Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Feminist as crazy old man

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  • dyan campbell,

    teeth, genetics and fluoride:

    If your mother was pregnant with you and was drinking a water supply that was high in (naturally occurring) minerals and a diet rich in calcium - that will give a person a big advantage to start. So soft water (rain water etc) which tastes nice and is good to wash in - is not so good for your teeth and bones - whereas well water that is rich in minerals is not so good tasting, horrible to wash in - and much better for bone health. Also - pH of salvia (largely genetic) and age when the pathogen that causes dental cavities are introduced matters.

    I used to work as a dental receptionist about 30 years ago and had little to do but read dental journals.

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 595 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    It would certainly cost considerably more than the home birth we had for our second child

    There are many reasons for wanting to have a home birth but cost to "the system" should not be one of them. The problem is that one safe successful home birth is certainly cheaper but one emergency trip to hospital followed by emergency care is probably not. The final counting of the value to the accountants is complex and completely irrelevant . It is your family and your happiness that is the most important part of that equation.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Could the luck of genes have something to do with it?
    we have always wondered why we are so lucky!

    Yep me too. Entire family (6)of why is 3 a lucky number? There is always talk of "good genes"

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    I used to work as a dental receptionist about 30 years ago and had little to do but read dental journals.

    Dyan, what are your views on using tooth paste when we brush our teeth, is it worth the while do you think?

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4442 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    (In keeping with this illogical paranoia, I've given up practically everything I love to eat anyway,

    Which Danielle, is exactly the right thing because you are controlling what you can control. And more importantly you are thinking about it which while making you a bit paranoid will only be for the good.

    Exactly the same logic applies to walking school buses and driving your children everywhere. the child assault rates have not changed at all but it is something you have control over and you may as well have control if you can.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • Just thinking,

    " they'd have to pry my daily flat white out of my cold dead hands."

    lol.

    Putaringamotu • Since Apr 2009 • 1158 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    Dyan, what are your views on using tooth paste when we brush our teeth, is it worth the while do you think?

    my reading said that the paste is impt and the massage of the gums by the brush (soft) is also impt. Sorry sound to me like you have to do the whole business.

    But you need stuff all paste

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    dyan, I was also informed that our family had good saliva, that it protected against decay and no, can't remember who...(blaming brain haemorrhage here)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Oh, great, now it turns out I have bad saliva.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Oh, great, now it turns out I have bad saliva.

    I'll take your word for that.

    Mwah--> Mwah

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    Yes, my spit is gob-shite also.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Herald reports new research:

    A University of Queensland study has found that girls who experience puberty early are "significantly" more aggressive than their later developing peers by age 14.

    It has also found there's no marked difference between boys' and girls' aggression levels when at the same stage of puberty.

    The findings stem from Australia's largest longitudinal study, which tracked more than 8000 mothers and their children over 21 years.
    ...

    Prof Najman says the findings, coupled with children reaching puberty earlier and earlier, may explain why girls are increasingly involved in anti-social behaviour such as drinking, smoking, drug-taking and bullying.
    ...

    The study also disproves the belief that boys are more aggressive than girls because of higher testosterone levels.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19735 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    Gio
    Sorry, no ridicule intended at all. Fashion may have been the wrong word for the sentence. I recall that my brain had moved to the "Fashion" of caesarian, so I plonked it in and failed to notice the change in sense.

    Rumour has it that all humans have passed throught the birth canal or slice....for ever...and practically all of it with assistance of the mother alone or the mothers mother or midwifery expertise. So, yes, it does have plenty going for it. The informed choice is the key. Make the decision and .......wait....

    The first birth is always the hardest. It is probably one of the steepest learning curve anyone will ever face in life.

    Here is ours. Seven miscarriages before managing to get a goer. The first had bed rest for practically 3 months before delivery 'cos the damn placenta had not hooked on properly. 30 hours or something in hospital. Sliced usunder by the wonderful episiotomy, desperately fighting to keep the baby in the same bed let alone the same room as wifey. Latched within minutes of birth. Scarliy wonderful.

    The others were marvels of "non-intervention". We were very well informed by the time the second and third turned up and learnt when to say no, (eg) not the knife this time thanks.....

