What Would You Say?

Last night, sitting around on the couch like I do when evening falls, Mr. Lindstrom (who was checking Twitter on his smartphone) hollered to me, "fake pregnant woman drinks beer at the state fair." He was remarking about this article on wcco.com. Basically, an organization that is trying to educate people about Fetal Alcohol Syndrome planted a fake pregnant woman at the MN State Fair, and had her drink, looking to see how people reacted.

Now, I am going to share some thoughts with you here, and this is all just my opinion.  Feel free to agree or disagree respectfully.  Please understand, I am not saying that I think pregnant women should drink.  I am saying that if a pregnant woman drinks, that is her decision.  I honestly think it's virtually impossible to dodge the overwhelming information that women should not drink during pregnancy.

I liken it to this, as a mother of a child who died of SIDS, more specifically, a child who suffocated in her mattress at daycare after being placed to sleep on her stomach, I am virtually (and unfortunately) an expert on SIDS risk reduction. I cannot tell you how many of my friends and peers don't take the guidelines seriously and are doing things that I know increase the risk of SIDS.  Or do take the guidelines seriously, but don't really think anything bad could happen to them.  It makes me sad, and it makes me angry, but I bite my tongue. It is not my job to save babies.  Parents are fiercely protective of their decisions and methods, and I have to trust that they are well informed and are making choices that are right for them, whether they are right for me (and the majority of the general public), or not. Sure, you won't see a baby sleeping in a bassinet with bumper pads at the State Fair in order to intervene, but I've had friends boast to me that their newborns sleep better on their stomach, friends who know that the one time my first daughter slept on her stomach, she slept forever.  Friends who know that the recommendation is to place babies on their backs to sleep.

Now, you may think, "well, a baby sleeping on their stomach, and a mother drinking alcohol and potentially harming her baby in utero are two totally different things." You see, to me they aren't.  I don't personally know anyone who has a child who was affected by alcohol in utero, but I know plenty of moms who lost their children when they were suffocated by stomach sleeping, bumper pads, or rolled over in a shared bed (and no, alcohol wasn't involved).  In fact, there isn't one mother I know who isn't intensely informed about the risk of drinking during pregnancy, and they all seem to be equally informed about SIDS risk reduction, and frankly, I see mom's violating both sets of suggestions. At the end of the day, I can only be responsible for my own pregnancies, and my own babies (BTW, that ship has sailed as I will never be pregnant again or have infants).

For info on safe sleep for babies, please watch this video:

And to see the Twinstroms in their TV debut (over a year and a half ago), hear a little more about my beautiful Brady, and learn about the most recent strides in SIDS research, please watch this:


  1. Informed choices and personal risks. That is what most parenting decisions are about. I would agree that there is not much point in trying to get the world to do things 'your way'. You can only do what you think is right, and share the information you have when the opportunity comes up.

    As always, I am sorry for your loss of Brady. Experiencing a loss would understandably make you sensitive to seeing the risks of any choice. I would liken it to a parent who lost a child in a car accident because their car seat was installed incorrectly or not rear facing long enough. Or a parent whose child choked on a marble left behind by their 4 year old brother. Or even that 1 in a million parent whose child was abducted as they walked home from school on their own. But everyone has to decide for themselves what to do, in the end.

  2. While I agree with your general point that women do make personal choices during pregnancy and as moms, using a controlled substance for a nonmedical purpose or drinking alcohol in any way that is habitual or excessive while pregnant is actually mandated to be reported to CPS for counselors, teachers, etc. so there is a reason to be concerned about pregnant women drinking for the protection of her child.

  3. Oh Colleen I love how you share your opinion with so much compassion. Thanks!


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