Sunday, 20 May 2007

Parenting stuff

I actually started a post on mothering stuff for mothers day that my computer ate and haven't got back to reconstructing that. Here are some other parenting related things I've come across.

I gather (from articles that have popped up in my google news alerts) that it's been breastfeeding awareness week in the UK. I came across the BreastfeedingManifesto website (the actual manifesto is a pdf) which launched its campaign for greater awareness of the benefits of breastfeeding this last week:

Guiding Principles

The Breastfeeding Manifesto Coalition looks forward to a society where:

  • Women feel enabled to initiate and continue breastfeeding for as long as they wish
  • Parents are supported to make informed choices about feeding their babies
  • Everyone is aware of the significant benefits associated with breastfeeding


The Breastfeeding Manifesto was produced in 2006 by over twenty UK organisations working to improve awareness of the health benefits of breastfeeding and its role in reducing health inequalities.
The aim of the Breastfeeding Manifesto Coalition is to achieve widespread cross-party support for the Breastfeeding Manifesto, and to ensure that its principles are reflected in government policy and legislation in the UK.

Specifically, the Coalition’s aim is to ensure that the Manifesto is adopted by all of the UK’s main political parties by the time of the next General Election.

That sounds pretty excellent, they seem to have a lot of current MPs signed up in support already.

I also noticed the story about the mayor who's taken her local council to court for sexual discrimination [BBC and Telegraph articles]. I'm pretty sure there's more to the story than the articles can cover fully so it's difficult to know exactly what to think. Personally I can't imagine take on being mayor knowing I'd take office with a two month old (which she presumably did), and it's not the kind of job where you'd expect a 6 month maternity leave since surely that would be a substantial portion of the term of office? However I'm not a career oriented person in that way and it sounds as though she has a lot going on in her working life besides motherhood. Still, it sounds as though she got poor support from the council ["The council leader allegedly replied: 'Get him on the bottle as soon as possible.' " - Telegraph]
The council denied her the use of a civic car for her first month and for the rest of that year allowed her access to it only when she found or paid for an adult to accompany her. - Telegraph
I can't see why the baby couldn't ride in the car. I would think it's a positive example that mothers are capable of holding office, ditto for her breastfeeding the baby being the reason for the baby to travel with her. I don't think expecting her to have someone travelling with them to care for the baby while she's attending to her duties is unreasonable. With a newborn if you have a carrier you could probably get away with doing most things being a mayor would entail without a babysitter. But you never know when a baby might have a melt down or need a diaper change at an inconvenient moment so having someone available to deal with that would seem sensible.

I've been in meetings with babies present (my baby, and other peoples) and it does make you lose focus when you have to divide your attention between the proceedings and a baby unless the baby's nursing or asleep so I'd want a babysitter. And obviously her attendants shouldn't be expected to babysit, I don't imagine that was part of their job description. (Jane Swift got fined for having aides babysit.) Still the fact remains that there's a long way to go before society is set up to support working women breastfeeding in the way that medical experts recommend (go breastfeedingmanifesto organisation).

More Attachment Parenting

In my bloglines feeds I keep track of the ParentingSolved which in turn means I see when the "Pediatric Grand Rounds" get posted. I have yet to actually make it through the most recent Grand Rounds and a lot looked interesting, and I guess the next set is due to be posted already. Still I did go to look at the post recommended at Parenting Solved and also loved it, I want to go back and check out more of that blog (Laughing Baby: Adventures in attachment parenting).

And finally, I came across a link to an interesting and informative article at entitled A Tale of Two Diapers with some of the recent history of diapers cloth and disposable and information about environmental impact.

Oops... One more thing I forgot when I hit publish post.
10 Steps to Letting Dad Do It, an article at 100 hats by thismom. Now my husband is pretty excellent with our daughter, but his helpfulness goes in waves. Sometimes has to get to a point where I've become totally overwhelmed and can't hold it together before he notices I need help. Some of these steps I definitely need to internalise better. I'm not good at asking for help, and I'm not good at remembering that the glaringly-obvious-to-me-things that need doing are invisible (or not important to him). We do try to get together to brainstorm about how to parent, which is good. However, my husband's memory is abysmal and he doesn't always remember. Sometimes he comes up with a strategy we agree to try (and sometimes I'm doubtful) and I diligently try it for days, then he'll have her for a little while and it'll be too difficult (or he'll have forgotten) and do things differently and wonder why I get annoyed. This whole parenting together thing is hard, but not as hard as it must be to do it all alone so I'm very thankful to be with my husband.

And while I'm adding things to this post I just saw an article at the BBC -- Pre-birth apples 'benefit babies' -- "Children of mothers who eat plenty of apples during pregnancy are less likely to develop asthma, research suggests." It also says eating fish once a week reduces the baby's risk of eczema.

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