The 10 Most Controversial Issues of Motherhood

Becoming a mother doesn’t happen at the moment of birth. From the time a woman finds out she is pregnant, the majority of the public will already view her as a mother. Once the news spreads, friends and family are quick to begin dispensing advice and suggestions, whether it is welcome or not. Curious minds will want to know every small detail of a mother’s choices with regards to what she feels is best for her baby, and these same people can be quick to pass judgement without fully knowing the reasoning behind these choices.

Many women will find themselves on one side of a controversial issue and may feel that they need to justify their choices, when the decision solely rests on her shoulders alone. Below are a few issues some moms have faced:

10. Discipline 

Discipline has always been a controversial issue, and continues to be so as new methods of parenting, behavior modification, and psychotherapy are introduced. Time out remains a popular choice for mothers, as it does not involve any type of corporal punishment. Spanking and other physical forms are still used by families, as well as positive reinforcement to reduce negative or adverse behavior.

9. Nursing in Public 

Many states have adopted breastfeeding laws to protect the right of a mother to breastfeed her child anywhere. However, some mothers are still facing challenges when establishments aren’t aware of those protective laws. Many mothers prefer to use a cover while nursing, while other mothers choose to wear nursing clothes to allow for easy access. Some mothers are extremely comfortable nursing in public, while others may still feel the need to be modest or discreet while providing nourishment to their infants.

8. Extended Rear Facing Carseats 

State laws have specific weight and height requirements in order for a baby to use a forward facing carseat. Recently, highway transportation agencies and professional physician groups have advocated the benefits of keeping a child in a rear facing carseat for as long as possible, or until they reach the height and weight limits of their carseat.

These discrepancies have left parents with a difficult decision – follow state law and turn them forward facing at 12 months and 20 pounds, or follow professional recommendations and leave them rear facing longer. Resistance is often met on the child’s side, who may be uncomfortable or easily bored with the lack of view provided from being rear facing for longer periods of time.

7. Cord Blood Banking 

Cord blood banking is viewed by some as a potential lifesaver, and by others as an expensive cost for something that may or may not ever be needed. Cord banking is painless to the baby and harvests blood from the umbilical cord after birth. This cord blood can be used to treat a multitude of conditions that the family may face, if they are compatible with the blood that is banked. The benefits are huge if cord blood is ever needed. Click here to learn more about cord blood banking.

6. Child Care 

Many mothers don’t have the choice of staying at home with their babies after they are born. The reality is that many families rely on two incomes to support themselves, and working women will have to find reliable child care outside of their home in order to return to work.

Child care centers offer extended hours and can give your child exposure to other children in the same age range. Centers are also licensed and/or classified to ensure that they meet specific requirements for nutrition and safety. Private providers are also available and usually provide care in their own homes. Many mothers like this option because fewer children in the home can reduce exposure to illnesses. But this may turn into a struggle if the provider is sick or is on vacation.

5. Organic Foods 

Organic foods can limit your family’s exposure to pesticides and chemicals, but is a costly option compared to traditional market foods. Many organic prepared baby foods are available on the market today, as well as organic infant formulas and other baby products. Be sure to check all of these products beforehand to make sure they are safe.

4. Co-sleeping 

Co-sleeping can help promote infant bonding, but can also bring huge safety risks. Some people also believe that if their babies are brought to bed with them, it will be extremely difficult to eventually move them to their own beds or their own rooms. Many years ago, co-sleeping was the only option for many parents who had a fussy baby or were not comfortable having their baby in another room, out of eyesight or earshot. Freestanding cosleepers are now on the market that allow the baby to have an own space while being easily accessible for nighttime feedings or diaper changes.

3. Cloth vs. Disposable Diapers 

Before the invention of disposable diapers, cloth was the only diapering option for parents. As disposables became popular, many parents chose them over cloth diapers for convenience. Cloth is making a reappearance in modern families as a cost saving option, as well as an environmentally friendly choice. Many people may still view cloth diapers as dirty or unsanitary, but more recent designs closely resemble the features on a disposable diaper.

2. Extended Breastfeeding 

Extended breastfeeding is considered breastfeeding beyond the age of one. Many moms choose to breastfeed longer because of attachment reasons, food allergies in their babies, or for cost factors. Society sometimes sees extended breastfeeding as unnatural or unnecessary, while mothers who do so feel like they are continuing to give their child the health benefits they were receiving as an infant.

1. Immunizations 

Immunizations have always been a controversial topic, and will continue to be so as new vaccines are produced and made available to the public. Some parents choose to forego vaccinations completely, while others may choose to give them on a delayed schedule. For years most children have received their immunizations as scheduled by their pediatrician, while others have chosen to use an amended schedule to delay or refuse specific vaccines. As with any major medical choice, mothers should research both sides of the issue fully before making a decision.

Many of these issues have been present for decades, while others are fairly new options that parents are considering. It is ultimately the decision of the mother as to which option she chooses. Moms know what is best for their own family based on many specific factors that may differ from household to household.

The best decision a mother can make for her family is an educated decision. Once her choices are made, many people will continue to question them, but she will have confidence in knowing that her decision is what is best for her family.