Friday, 10 April 2009

Are you scared?

The maternity ward where they were keeping my new daughter Mia and my Wife on was particularly dark and stuffy. We decided to give Claire a rest, and I carried Mia across the ward to where the sun was shining through the windows. Mia had a touch of jaundice, and the sunlight would do wonders in taking the slight yellow pallor out of her face. We were enjoying the view of the sunny day from the window, when I was confronted by a nurse.

She was very 'concerned' that I was carrying my baby. Babies weren't to be carried, as it was a health and safety risk. I could possibly fall and injure myself or the baby.

This kind of fear was motivated, not out of any genuine care for the patients, rather that they might be found negligent and liable for compensation.

These fears are counter-productive. They actually end up doing worse. If parents can't practice carrying their babies in a safe environment, they are more likely to drop their babies at home, where care is likely to be delayed. Without advice, they might carry their babies incorrectly and inadvertently hurt them. But no... the hospitals tell you to wheel them everywhere.. and you remain incompetent.

We are a terrified society, full of reactionary overkill that is driving a wedge between us all. Don't rise to it. Whether it is an advert for deodorant ("Worried about body odour???") or a defense minister after a budget increase for his department, there is always money in keeping people scared or worried.

So, what fears are holding you back? Are they rational? What are they preventing you doing? What advantages can you see to resolving this fear?

And be happy.


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