Friday, July 3, 2009

Baby Magazine Blunders

I signed up for a free subscription to American Baby magazine. I typically disagree with many things in mainstream magazines, but there were two things in the latest issue that were particularly bothersome.

The first, "Should you circumcise? If you're on the fence, it may help to know that 79 percent of newborns boys are circumcised in the U. S., and they have a lower risk of developing urinary tract infections in their first year and STDs later in life."

Interesting that they conveniently omitted the current policy of American Academy of Pediatrics, 
"Existing scientific evidence demonstrates potential medical benefits of newborn male circumcision; however, these data are not sufficient to recommend routine neonatal circumcision. In circumstances in which there are potential benefits and risks, yet the procedure is not essential to the child's current well- being, parents should determine what is in the best interest of the child."

I'm too lazy this evening to find more links and articles against circumcision, but it seems that the magazine, at the very least, should have mentioned that circumcision is not medically necessary. It's also declining in popularity and urinary tract infections are uncommon as it is so having a lower risk really doesn't matter too much. As for STDs, cover it up. 

The second thing in magazine that irks me is this "Experts recommend breastfeeding through at least 6 months." That statement is technically correct, but they neglected to mention that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends "Exclusive breastfeeding for approximately the first six months and support for breastfeeding for the first year and beyond as long as mutually desired by mother and child." The World Health Organization says,  "Infants should be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life to achieve optimal growth, development and health. Thereafter, to meet their evolving nutritional requirements, infants should receive nutritionally adequate and safe complementary foods while breastfeeding continues for up to two years of age or beyond."

If a magazine is going to quote experts, the very least it could do is quote them correctly. Yes, experts recommend breastfeeding through at least six months, but they recommend exclusively breastfeeding for six months. Exclusive, as in no cereal or baby foods. 

2 comments:

Captain's Wife - Jennifer said...

I hear you. I didn't circumcise my son. He's twelve and has never had a problem. I used to be fairly outspoken about the topic, years ago. Mostly just to get people to educate themselves before they choose, because I had no clue about it until at all until I was pregnant with him. And yes...breast is best. I am very proud of a friend of mine right now...she is pumping every three hours to bottle feed her baby breast milk. He likes the bottle better than the breast, so she is pumping! :) And working fulltime. She's a super mom, indeed.

Andrea said...

Interesting. My friend's pediatrician has already given her a hard time because she hasn't given her son (4 mos) rice cereal! You'd think he'd be up to date on those things.