Dr Rachel was recently on ABC radio speaking with Kat Feeney about the psychology of kissing your kids and parent-child attachments in the wake of the Australia’s college of obstetricians (RANZCOG) suggesting doctors and midwives tell women to avoid contracting cytomegalovirus (CMV) by not kissing their kids.
The new RANZCOG guidelines for doctors and midwives working with pregnant women read as follows:
- Do not share food, drinks, or utensils used by children (under the age of 3 years)
- Do not put a child’s dummy/soother in your mouth
- Avoid contact with saliva when kissing a child (“kiss on the forehead not on the lips”)
- Thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water for 15-20 seconds especially after changing nappies or feeding a young child or wiping a young child’s nose or saliva
- Clean toys, countertops and other surfaces that come into contact with children’s urine or saliva.
Does that sound easy? If you think so, maybe check with a friend who has young kids. From my work with parents, I believe that careful adherence to such rules would be impossible. Homes are not hospitals; interacting with family is not a sterile experience.
I feel that we are setting mothers up to fail by introducing standards like this, and thereby compounding the guilt they carry. Women already experience enough postnatal depression in this country.
So, what do you think?