    I suspect that quite a large proportion of expectant mothers turn up to the hospital at the last minute and get right into it. What amazes me is that the parents do this with little preparation. For something that has taken 9 months to turn up you can't say there wasn't time.

    So how do we educate and inform them? Should "we" even try?

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1590 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    I have a question. It's something I have always wondered about. Why do people focus so much on the birth experience? I know birth - when it turns out OK - is a miracle. I know that for 9 months, the parents are beyond anticipatory - in most cases. I know that for many women it represents the apex of womanhood. I know that the day of birth is a day when expectations are exceeded, and hopes and dreams are allowed to be finally put into being. Tell me why it means so much. I'm interested. Or maybe I answered my own question. I hate that so many of my friends, so many women I know, have allowed the first day of their child's life in the world outside their wombs to colour the rest of their lives. Makes me crazy that there are such high expectations of the whole experience that anything that deviates from perfect is seen as a "bad" birth experience. And what about women for whom that birth experience doesn't happen? Ever? Who can't have babies from their own bodies? And then there's the breast is best thing. At the end of the day, does any of it matter except that the child is ok and she/he is fed, and loved? We all have views on the subject - even those of us who choose not to have children. We are all, to a degree, judgeypants about it. The wording around birth? Natural? That isn't judgey, pressuring women by suggesting that anything other that vaginal birth is not natural?
    And this is just the start of a child's life.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • Max Call,

    thanks all for the replies on teeth - my mum had pretty rigid views on sugar and we never added it to cereal or hot drinks. Things like lollies were occasional treats. I'm not sure about my dad's upbringing with regard to this but he is not a sweet tooth.

    A University of Queensland study has found that girls who experience puberty early are "significantly" more aggressive than their later developing peers by age 14.

    I remember seeing a British documentary on puberty when I was at T Col.
    I vaguely recall them saying that once a girl hits a certain weight then 'boom' she gets her period. From a dodgy memory I think this magic weight was 48kg.
    Of the 20 or so females in the room, none of us had heard this before.

    Fruit Bowl of New Zealand… • Since Jun 2007 • 153 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis,

    My childs dentist informed me a few weeks ago that we are born with mouths free from bacteria (makes sense) but we spread it to babies and children by kissing them, sharing cups etc.

    Also had a handy chart for the most nasty drinks for teeth. Beer and wine quite high up on the list and she suggested having a glass of water to sip from constantly when having sessions on the booze to rinse all the sugars contained in them from your teeth. Because typically people will saturate their teeth for hours in beer or wine without eating or drinking much else.

    Top of the pops was the energy drinks targetting kids which are rotting a generations teeth, with this dentist having had to pull out entire sets of teeth of kids barely at primary school.

    Also sports drinks like Powerade are awful for loosening existing fillings.

    For kids... water only, no juice at all, spit, don't rinse, brush their teeth for them, don't let them do it, brush twice a day, no lollies as rewards, and gently ease them off thumb sucking before they are 27.

    I became an expert in 10 minutes.

    Since Nov 2006 • 903 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    Tell me why it means so much.

    Jackie, I find it weird too. It's a bit like a wedding day, isn't it? Some people approach it as though if you do that one day the slightest bit 'wrong', you've buggered up some intangible karmic wotsit and have to spend the rest of your life freaking out over it. When it's actually the relationship between partners which matters, not the wedding day; and it's the ongoing parent/child relationship which matters, not really the birth.

    (I am the only pregnant person in the world with no 'birth plan', incidentally. I'm not quite at 'don't give a shit' level, but the extent of my planned instructions are something like 'give me the good drugs; try to avoid something terrible happening; my husband is in charge of the iPod'. And I'm certainly not trying to place any 'it's a miracle and I am overwhelmed with love!' expectations on myself, either. I think I might be having an adverse reaction to The Baby-Related Internet, which is The Land of Proscriptive Judgeypants.)

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    Why do people focus so much on the birth experience?

    I could get into Dawkins on this.

    But I suspect it is something to do with selfish genes and their tenacity and ability to 'guide' the mechanism that ensures their survival.

