Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Meta-Report - 8.3.11

I'm very excited to introduce a new feature of my site - the Meta-Report. These periodical reports will include summaries and commentary on what I'm currently reading (online and offline), as well as brief updates on evidence-based news related to parenting, pregnancy, and child development.

This week in Meta-Report:
No Kids Allowed
Holy Unplanned Pregnancy, Batman!
Sharing Sleep, the Evidence-Based Way
and Family Planning...for Blacklash

No kids allowed
Image: Salvatore Vuono /
And the epic battle between the child-having and child-less continues. Can I just ask…why does it have to be this way? I have plenty of friends who have chosen not to have children, and we get along just fine. I respect their life choice, as they respect mine. We don’t dwell on it. These “brat bans,” as one writer so distastefully refers to them, reinforce an Us vs. Them mentality that is, frankly, just plain childish. So, to the would-be banners, I’ll make you a deal: I’ll keep my kid from spitting in your food or posing whatever other kind of threat you think he's going to pose to your quiet, peaceful existence, if you keep your snooty behavior and holier-than-thou espousals of armchair parenting philosophy to yourself. 

Holy Unplanned Pregnancy, Batman!

My first thought as I read this article was…”Only 18% of teens are using the Pill?!” No wonder we have a teen pregnancy problem in this country.

Image: Jomphong /
Sharing Sleep, the Evidence-Based Way

This newly released study reveals that toddlers who share a bed with their parents show no adverse effects - developmentally or otherwise - later in life. Dr. Helen Ball, a Biological Anthropologist at Durham University, comments about the study, 
“I find it rather strange that anyone might imagine sleeping next to the safety and security of a parent could harm a toddler — or have negative consequences for behavioral or social development. So many bedtime battles and children's 'sleep problems' arise due to the mismatch between children's instinctive sleep needs, and parental efforts to conform to 21st century sleep expectations."
Well said, Dr. Ball.

Family Planning...for Backlash

I’ve seen a lot of discourse online surrounding the Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) recommendation that oral contraceptives be covered by insurance with no copay, but one detail I haven’t seen a lot of talk about is that HHS  has asked the public for input regarding the religious implications of such coverage. Whether you are in favor of a woman’s right to use birth control, or you oppose it for religious reasons, anyone who reviews the new rules can see that they are about more than just oral contraceptives - screening for gestational diabetes, support and supplies for mothers who choose to breastfeed, and domestic violence screening and counseling are also covered. Further, when it comes to the oral contraceptive portion of these rules in particular, what many fail to realize is that a good number of women who use oral contraceptives do so for reproductive health reasons completely unrelated to sex, birth control, or family planning (i.e. alleviating symptoms of PMS or PMDD). Aside from the religious objections, criticisms run the gamut, with one House Rep even claiming that the inclusion of birth control in health plans might just wipe humans from existence! By inviting public comment, HHS may also be inviting significant backlash from any and everyone who opposes birth control for any reason, logical or not - unfortunately, in this case, they'll be throwing the general women's health support these rules provide out with the proverbial birth-control laced bathwater.

That's it for this edition of Meta-Report. What did you think of these stories? Please share your opinions below!

Thanks for tuning in, and we'll see you next time!


  1. I want to give an example of how ignorant that comment about wiping humans out of existence is. Lets take a look at Kenya as an example. All forms of birth control are completely FREE, meaning they don't even need a prescription, no insurance plan even needs to know about it, any woman can go to any number of places from clinics, to pharmacies to grocery stores and pick up a supply of birth control pills, condoms or even the morning after pill. And have you heard of anything even remotely suggesting that their population is dwindling? Come on People!!! People will use contraception when they want, and will come off when they are ready. Simple.

  2. Some people, right Jen? ;) Thanks for the comment!