Monday, April 2, 2012

Alicia Silverstone's mouth to mouth feedings

Actress and animal rights activist Alicia Silverstone has an month-old son.
Well, she posted a video herself feeding her son breakfast on her popular health food website
“I fed Bear the mochi and a tiny bit of veggies from the soup…from my mouth to his. It’s his favorite...and mine,” Silverstone wrote. “He literally crawls across the room to attack my mouth if I’m eating. This video was taken about a month or 2 ago when he was a bit wobbly. Now he is grabbing my mouth to get the food!”

The video (we didn't want to show it) shows the actress with a spoonful of food, chewing it, and then passing it open-mouth to her son.

Some medical and nutrition experts think this may not be such a great idea.
“There are those who think that a mom chewing a baby’s food provides helpful enzymes from her mouth but it doesn’t seem like a hygienic practice. Various viruses and bacteria, but especially herpes virus, may be passed from mother to baby,” Dr. Jennifer Landa, M.D Chief Medical Officer of BodyLogicMD said.
“These microbes present a challenge that the infant’s immune system may not be ready for. So the practice is questionable for safety, and then, there’s a certain ick factor here that needs to be considered.” 
Dallas-based family therapist Melody Brooke said the bigger question was whether it is appropriate, on a psychological level,  for a toddler to be diving at their mom’s mouth for food. Mira Jacob, deputy editor of parenting site, said that while the concept itself isn’t all that unique, it does come across as – odd.
“A lot of moms chew a portion of their baby’s food; it’s often a very natural transition. But this just looks really funny, like Alicia is making out with her son,” Jacob mused. “There is nothing terribly wrong with it, it just looks really weird.”

Even JJ Virgin, Certified Nutrition Specialist and star of TLC’s “Freaky Eaters,” said:
“Sounds like she is taking eating like a bird to the extreme. While this could help predigest some of it as we start carbohydrate digestion in the mouth it could also pass along any bad oral bacteria she has too,” Virgin said. “I think a food processor and a spoon are a better bet!”

Not surprisingly, Silverstone’s blog followers were enthusiastic:
“I had never thought of this before but it's the cutest way of feeding your baby! I have a 7 month old and I think I will try this method...she is always trying to lick my mouth anyways might as well give her a reward."
Jackie Keller, executive chef of Los Angeles healthy food company NutriFit still thinks such behavior belongs out in the wild:
“I've never seen anything like this – except in the animal world where birds and some other species pre-chew their offspring's food,” she added. “I wonder what benefit there could possibly be to the child and the mom? Certainly there is no scientific literature that I'm aware of that promotes this type of behavior among humans.”

A rep for Silverstone did not respond to a request for comment.