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Showing posts with label breastfeeding. Show all posts
Showing posts with label breastfeeding. Show all posts

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Summer holidays - Part I

As a grad student I have the flexibility of taking time off pretty much whenever I want, provided I am not teaching at the time. This has come in handy in the past, when I could book a last-minute seat sale without having to ask for time off, and it`s incredibly convenient now that I have a baby and am travelling to visit both of our families more often.

The past three weeks, McKenna and I were visiting with my family in New Brunswick. We left Daddy behind in NL, with plans to meet him at his family`s place in Ontario in early August. During those three weeks we met up with friends, spent time with family and entertained a few house guests along the way. And I got a taste of what it was like to be a single parent for three weeks. I`ve never given much thought to how difficult it must be for the single mothers out there. My parents are still married, and I am in a stable and committed relationship myself. I`ve taken McKenna to visit family by myself before, and haven`t found it to be too stressful, but there was something about this trip that was different. Maybe it was because she is sleeping less during the day, and therefore I get less time to myself. It could have been that she`s more active now, and needs much closer supervision and attention. Or it could be the fact that she has been a poor sleeper the past few months, and continued to thwart my efforts to get some shut-eye while we were at home. Whatever the reason, it was an exhausting trip. I had envisioned spending afternoons on a patio, sipping daquiris and catching up with old friends. I had hoped to spend time at the beach, working on my tan. I had even planned on getting some work done towards my dissertation. But I found that I was too tired to do much of anything while I was home. The days were unusually hot and humid, which we`re not used to in Newfoundland, and even at night it stayed pretty warm. This meant that we spent a lot of time indoors, giving McKenna ample time to increase her mobility. While we were away she learned how to pull herself up, and had her first pony ride. She petted her first alpaca, and swam in her first salt water pool.

It was also the first time that she would not go to sleep by nursing.

McKenna and I have enjoyed a largely problem-free breastfeeding relationship. With the exception of recurring blocked ducts, we have never had any major problems to contend with. She loved to nurse right from the start, latched well, and only once did we experience a nursing strike. But for whatever reason, she can no longer be settled to sleep by nursing. She still wants me to be beside her while she falls asleep, but now she is falling asleep to a bottle, instead of to the warmth and comfort of my body. When she wakes through the night she will not settle for anything less than a boob, but the girls are no longer a part of her bedtime or naptime routine. And that makes me a little sad. I know as she grows things are bound to change in our relationship, but I wasn't ready for those changes to be happening so quickly. I don't want her to crawl, because that means she is just one step closer to walking. I don't want her to talk, as she will be even closer to becoming independent. In short, I want my little girl to stay a baby forever. Unfortunately, she (and nature) have other plans.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Breastfeeding at Work?

A fellow mom recently pointed me towards the breastfeeding inclusion policy at the university. Apparently, not only am I allowed to BF McKenna while at work, but she is actually WELCOMED by the university to attend (and nurse) during class.
"Quiet breastfeeding infants and young children are welcome in lecture theatres, public spaces, seminar rooms etc". (Policy 2.0)
 "The number of times a woman needs to breastfeed or express milk will be determined by the individual needs of the mother and the age of the baby and may vary over time" (Policy 4.1)
Holy crap! I had no idea that MUN even had a breastfeeding policy, let alone one that welcomed babies into the classroom.  Not only that, but they have also built it into the orientation for new staff and students, to ensure that people are aware of the policy (presumably so that not only will they take advantage of it themselves, but so that moms will not be harassed by other students/colleagues when breastfeeding).

4.3 Support:
  • The University supports an environment that encourages women to feel at ease breastfeeding their infants and young children throughout the campus. However, there are areas of the university where infants and young children are not permitted due to safety/health concerns or requirements.
  • Support from fellow employees is important in providing a breastfeeding environment and therefore efforts are made to inform employees about this policy to secure their cooperation for any workplace accommodations that may be needed. New employees and students are informed of University policies (including the breastfeeding policy) during orientation.
  • There may be situations or environments within the University when breastfeeding breaks or private space for breastfeeding may not be provided. Other options should be explored with the mother to ensure that her needs are met.
Wow! I am so impressed with MUN. However, I probably still will not take McKenna to class. While I have breastfed her in the comfort and privacy of my office, it is unlikely that I would attempt to do so while lecturing to 90+ students. Still, it's the thought that counts, so thank you MUN, for thinking of me and my baby. And who knows, maybe I will take her to class someday...just to say I  did.

Friday, 17 February 2012

Breastfeeding Facilities

McKenna and I are visiting my family in Fredericton, NB this week. It's been so nice to be home and to get to introduce her to my friends and family. At 8 weeks old, she has already been to Ontario and now to NB - thank goodness she's a good traveller!

I try to get out as much as possible with her, as I want to expose her to as much as possible from an early age. Also, being wintertime, it can be hard to get outside for walks sometimes, so we hit up the mall on particularly gross days or days when I am feeling trapped at home. As such, I have had the opportunity to sit in many a washroom, change room, and nursing room with her. The "nursery" provided by our mall back home in St John's is absolutely terrible. The breastfeeding area is literally one straight-backed chair in a washroom-type stall. No arm rests, no comfy plush seat, nothing to help make the process more comfortable for mother and baby. Come to think of it, I don't even think they provide a sink to wash your hands after changing the baby (I could be wrong?). The first time I had to use this room, I ended up having to stop the feeding prematurely, because my arms were so sore from having to hold the baby in place with nothing to support them. It was a frustrating experience for both McKenna and I. The Sears at the mall however, provides a really nice room for mothers to nurse in privacy and...comfort! Two faux-leather chairs, multiple change tables and privacy screens. As a result, I find myself going to Sears more and more now. I definitely go out of my way to go there when I need to nurse the baby, but I have also found that I am shopping there more often now. I appreciate that Sears has made an effort to support breastfeeding moms, rather than expecting them to feed their babies in the washroom or rush through a feeding because the accomodations provided are so uncomfortable. In turn, I have made a conscious effort to shop there more now, and to let the staff know that I do appreciate the room that they have provided.

So what does this have to do with being home in Fredericton? Well, I was at the mall here earlier today and had to change McKenna so I went off in search of a family-friendly washroom. To my surprise, the mall in F'ton has also provided mothers with a very nice room for breastfeeding, changing, etc. It's nice to see that some places are going out of their way not only to accomodate nursing mothers, but to make the experience more comfortable for them when they are away from home and need to nurse.