It is hard being a parent! Each day you make millions of small and some very large decisions about your baby’s life and health. One of the most difficult parts of parenting is making the right decision in the face of too much information – much of which is contradictory.
One hundred years ago, before popular worldwide media, a mother made decisions based on her own beliefs and experiences and on the expertise of her own mom, sisters and maybe a community nurse or expert. With the advent of mass media; the telephone; printing presses and most recently internet, we suddenly have access to a wild amount of information. And it has made our decision making harder, not easier!
When weighing up information, these are the three nuggets of wisdom you need to bear in mind:
- Anecdotal stories do not equal data. They are simply a single person’s experience and are not necessarily pertinent to your baby. In fact passionate personal stories may lead to very poor advice.
- Science is not 100% but because of the rigorous way studies are analyzed and peer reviewed, it’s a whole lot more certain than media hype and speculation.
- Beware of loud voices and strong fanatics claiming to be experts on your child.
One area where anecdotal information, science and experts are clashing is in the vaccination debate. There is no question that vaccines are the most important life-saving health strategy. Vaccinations protect your baby from the more dangerous illnesses and can save your baby’s life. Follow the schedule recommended by your clinic sister and do not listen to sensational and misinformed advice to not vaccinate your little one.