Banishing Mommy Guilt

A few days ago an article was published on MSNBC about a study that claims that the risk of Autism goes up three fold if a child is conceived within 12 months after the birth of a previous child. The article infuriated me. As I read, all I could hear was "It's all your fault" over and over in my head. My two kids are just shy of 16 months apart. I understand that the study is a positive starting point to further investigation into the causes of autism and possibly other special needs but how many people came away with that conclusion after reading the article? How many people only read the headline: Autism risk rises in closely spaced pregnancies, study finds Risk tripled when child was conceived within 12 months of birth of first baby and now believe it as fact? And worse, how many people are just going to automatically assume that is the reason for my child's issues which then leaves me at fault? Is it my fault? I drank caffeine, I took antibiotics, I think I may have even got a flu shot all while I was pregnant. I took long hot showers, ate deli meat, but rarely ingested a prenatal vitamin. Early on in my pregnancy I would sleep on my stomach because that was the only way I could comfortably go to sleep. Is that what caused my little guy to have his special needs? So many pregnant women avoid everything I mentioned for fear of harming their unborn baby. So what happens when your child is born with special needs? Do you blame the doctors, the vaccines, or yourself? No, you don't. You stop and look at all of the wonderful things your child CAN do and you help them with those things they cannot do. You become their greatest advocate and you educate yourself so that you can educate others on what we KNOW as fact. Not just what is assumed by reading headlines or studies that sometimes need to be taken with a grain of salt.

As posted on Little Baby Fields January 13, 2011

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