post #21 of 21
Originally Posted by Turquesa View Post

I agree about the lack of access to medical care. 


Yet to follow my analogy and this entire line of reasoning, the severely disadvantaged should be told to abstain completely from sexual relations.  After all, they never get to the doctor.  So they can't get in for birth control, STD testing, prevention and family planning discussions, or even prenatal care.  greensad.gif  Besides, just as the 100% foolproof way to avoid crushing a baby in her sleep is not to sleep-share, the 100% foolproof way to avoid pregnancy and STDs is abstinence.


But just as couples (many of whom are married) will have sex, they will get tired and overwhelmed (or, as Peggy O'Mara stated, to poor to afford a crib), and bring the baby into bed with them.  Or maybe they will just favor that approach ot night-time parenting.  A more realistic approach would be--in both cases!--to convey in whatever way possible (including billboards, WIC visits, etc), accurate and factual information as to how to exercise these choices safely (or not at all, if they're not good candidates for sleep-sharing).  When I think of it more deeply, the abstinence-only message talks down to people, as if they can handle only "black-and-white" and "yes-or-no" instead of exceptions and gray areas. 


It goes without saying that your post highlights the urgent need for health care access for impoverished families.  There are a few of such places in Milwaukee, but I'm not sure whether they're well used by the people who need them.  But I'm getting into another can of worms, aren't I? 



And thats fine, but billboards (generally seen as one goes by in a car or bus - so you have only a few seconds to read them) need to be short, simple, to the point.  A billboard that says, Co-Sleeping is GREAT! BUT - its unsafe when: baby is not with mama, mama or papa are intoxicated/taking prescriptions meds, any surface not an actual bed, too soft a surface, there are too many suffocation hazards such as comforters, mom is not breastfeeding...blah blah one will read each of those things, and will likely ONLY see the 1st part - the cosleeping is great part. Thats not the message that needs to be conveyed - the message that needs to be conveyed is that baby needs to be in a SAFE environment to sleep. A crib or pack n play IS a safe environment.


I understand why you dislike this particular billboard. However, your arguments don't work so well in the world that these are being displayed in.


As for the very limited selection of free clinics you linked to, they are probably overflowing and don't have time to see all the patients they need to. If you look closely you'll see these 2 quotes in particular:



Doors open between 7:30-8 a.m. and patients are seen on a first come, first serve basis. No appointments are taken and the number of patients seen can vary between 15 and 25 depending on the number of volunteers available.


Needless to say, thats not very many people.  I'm sure many are turned away every week. And with a small baby long wait times are daunting and difficult.



Arrive before 8 a.m. Monday through Thursday to qualify for the same-day appointment lottery.


If they have a need for an "appointment lottery" they don't have the ability to see the number of patients that need to be seen. Clearly there is a need for these health care facilities, and clearly they do not have the capacity to do all that needs to be done. Take 15minutes to describe in detail how co-sleeping can be made safer to each patient with a small child would make them unable to see the number of patients they are currently able to see. Telling them to put the baby in a crib or pack n play in the same room as the adults in the house - takes much less time AND gives a safe alternative to falling asleep on the couch with the baby.


ETA - WIC offices are also generally very busy and full to overflowing each day. To make an appointment longer would mean serving fewer people. These people need services, to make these offices LESS capable to providing those services is not realistic.