After Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade welcomed their beautiful daughter Kaavia into the world via surrogate in November, our news feeds have been chock-full of tender moments of their family. But after posting a video of herself kissing Kaavia on the lips with the caption: "Kissing game. She's got my [heart] on a string," she's getting a lot of pushback from mom-shamers.
"Never kiss a baby on its lips, they [easily] get bacteria," wrote one woman. Another person chimed in to say, "Ahhhh didn't anyone tell you you shouldn't kiss a baby in the mouth? Even your own. She's beautiful though."
But rather than sit by the sidelines and watch her fans duke it out, Gabrielle responded to the negative commenters.
"Hey guys I appreciate all the concern about kisses on the mouth. . . I am blessed enough to have a nurse here with us while at work," wrote the 46-year-old mom, adding that, "Kaav is healthy and I don't even touch her without washing and sanitising myself and everything and everyone that comes into contact with her."
"Kaav is healthy and I don't even touch her without washing and sanitising myself and everything and everyone that comes into contact with her."
Not only does Gabrielle have a nurse on-site, she made it clear during an interview with Oprah for her upcoming TV special — Oprah at Home with Gabrielle Union, Dwyane Wade & Their New Baby — that she's not taking any chances with Kaavia's health.
"No visits with sick folk and even all of Oprah's crew got whooping cough vaccinations and current on all vaccinations to be in our home," she said, adding that, "If you think I waited this long and went [through] all this to put my baby in harm's way . . . you got another thing coming."
While we don't support mom-shaming at all, the concern raised over the photo has people wondering if kissing an infant on the lips is really dangerous. We asked Dr. Jean Siri Moorjani, MD — a pediatrician at Arnold Palmer Hospital For Children in Florida and a mom of two — to weigh in on the matter.
"As a pediatrician, I know that young babies really do have immune systems that aren't that strong," said Dr. Moorjani, who explained that while it certainly makes sense to limit others' interactions with your infant, especially when it comes to kissing, it's also important be be mindful of how you're feeling as a parent. After all, germs are germs, whether they come from a parent or a great aunt.
So, it's true that kissing your own baby on the lips comes with risks. Dr. Moorjani gave a rare — but entirely possible — example of what happens when things go wrong. "If somebody has a cold sore that's caused by the herpes virus on their lip, they absolutely should not kiss babies on the lips because newborn babies can get very sick from that particular virus."
Dr. Moorjani also advised moms and dads to be especially wary during cold and flu season if their child is under 6 months old — the earliest age babies can receive flu shots — and they come down with a cold because "mom germs are still germs."
The bottom line? It's really up to the child's parents to decide what's best. "For some people, it's easier to say that newborn babies are off limits other than tickling their feet," said Dr. Moorjani. "There certainly is middle ground in this situation and it's mostly a common sense thing. I think the best thing doctors can do is provide information to moms. People are going to make their own informed choices."