Midwives have existed since the
beginning of humanity. Why, then, is it so difficult to find a midwife in America?
What events occured between the mid 1800's until the present day which nearly made
midwifery extinct in America? And why are more families now looking into homebirth as a
refuge from hospital care?
Myth: Good Babies Sleep Through
Linda J. Smith, BSE, FACCE, IBCLC
Restless babies who are light/intermittent sleepers are a lot like restless adults who are light/intermittent sleepers. Think of the causes of poor sleep in adults: hungry, lonely, afraid, bad day today (or tomorrow), pain, miss your loved one, etc. The exact same issues apply to babies.
"Night people" sleep late in the morning and stay up late at night, while "morning people" are just the opposite. Trying to get a "nightowl" onto an early schedule is just as difficult as trying to get an early bird to sleep late and enjoy late nights. I strongly suspect we're hard-wired that way from birth. My three children showed individual sleep patterns even before they were born, and those preferences / patterns are essentially unchanged two decades later, long after they have weaned.
Babies' developmental stages play a HUGE role in their sleep needs. The ages/stages of "disequilibrium" certainly affect sleep. And babies are trying to gain weight very quickly - if you had to double your weight in 5 months, you'd be eating round the clock too.
One more thing. Who says 8 hours of solitary uninterrupted sleep is (1) normal, (2) healthy, or even (3) possible? I'm 50 years old, not trying to double my weight, and I wake up every 3-4 hours at night. I sleep with another human, two dogs, and occasionally a cat. So what? Does that mean I've failed to meet some standard of "Sleep Excellency?"
© 1994 Linda J. Smithlindaj@bflrc.com
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