A few weeks ago I got a call from my GPs surgery asking would I take part in a Family Case Study as part of the training for first-year medical students in a Dublin university. They needed to see a baby in its home environment and apparently our name came up as an interesting case.
The three students were very amenable to learning about our lifestyle, all had left school in the last few years, had travelled a bit, and seemed pretty enthusiastic about their course.
They got a crash course in drug-free home birthing, extended breastfeeding, supporting a child's immune system without vaccinating, the importance of nutrition for the developing child, tandem feeding, baby-led weaning, baby-wearing and its effects on soothing the baby, baby signs and reading their cues, co-sleeping, elimination communication, home education and child-led learning. They listened to me rabbit on about anthropological studies and biological indicators for weaning onto solids and weaning off the breast, and seemed really interested and like they "got" the reasoning behind it all.
I decided to participate because I thought it was a great opportunity to sow seeds in future medics about these "alternative" ways of parenting and how they benefit the child. Even if they thought I was a complete raving loon (which they were polite enough to hide) they will go off and write up my case notes, discuss them with other students and lecturers, and the word will get out there that there are families parenting like this. So hopefully small moves will be made to integrate these holistic practices into their learning, and if I come across them or their peers in the future they will at least have heard that home birth is possible, and maybe understand why some families don't vaccinate.
Anyway, I just thought I'd throw that out there, it was an easy process, I gave them cake and tea, and they'll come back a couple of times in the next year with more questions and to see how the baby is developing. I wasn't going to let them hold the baby, in fact I got a bit riled up that it was suggested in the introductory letter from their college, my mama radar like "nobody be holding my baby but ME", but they were all so sweet and gentle I offered her around like a second cuppa and they all learned how to hold her and she smiled and played with their hair.
How has your week been?