Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Preggers? Put Time to Good Use You Could Spend 9 Months Studying Up

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Preggers? Put Time to Good Use You Could Spend 9 Months Studying Up

Article excerpt

WAY BACK before there were collapsible double strollers, professional childproofers and stork lawn signs, people simply had children.

Picture the amazing situation: No "What to Expect . . ." books. No sibling classes. No Consumer Reports comparisons of baby monitors.

From the floor of "For the Love of Baby," an educational and trade expo held recently at Chicago's Arlington International Racecourse, you might as well imagine a world where dinosaurs trod the Earth. Two floors of booths offered everything from free samples of diaper rash cream to demonstrations of baby equipment to advice on post-partum depression. There were seminars on the psychology of babies, traveling with babies and decorating nurseries for babies. A hospital set up a birthing room, complete with working fetal heart monitor. Lactation consultants talked breast-feeding; financial planners talked college costs. Less sturdy souls might conclude that the whole business is clearly too complicated for amateurs. Indeed, an occasional parent-to-be at the show, which was sponsored in part by the Chicago Tribune, was momentarily stunned. "It's overwhelming," said Teri Stewart, reeling from her discovery of devices to mitigate the dangers of window blind cords. "I always knew all this stuff existed, but to see it all in one place . . ." But to see it all in one place was exactly what those at the expo wanted. It was one-stop shopping for the plethora of products and professional advice that has become the stuff of modern parenthood. "It prepares you," said David Downing, pausing with his pregnant wife, Kathy, in front of a booth selling fire-escape ladders. "It makes you nervous, but it's good to be nervous. You prepare better for a test when you're nervous." The blessed event has become a research project. …

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