    What better way than to get the parentS to consider it with awe and amazement.

    I think the most stunning effect of nasty hormones like prolactin on males at least was the wave of attachment that swept over me! It seemed a tap had suddenly been turned on in my brain. And babies (others especially) screeching cries did not affect me anywhere near as much.

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1590 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Jackie, I find it weird too. It's a bit like a wedding day, isn't it? Some people approach it as though if you do that one day the slightest bit 'wrong', you've buggered up some intangible karmic wotsit and have to spend the rest of your life freaking out over it.

    That's not very clever. I can't think of many friends who've had that perfect birth, especially first time. It's scary and messy and you're basically pleased to get through it.

    As the mere hand-holder, two things stood out, both times. One: looking into my darling's eyes during the transition stage of labour. Yikes. Some women start shouting and swearing and demanding drugs; mine just went quiet. It's hard to describe; lord knows what it's like to experience.

    The other is seeing a human arrive in the world. Northing else I've ever seen or done comes remotely close to that.

    I must say I'm surprised and a wee bit saddened at the pressure and sense of being judged that's being reported here. No one should have to deal with that as well as actually giving birth and breastfeeding.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22843 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    But I suspect it is something to do with selfish genes and their tenacity and ability to 'guide' the mechanism that ensures their survival.

    What better way than to get the parentS to consider it with awe and amazement.

    It's quite a modern thing, though, at least in Western society; childbirth used to be looked upon with a great deal of trepidation and women (middle and upper-class ones, anyway) were basically shut away until it was all over, in case Bad Things happened. Okay, unless you were the Queen of somewhere, in which case it became a live-action event for important people.

    The whole "most special day" attitude seems to have come along since childbirth became safe. I suspect, myself, it's wanting to validate women by celebrating something only they can do but unfortunately focusing on something which only women can do, but not all women can or choose to do. I agree completely with Danielle - the achievement is the lifetime that follows, not just managing to have the kid.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    Okay, unless you were the Queen of somewhere, in which case it became a live-action event for important people.

    And wouldn't that have been fun? 'OK, Queen Agatha, it's time for your confinement. Which in your case means a bunch of monocled government officials with sideburns watching while you squeeze the all-important heir out of your coochie. Oh, and we WILL be totally disappointed if it's a girl, just in case you were wondering.'

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    Danielle and Jackie - yesyesyes. I didn't have much in the way of plans, other than I'll see when I get there. I didn't have any Big Mystical Expectations either. So long as I got listened to, got things explained to me, and got through it with one (1) baby at the end of it and not too much damage to self, I was happy. And that's how it turned out. A few interventions, but they were a lot less scary or unpleasant than you'd think in advance.

    The Baby Related Internet is scary. A couple of pockets of sanity - the birth stories on Salon had me in hysterics; and the Skeptical Obstetrician's pushback against the mountain of woo that's out there (although she often goes overboard judging right back at them). "Natural" is definitely a loaded term. And peddlers of homeopathy have hit paydirt in that particular field - drugs which actually have effects often have downsides to the baby, or haven't had safety completely established, so what better place for completely ineffective remedies?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis,

    I'm with you Danielle. My wife and I just wanted baby out asap (took 22 hours in the end). That day fades into the distant past pretty quickly compared to the 40 months since. A lot of people go on about that day, but I've had plenty of better ones with our daughter since. That day was quite traumatic in many ways, great feeling to get bubs out alive and well but as much a sense of relief as anything else if I'm being honest and I and my wife (especially) couldn't wait to get it over with and get on with the fun stuff.

    Since Nov 2006 • 903 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    I'm with Russell on this. It is personal, intense and inherently life altering, but that is the way it should be, IMhO. And it is seldom perfect, and neither are the parents in their preparedness. You do have to put your trust in professionals at some point, but thankfully, at least in my experience, ours are bloody brilliant.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    I agree completely with Danielle - the achievement is the lifetime that follows, not just managing to have the kid.

    One of the many reasons why we enjoyed our antenatal classes so much (besides the most obvious one: no freaking birth videos!) was the fact that it focussed mostly on caring for the baby, and comparatively less on the birth itself.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

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