the birth diaries by Victoria Jelinek

‘So live that you wouldn’t be ashamed to sell the family parrot to the town gossip.’ Will Rogers 

I had been a bit confused when I was only prescribed the midwife (sage-femme) and physiotherapy at the hospital after my son’s birth but now I’ve discovered that my regular GP will be my baby’s doctor. I figured I would get a paediatrician assigned, but it turns out there aren’t many to spare in France.

flying the flag

Now here's an initiative that's going to improve school standards.
Gathered to discuss the new education bill, senators have voted to make flying the French flag over school buildings compulsory.

Off to the beach?

Summer (surely?) is on the way and the European Environment Agency (EEA) has collected samples for their their pre-season analysis of bathing water quality across Europe.

French beaches do well, with 87.1% of coastal bathing water reaching mandatory safe levels (up 1.4% on the previous year) although inland bathing safety is slightly down on the previous year but still at 87%.

Overall, only 2.6% - 34 bathing spots - fail European tests, which check for certain types of bacteria that could indicate the presence of pollution
from sewerage or livestock waste.

Go to the EEA's site to check the quality of your own favourite bathing spot here

Why French children don't have ADHD

Here's an interesting piece from Psychology Today in which Marilyn Wedge, Ph.D, argues that parents' stricter discipline and 'boundary setting' in France leads to far fewer cases of ADHD than in the States.
She also points out the difference in treatments with the States going down the pharmaceutical/medication route whereas French clinicians examine the social and psychological causes underlying the disorder.

the birth diaries (3) by Victoria Jelinek

“I learn by going where I have to go.” Theodore Roethke

I ran into a woman at the hospital whom I’d met in a café last summer. It turns out her husband is a friend of my husband’s. She suffered pre-eclampsia with her baby, who is, consequently, down the hall in urgent care. I went to look at her new daughter through the window – she’s tiny, and my new friend says that she’s not been able to hold her yet, as she is so vulnerable and must stay inside the oxygen tent. Apparently, however, the little girl is developing and will eventually be fine. I told her that’s great, as we’ll be able to have play dates with our new babies. Makes me realise that having a little jaundice is not a big problem.
After vacillating the last few days, the doctors told me that we’d be able to go home from the hospital. I involuntarily clapped my hands and cried with joy at this news. I am, however, to seat Sebastian naked in the window every day for a ½ hour as you might a plant, and the rest of the jaundice will consequently go away in a few weeks.

school dinners

The quality of school dinners is up since guidelines on starchy foods, dairy products and vegetables were introduced in 2011.

According to a survey of 600 school cantines by the consumer grop UFC-Que Choisir, more kitchens are complying with nutritional rules although there is still concern about the increase in junk food on school menus.

Autism Awareness

It looks as if France is finally dragging its awareness and treatment of autism into the 21st Century with the announcement this week that new measures are to be introduced from next year to detect autism earlier and a move away from the use of psychoanalysis to treat the disorder to a more behavioural-based treatment.

The Birth Diaries (2) by Victoria Jelinek

Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.” Mark Twain

Since having my baby boy I’ve been in the hospital for 3 days. My C-section wound is healing, and I’m shuffling around. They do NOT let patients be lazy here in France, that’s for sure. They had me up and about a couple of days after I gave birth, forcing me to use the toilet and take walks up and down the hall.