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5 French Parenting Lessons Every Mom Should Know

By Maria Cook

Bestselling parenting book Bringing Up Bebe is the work of U.S. journalist Pamela Druckerman, who had a child while living in France. Druckerman quickly noticed that the French do parenting a bit differently, and decided to write a book to share their wisdom. The insightful book is full of lessons for U.S. parents who want to raise their children the French way--by teaching them to eat "grown up" food, speak full, coherent sentences as soon as possible, and sleep through the night without the help of an adult, among other things. Here are six important takeaways from Bringing Up Bebe that can help your kids live happier and healthier.

1. Childbirth choices are deeply personal

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If the internet is anything to go on, there is a fierce debate, in America, over birthing techniques. Many blogs, articles, videos and ebooks claim to have the best answer for how you, and everyone should be giving birth. Many new American mothers-to-be report feeling stressed and judged for their birthing choices, as nothing they do seems good enough. Some believe that giving birth at home is natural and healthy, while others regard it as dangerous and selfish. Some even view routine medical interventions during childbirth, from epidurals to C-sections, as signs of weakness or inadequacy on the mother's part.

The French approach to childbirth is more laid back. This is because the French see childbirth choices as personal and private. Unless they are related to the woman in question, most French people will not ask how a pregnant woman plans to give birth, and if the topic comes up, they will not respond with judgement. This is good news, since stress during pregnancy isn't good for a woman's health, nor her baby's. Some scientists believe that it can even contribute to postpartum depression