Mum won’t let mother-in-law hold baby until she’s done two very specific things

When it comes to first time mums, it's fair to say they get a little overprotective when it comes to people touching their newborn baby.

One woman especially is going to extreme lengths to ensure her unborn son will only be touched by incredibly clean hands.

In particular, the unnamed woman is planning on restricting the physical contact her future child has with her husband's parents – unless they do two very specific things first.

She revealed all in an honest letter to advice columnist Carvell Wallace, admitting that her mother-in-law is a heavy smoker.

Writing to Slate.com's Dear Care and Feeding, she said she was not concerned about the woman smoking in front of the child.

Her concern was instead about her child's exposure to thirdhand smoke – a phenomenon many people are unaware about.

Thirdhand smoke is thought to occur when smoke lingers on clothing and furniture and is considered dangerous for babies and children.

The woman said: "After researching thirdhand smoke, I am very concerned about her holding the baby after she has a cigarette.

"My husband and I have decided that after she smokes, she needs to shower and change her clothes before she can pick up the baby."

She adds that she doesn't want to "ostracize" her relative with her decision, but still wants to set these boundaries and asks Carvell for his advice.

The columnist's initial reaction is contempt, but after doing his own research he discovers that thirdhand smoke is a real thing, so he praises the mum-to-be for taking it seriously.

He tells her she is "perfectly within [her] rights" to ask her mother-in-law to do those things in her home, but she may have to be more lenient when she visits the in-laws in future.

He adds: "With any luck, this will spur her to take a second look at her relationship with smoking and maybe even cause her to let go of something that is clearly standing in the way of being with her grandbaby."

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