I am what can commonly be referred to as a "geek." I read. A LOT. So if someone tells me that the letter Q is actually the letter B, I'm going to research it until I can either prove or disprove them.
Because I, as a mother of a nearly-11-month-old infant and also the official Laundry Manager and Chef of the house (and 'mommy' to four small dogs), can manage to research things, I think that it's not too much to ask that magazines, who are claiming to have some know-how, should have to do research, too.
Now, I'm not 100% opposed to Babytalk Magazine. They DO promote breastfeeding. But for the most part, Babytalk Magazine is (a free magazine that is) mainly a vehicle for advertising a lot of unnecessary baby gimmicks.
Recently, they published two articles that bothered me (both were published in the March 2010 issue).
In their first article, "Cravings," under the Bedtime Browsing category, they say that bed-sharing actually increases the risk of SIDS. Okay, look... that is just patently ridiculous. It has been proven through multiple* studies that mother-infant bed-sharing actually DECREASES the risk of SIDS. Most deaths caused by co-sleeping are, in fact, caused by adult mistake and not by Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (an unexplained sudden loss of life). If you research safe co-sleeping (which I recommend), then the chances of you rolling onto your infant are very, very low. If you're STILL worried about it, set up a side-car situation with a co-sleeper or a crib, so the baby can still benefit from having his mommy right next to him throughout the night, responding to his cues to nurse.
Their second article, though, has raised a lot of hackles. The Woman from "Woman, Uncensored" has a whole blog post about it, and I definitely recommend you check it out: Dear Babytalk
It's bad enough that they recommend manipulating and infant's foreskin in ANY fashion (which is a huge no-no; would you want someone pulling up your fingernail to clean underneath it? of course not! this is no different), but Babytalk wasn't even truly apologetic for their misinformation. This was the best they managed.
Let it be known right here, right now that the foreskin of an infant IS NOT TO BE MANIPULATED IN ANY FASHION. Not by you, not by your pediatrician, not be a pediatric nurse, not by your midwife. It is attached to the glans (head of the penis) for a REASON, and it will separate on its own schedule when it is ready to do so (usually somewhere between the 5th year of life and the teen years).
Yes, Babytalk is a free magazine, but they should still do at least basic research (Google is your friend) before publishing articles that scream "SIDS!" and "RETRACTION!" to people who may not double-check everything as obsessively as I do.
* Here are just a few pro-bed-sharing studies:
J.J. McKenna et al., "Sleep and arousal patterns of co-sleeping human mother/infant pairs: a preliminary physiological study with implications for the study of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)," Am J Phys Anthropol 83, no. 3 (Nov 1990): 331-47.
S. Mosko et al., "Infant arousals during mother-infant bed sharing: implications for infant sleep and sudden infant death syndrome research," Pediatrics 100, no. 5 (Nov 1997): 841-9.
S. Mosko et al., "Maternal sleep and arousals during bedsharing with infants," Sleep 20, no 2 (Feb 1997): 142-50.
S. Farouqi et al., "Ethnic differences in infant-rearing practices and their possible relationship to the incidence of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)," Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol (England) 7, no. 3 (Jul 1993): 245-52.
N. Watanabe et al., "Epidemiology of sudden infant death syndrome in Japan," Acta Paediat Jpn (Japan) 36, no. 3 (June 1994): 329-32.