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This is a question Professions I Hate

Broken Arrow says: Bankers, recruitment consultants, politicians. What professions do you hate and why?

(, Thu 27 May 2010, 12:26)
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Be the change you wish to see
I have a very opinionated friend called Phil. Phil hates a lot of people, especially when drunk. But one group at which he particularly enjoys directing his ire are the police. One evening, nearly falling asleep in the pub after several all-nighters trying to catch up with my college work, and fed up of hearing him rant on about the same thing for the umpteenth time, I had a sudden flash of inspiration.

"Phil," I said, concentrating hard on building a house-of-cards using soggy beermats, "if you feel so strongly about this, why don't you do something about it?" He looked up just as my house collapsed on itself yet again.
"Do something?" He laughed. "Like what?"
"Like - like join the police yourself. Go to the top. Work your way up. Change it from within."
Phil laughed cynically. "Like I could make any difference anyway."
"You could though," I said enthusiastically. "If you feel so strongly about it. And in any case, even if you didn't change anything you could still make a difference at the bottom. Give one person a good experience of the police, when they might have had a bad one. Come on, you were saying the other day you didn't know what you wanted to do after college."
"Maybe." he said, draining his pint glass. "I'll think about it. My round?"

Needless to say he didn't join the police. He's now working in Superdrug, but has gone back to college to retrain as a plumber, so fair play to him for finding something he wanted to do.

Anyway, fast forward a few years. I had forgotten all about this conversation, but was having a similar rant myself about the combined breastfeeding knowledge of most midwives and health visitors. Now, granted, midwives and health visitors have a lot of things to know about, and breastfeeding isn't often considered a priority, but it's something that is relatively unusual in our society, especially over the last 30 years, so that most first time mothers have never even seen anyone breastfeed when they have their children. Consequently, it often doesn't come naturally or instinctively to women and they require assistance from healthcare professionals. Occasionally you get lucky and meet a genuinely helpful and knowledgeable person, but more often than not, you get outdated advice, information which is plain wrong, and if you're really unlucky, the infamous "grab the baby's head, grab the boob, and shove them together" approach, which seems to be an NHS specialty, and is not only pretty upsetting for the mother and traumatic for the baby, but also totally unnecessary and not always that helpful.

I was lucky when I had my son in that I had read up a lot on breastfeeding theory beforehand, all the women in my family had breastfed so I had plenty of support on hand, I was even lucky enough to find a midwife in hospital who had a decent level of knowledge, and it all went pretty straightforwardly with no major problems. So when I started hearing all these horror stories I felt moved to do something - and decided to sign up to a breastfeeding peer support course. I felt that if I could help one woman breastfeed for just one more day than she would have been able to otherwise then it would have been worth it.

So have been doing this volunteering for a few months now and it's amazing - I get to see people gain confidence and achieve something they are proud of, and I'm doing something I'm passionate about. Only thing is that there just aren't many opportunities for paid work in this field and I can't carry on volunteering forever. So I have decided to go to university and train to be a social worker.

So I suppose what I am saying is, if you feel strongly about something, don't just sit around complaining about it, get off your arse and go and change it. Although if of course you're just having a moan and you have a perfectly good job anyway then feel free to carry on.
(, Tue 1 Jun 2010, 21:57, 11 replies)
Just exactly
how much is there to know about breastfeeding? Sucking on titties doesn't seem that complicated.
(, Tue 1 Jun 2010, 22:02, closed)
You'd be surprised
Actually it is quite simple, let them do it when they want (rather than sticking to a schedule, at least in the early days) and you can't go far wrong. The more they suckle the more milk you will produce, etc etc. But sometimes you get problems with latching & position which means that the mum's nipples get sore, and the bits which send the message to the brain to produce more milk don't get stimulated in the right way, so you end up with less milk which means the baby is hungry and even less likely to latch right and it all becomes a bit of a mess.
(, Tue 1 Jun 2010, 22:18, closed)
Somebody needs to do this
As my (Wifes) experience wasn't great, and with all ranting mantra in the NHS about tit chomping, but little practical support. She ended up feeling rather pissed off about it.

Fun bit about when Master barking was born, he refused point blank to suck at the tap, however, latched readily at a bottle. Cue the delightful practice of "Expressing". Also cue the Milli-tant fuming of certain so called professionals. "You can't do that, he should be breast feeding" to which LB pointed out that she was, by proxy, and if they didn't like it they could, and I quote "Get to Fuck"

I got the same reply when I suggested that a more efficient way of expressing was to use a Dyson, rather than a hand operated pump...
(, Tue 1 Jun 2010, 22:51, closed)
You can actually get some rather excellent sci fi type electric pumps, but they can make you feel a bit like a dairy cow...
But yes, all that aside, I get quite annoyed at the attitude of some HCPs. Why judgement and not support? I'm guessing it's about targets, so they can tick the little box which says "discussed breastfeeding" and say that the baby was breastfed at birth. The stats say it all - the most recent ones from 2005: 78% of women want to breastfeed. By 7 days only 35% of babies are fully breastfed. Six weeks, 21%. By 4 months, (the absolute earliest age recommended to introduce solid food), it's only 5%.

If you want any kind of decent breastfeeding support the best thing to do is seek out one of the voluntary organisations - La Leche League, NCT, etc, or sure start can be good.

Well done to your wife, BTW - I take my hat off to anyone who manages to express for any length of time, it's bloody hard work.
(, Tue 1 Jun 2010, 23:12, closed)
What a great post.
I've sort of said already.

What a great post.
(, Tue 1 Jun 2010, 22:55, closed)
Why thank you

(, Tue 1 Jun 2010, 23:12, closed)
Soooo ....
you're a volunteer lactation consultant?

Do you have a business card? That would be such a brilliant job title to write on a mortgage application form.
(, Wed 2 Jun 2010, 8:13, closed)
I suppose so..?
Although I really dislike the title of lactation consultant, for the reasons stated in your post above.

I am laughing bitterly at the thought of ever being able to fill in a mortgage application form. But let's not go into that.
(, Wed 2 Jun 2010, 11:39, closed)
What a shitting excellent post!

(, Wed 2 Jun 2010, 9:04, closed)
I'm a peer supporter too!
I love it - I am actually off to support at a group later and it's NOT just about breastfeeding, it's about meeting other mums, chewing the fat, talking bollocks and generally letting off steam. Some of us have actually gone on to train to be NCT counsellers and I'm training to become a family outreach worker. So well done to you! x
(, Wed 2 Jun 2010, 9:46, closed)
Yes, this!
It's most definitely not just about breastfeeding. :)
(, Wed 2 Jun 2010, 11:37, closed)

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