Information overload – especially for new parents – is real It’s hard being a parent. Each day you make millions of small and some very big decisions about your baby’s health, development and life. One of the most difficult parts of parenting is making the right decision in the face of too much information. Especially considering so much of that information is contradictory.
One hundred years ago, before popular media, a mother made decisions based on her beliefs, experiences and the experience of her own mother, sisters, friends and maybe a community nurse or doctor. With the advent of mass media, social media and the internet, we suddenly have access to a wild amount of information. And it has made our decision making harder, not easier!
During the first three months of life, you will have found yourself completely and utterly absorbed in your baby (read my blog on Maternal preoccupation). This preoccupation is vital for the survival of your baby but it leaves you, as a new mom, so vulnerable. In our modern society, while you are preoccupied with your baby, no one is really caring for you, the new mom.
Society expects moms to continue to manage their ‘pre-baby’ life, making little allowance for the fact that your energy and focus is now elsewhere. This leads to guilt, pressure and anxiety as you try to meet everyone’s expectations.
When weighing up information, these are the three nuggets of wisdom you need to bear in mind:
Anecdotal stories do not equal data
Stories are simply a single person’s experience and are not necessarily pertinent to your baby. In fact, personal stories can often lead to very poor or misguided advice.
Science & your intuition can work together
Science is not 100% – it can’t explain everything in the context of every situation. But because of the rigorous way studies are analyzed and peer reviewed, it’s a whole lot more certain than media hype and speculation. Get reliable advice from a trusted expert and professional and use it to refine your instincts and what you know about your baby.
Beware of those who shout loudest
Beware of loud voices and fanatics claiming to be experts on your child. Just because someone has an opinion that they readily share on social media, doesn’t make them an expert or someone you can trust.
One area where anecdotal information, science and experts are clashing is in the vaccination debate. I am often asked for my opinion. Above all, I want you all to make an informed decision. and please, take the time to understand the science behind the health choices we are faced with.
When you need credible information that is backed by science and designed for the real world we live in, download Parent Sense. It’s the all-in-one baby app that takes the guesswork out of parenting your baby.