Moms as Advocates

We often hear that moms are a childs best advocate. And strongest partner. But we forget. We doubt ourselves. Surrounded by experts (lactation consultants, pediatricians, super market checkout lady, friends, neighbors, teachers and family) I feel I may be wrong. Maybe we should not make a fuss. After all this is something that is very common and normal. So we stifle our instincts.

Here’s a story on why we shouldnt.

My friend Ally has two sons, three and two year olds. Out one weekend on a trip to Stone Mountain, waiting in line for the boats, she was shocked to see that the two year olds nose was swelling and becoming an alarming red. She called 911. The park 911 team arrived and gave him a shot, and asked her to take him to the ER. She did. The culprit – Atlanta pollen. Of course, we all know at that time of the year, seasonal allergies are common. He had hives in the ER waiting room, but since it all subsided with doses of Benadryl and then Zyrtec, it appeared they were on the right track.

So she waited a few weeks. For whatever plant she suspected was causing it to stop pollinating. But gentle nose flaring and heavy breathing kept coming back. She noticed that a couple of times it happened around when he took PB and J. But these were also the times he went out. So she went with the experts.

But there was a nagging doubt. She went to the doctor. Asked for an epipen to be safe. The doc refused. Told her it was seasonal allergies. She went back. More doubt. Childrens Allergy testing was available, but the doctor said it was a bother and painful.

Then she decided against the doc’s recommendation to get her son allergy tested. It was a blood test. It turned out he was allergic to peanuts. Apparently, hives are a tell tale sign of food allergies. All the doctors (she showed two and the ER doc) had missed it. Apparently the allergy was severe. Enough to warrant an epi pen or more.

He is now off peanuts of course, but also chocolates, and food prepared on equipment shared with peanuts. But he is safe.

So its a happy ending.

All because a mom went with her insticts. And maybe realized that the only possible expert on our kids is us?

Do share your stories about mom instincts…

Last 5 posts by Khushi


  1. Tana

    If I extend the notion that each of us is the expert on our own bodies, then it would make total sense that a mother (who has grown a child inside her body) is the expert on the child’s body as well. I sense that this has some caveats: such as (a) complete presence and “listening” (b) freedom from fears associated with the mother’s own past health troubles / other people’s stories, and (c) time: beyond a point the child probably becomes the expert on his/her body.

  2. Asha

    I always believe you need to stand up for your insticnts.

  3. Indrani

    Hi Khushi.
    I somehow feel every child is an extension of the mother, as mentioned by Tana and I agree with Asha to stand up for one’s own insticnts. My son’s playgroup and the facilatator was to be changed in April as is the norm in all schools here. I wanted the change to happen only after the summer vacation as my son was very attached to his previous facilitator and I felt the summer break would be a good ‘cool off period.’ I did’nt want my son to go through the process of adjustment twice. Though it was much criticized by other parents for holding him back from progressing, I stood my ground and thankfully the woman who heads the playschool agreed with me. I am glad I did that as when the school opened after the break, my son had no problem in moving on….

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