out and think, "I need to put the baby in the Pack and Play before I pass out."  (If you google the news stories for individual deaths, one of them was smothered by a grandmother on a couch who had had EIGHT beers.  I'm sorry, but I don't think it's fair to label something like that a co-sleeping death.)

 

And after reading all of that data, I'm even more ticked that these morons decided it would be a better idea to have an anti-co-sleeping campaign, rather than focus a campaign on maternal health care, smoking cessation, etc.  I agree with you that the money could have been MUCH better spent elsewhere.


Actually, they do have a variety of ads out right now about creating strong, healthy babies.  Promoting prenatal care, quitting smoking, eating healthy, breastfeeding, and getting vaccinated.   It's the Strong Baby campaign if you want to google it.  I actually had to chuckle, because they were doing a casting call for strong babies and my baby didn't qualify because she's not up to date on her vaccinations.  Oh well. 

 

I'm definitely appalled by this ad too, I get why they are doing it, but I still think it sucks.  There are a lot of other issues here, and they definitely blur the lines between actual bed sharing in a safe manner and also the whole SIDS thing bugs me too.  If it was SIDS, then it wouldn't be classified as suffocation.

 

Sorry if I repeated anything someone else said, but I didn't read it all before responding.

 

post #55 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arete View Post

When I got to this thread yesterday, I had just finished reading two others (one in Homebirth, one in Health), neither of which I was part of, where various people were claiming to be extremely offended, and I could not figure out why.  Also, I have seen a number of posts from women who have been on this site longer than I complaining about an increasingly acrimonious climate.  They, not I, have said Mothering isn't as supportive and friendly a place as it used to be, but I am certainly beginning to agree.  I mentioned the co-sleepers because the Sears link, as a pp noted, listed it as the very safest way to co-sleep.  I know they are expensive and cumbersome, but other co-sleeping options exist, more portable and cheaper.  How effective they are I don't know, because I haven't tried them all.  It's a funny comment about mattresses on the floor, since "a big mattress on the floor" was winning the poll on this site for favorite co-sleeping devices last time I checked in.  And in an unheated room in a WI winter (yes, I live here too) one would absolutely have to bring the baby into bed to prevent him freezing to death.  P.j.s don't come warm enough to withstand this cold.  The fact is, public health authorities are simply not interested in fostering safe co-sleeping, whatever science people like Dr. Sears and Professor McKenna have to offer.  It is still seen as weird.  Our culture wants babies in cribs, in separate rooms if parents have them.

 

There has been a shift on this thread since it was begun.  First it was about if the ads were distasteful and misleading.  Then it was about the neglect, and shall we say, poor choices of parents quoted by pps, and why they necessitate such a campaign.  Now, it seems to be about responsible parents, who because of medical conditions or other unavoidable circumstances, CANNOT safely co-sleep, but can't afford a crib.  I was responding to the second of these topics, and only that.  Like all of you, I know many loving moms and dads who use pack and plays for sleep or a 15 minute break for a much desired shower.  But they would be fatally easy for a neglectful parent to use as a cage, yes, let me repeat that, CAGE.  I have been deeply moved in the past by reports coming out of institutional orphanages in places like Eastern Europe, and other circumstances where infants spend literally months in cribs, taken out only to be fed and cleaned.  They are severely traumatized by this, emerging devoid of empathy and incapable of forming loving relationships.  And let me stop you before you ask me if I'd prefer the babies to be dead as a result of unsafe co-sleeping.  No, I wouldn't!  When a child is abused, do we say, that's okay, at least he's not dead?  We try to stop the abuse.  An old fashioned cradle, with only room for a sleeping baby (I know they likely wouldn't meet modern safety requirements), or a Moses basket, or anything that only accommodates SLEEP, would bea far better option to my mind.  Every baby mammal and bird wants to be close to a parent at night, and the much-vilified parents of Milwaukee are in this sense obeying instinct, which is usually right.  I wouldn't have thought on a thread called The Family Bed, this would be such a foreign concept.


Arete--Seriously.  Do you realize how you sound and what broad assumptions you are making?  First, I don't agree that our culture wants babies in separate rooms.  In fact, Milwaukee has a website stating the AAP guidelines which are for babies to be in the same room as parents.  To make a parallel between Eastern European orphanages and putting a baby in a packnplay in Milwaukee is ridiculous.  Not to sound like a total know-it-all but I also have spent several months working in Eastern European orphanages and there is just no similarity between the two.  To suggest that there is strikes me as really truly disgusting.  My experience in the orphanages has been that kids have been completely an utterly deprived of everything except the most minimal requirements to keep them alive.  That isn't the population Milwaukee is targeting, nor are the circumstances even close to similar, and I think it is really insulting to make a correlation between total deprivation and being in a "CAGE" and not being able to safely bedshare because maybe you are grandma, not mom, maybe you have only a couch and not a bed, maybe you didn't have the support to breastfeed but you lovingly bottle feed, maybe you have to work 16 hour days to make ends meet so you are seriously dead to the world and not alert enough to safely bedshare, maybe you have to take sleeping pills because your life is very stressful and you live in a dangerous neighborhood and you can't get a wink of sleep otherwise, or maybe you struggle with addiction and have to have a few drinks before bed every night which makes bedsharing dangerous but you're still able to get up during the day and be supermom. 

 

This isn't an either-or type of thing. It isn't "either you bedshare or you're going to be completely traumatized, devoid of empathy, etc."  That is what is insulting.  And silly.
 

