Free-Range Fetus

January 5, 2010 by Jennifer Carsen

Lenore Skenazy is the author of a book called Free-Range Kids: Giving Our Children the Freedom We Had Without Going Nuts with Worry. It’s a very solid premise, though her widely publicized experiment of turning her 9-year-old loose at Bloomingdale’s with $20 and a MetroCard to find his own way home – a trip requiring both a subway ride and a bus transfer – is probably further than I would have gone (though I’m speaking as a grown-up who never fully mastered the Manhattan bus transfer, so my perceptions may be skewed).

Anyway, a pregnant reader recently posted a request on Lenore’s blog for a companion site called “Free-Range Fetus”:

I am terrified… if it starts now, where does it end? Is there any reassurance out there that leaving my bedroom and eating a variety of foods ISN’T going to cause catastrophic birth defects?

It’s a great post with interesting comments – I am disappointed (but not surprised) to discover that the onslaught of unsolicited advice from well-meaning paranoids doesn’t end once the baby is born. It kind of makes me want to pretend to bungee-cord the baby to the roof of the car in a Wal-Mart parking lot sometime, just to see what sort of reactions I get.

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