Thursday, July 3, 2008

Eco Friendly Recommends from the March of Dimes

While I have some concerns with The March of Dimes (primarily their goal to have every baby be a healthy baby, a very unachievable objective in our fallen world) I do think The March for Dimes does some great work. They give women valuable information to make wise health choices prior to and during their pregnancies. Having personally suffered the loss of a baby due to a very serious birth defect, I'm all for helping to improve the health of every mom and baby. For the moment, I'll put aside some of my concerns with The March of Dimes and link to their recent online newsletter article, The Eco-Friendly Mom and Baby for the 21st Century.

Many of their recommendations are great for new moms, and a real starting-off point for those of us looking to go more "green" with our parenting. I know some of our commentors are pretty hard-core in this area, but for the rest of us, it's a good place to start--especially for those expecting new little ones soon! One of their recommendations, buying an organic mattress, is of particular interest to me, and I'm wondering where I can get one of these so as to not break the bank?


Kat said...

Red, I share your hesitations with the March of Dimes' mission statement to have every baby be born healthy. I was going to join the march this year because I also think that they do some great work, particularly in terms of educating women on the importance of taking folic acid when trying to conceive...It was also on my birthday this year, which I took as a sign that I was supposed to join the campaign :) However, something in their wording made me very uneasy...Would they have counseled me to end my pregnancy with Lucy when I found out that she had anencephaly? There was a 0% chance that she would be born healthy, which goes against their mission...What would they say to that? It's hard to get any real information on their stance today, although I suppose I could always call and ask to speak with a representative. There is all sorts of information floating around out there on the internet about the MOD's battles with certain pro-life groups, but some of the information is very outdated (30+ years old) and it's hard to know how reliable it is. I did read a line written by the MOD in 1977 in which a spokesperson said something along the lines of "The right of every mother to have a healthy child and of every child to be well born," which implies that they would say that if a child has a known birth defect, the mother has the right to abort and the child would not want to be born anyways because it would not be "well born". All that being said, the MOD has recently said that it does not advocate abortion and that it is very careful in how it allocates its funding. An important issue, indeed!!

Katherine said...

I was told they advocate stem cell research on embryos. Is this true? Does anyone know?

JesusThroughMary said...

Katherine -

Making the assumption that the letter is authentic, it seems pretty clear that they do, in fact, advocate embryonic stem cell research.

Most of the charges I have read on the Internet that have been leveled against the MOD with regard to eugenics, abortion and the like are based on information that is 25 to 50 years old or more. It seems that the MOD has recently begun to recognize the inherent dignity even in babies with birth defects, although their advocacy for embryonic stem cell research shows that they have a long way to go in that respect.

However, the fact that the March of Dimes is not a totally pro-life organization does not invalidate all information they might provide on health issues. We can accept their (expert, I might add) advice on issues such as "green" parenting without accepting their platform carte blanche. We're not supporting the MOD by following the suggestions in the article at hand. Given her acknowledgment of reservations about the MOD, this is, I believe, the point of Red's post.

I should also add that the fact that the article is co-written by a professor of pediatrics at one of the country's top 30 medical schools (Mt. Sinai in NYC) gives it credibility regardless of where it appears on the Internet.

That being said, I read this brief article and learned a few things - For instance, I had never even heard of an organic mattress. Does anyone what's in a standard mattress that would make it less healthy? Fire retardant chemicals, perhaps? Also, has this blog done a post on glass vs. plastic baby bottles yet? How extensive is the research into this issue?

I hope I don't have to give up my baby powder - I love the smell of a baby doused in talc. :o)