 

post #56 of 85

Once again, APToddlermama, you are ignoring the fact that I was responding only to the second topic on this thread, the one about the neglectful parents, and not the third, the one about the parents who work long hours and/or have medical conditions.  You must forgive me for not noticing we had left the one idea and moved to the other with startling abruptness.  If you can vouch for the people of Milwaukee, that no one would never be so negligent, so be it.  It seems to me that we are not as a people free from any such possibility.  Horrible cases of abuse do occur here.  And I cannot agree with you that mainstream America does not expect babies to have their own rooms.  I live in a pretty lefty area, and yet when I was pregnant, people constantly asked me how I was decorating the nursery.  If you insist on reading insults into my messages, then you will perceive an "either-or" situation.  As a matter of fact, I am the only one in my extended family who co-slept, and yet I do not think of my relatives as abusive monsters.  Please read back through this thread to check of the tales of neglect.  They are, believe it or not, what caused a concern which I still think pardonable.

post #57 of 85

Louisiana has an anti cosleeping ad also, I always turn of the radio, it makes me sick.

post #58 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by APToddlerMama View Post


Milwaukee has been doing this campaign for several years with absolutely no national attention. Their old billboards featured the head board of the family bed as a grave stone for babies.  The national attention is brand new.  The ad targets Milwaukee.  I truly believe it will save lives in Milwaukee



How much has the infant mortality rate dropped since they started the ads?

 

My reality isn't middle-class, elitist or "faux hippie". My reality is blue collar. I've also had a large number of friends and relatives who struggle/struggled with addiction. And, I can't see any way in which an ad campaign like this is going to make any difference at all to people who aren't even deliberately bedsharing in the first place. When someone lies down (ie. passes out) on the couch with a baby after eight beers, it has nothing to do with bedsharing, and creepy visuals of gravestone headboards and infants sleeping with a knife aren't going to touch it. What on earth is the point of saying "don't bedshare" to people who aren't bedsharing in the first place?

 

You know...I've read at least one story of a bedsharing mom, who woke up when her son was having some kind of issue, and called 911, and got him the care he needed to save his life. (I'm afraid I don't remember the medical details, as I read it several years ago.) If that woman had been scared by these ads into putting her baby in a "safe" crib, he'd be dead. I firmly believe that bedsharing can save lives, and this campaign is dangerously misdirected.

 

 

 

Edited to remove something that I see was already addressed after the post I quoted above.

 


Edited by Storm Bride - 11/21/11 at 12:58pm
post #59 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adaline'sMama View Post

Yep. Ive been wrong all along. You should have to apply for a permit to breed.


If you had to apply for a permit to breed, poor people wouldn't be able to have children...ever. I don't trust the government as far as I can throw it, and the idea of giving them say in who can have a baby makes my stomach turn. (I actually think you were being sarcastic, though.)

post #60 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by APToddlerMama View Post


because maybe you are grandma, not mom, maybe you have only a couch and not a bed, maybe you didn't have the support to breastfeed but you lovingly bottle feed, maybe you have to work 16 hour days to make ends meet so you are seriously dead to the world and not alert enough to safely bedshare, maybe you have to take sleeping pills because your life is very stressful and you live in a dangerous neighborhood and you can't get a wink of sleep otherwise, or maybe you struggle with addiction and have to have a few drinks before bed every night which makes bedsharing dangerous but you're still able to get up during the day and be supermom.

 

I agree. And I think it highlights the underpinnings of this entire thread, and of the larger discussion; both here and on the irritating platform of Facebook. (Ugh, "friends" indeed!)  The idea of "intent" or being "intentional" about something.

 

So I want to co-sleep: I'm INTENTIONAL about reading research, getting the right resources, breastfeeding and creating my circle of support.  These are the LEAST likely sort of cases to be dangerous for baby.  (According to Dr. McKenna, and others.)  This is why the ad (to circle back around to why this thread was started) is so offensive to some people: they are being intentional about their choices and the ad is saying that choice is wrong.  What APTM and others have pointed out is that there is another side of this we HAVE to consider, and I admit, has made me rethink my own position on ads like this one. The unintentional co-sleeping arrangement is the dangerous one: poverty, addiction, non-mother or not BFing. But this is too complex of a message for a billboard, isn't it? Public Health in general is about the greater good, the most people, and blanket statements are part of that.  The same debate exists on vaccinations, for instance. Just because a "few" (according to research) might have negative reactions, institutions must still promote vaccinations- as the "greater" good. So intentional co-sleeping might not be very dangerous, but the target audience of this ad is not those people.

 

On the issue that Arete brings up, which is neglectful behavior facilitated by a crib or packnplay- I just think that this type of behavior would exist anyway, regardless of the "device." I have lived in neighborhoods where 11 month-olds are out climbing down the front steps, alone, toddling along sidewalks or crawling around apartments unattended. Would it be safer for that child in a crib? It's like insult to injury- abuse and neglect are not excusable, and both are present when there's no human contact AND a dangerous street outside. But I sort of agree that even though the AAP might say babies should be in the room with parents, "culturally" (which of course is not quantifiable) there is definitely anti-cosleeping vibe. It comes across in small ways, with little comments from friends and family, commercials and movies that all show little babies and children all tucked in nicely to sleep in their own rooms and the plethora of bed-stuff for purchase.

 

I'm glad this thread exists, and that there is healthy debate. I have not felt offended at all, in fact, I come over here for the lively discussion and additional information that other people post.  Not agreeing with someone is not a basis for being offended, I don't think.

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