Part I Setting the Scene (Letter)
I hope this finds you well my dear friend and accomplice. I would first like to thank you for the much help that I have received from you and your husband Jones in the past few months over my pregnancy and learning how to deal with the pressures that are brought by or associated with pregnancy. This being my first pregnancy, I had a lot fear over what to expect and how I would solve the challenges that I would face. I would like to thank you all for the continued support and I hope that you will continue to aid me in my endeavors to be a parent.
The aim of writing this letter is to notify you that I am expecting my first child in the next couple of weeks. It’s such a great joy and something that I am looking forward to, welcoming our first child. Despite the heightened joy, there are also numerous challenges and fears that I have in my mind that are bothering and I would like you to help me address them. The major fear that I have is that I am really interested in breastfeeding my child. However, the work pressures and the nature of my job are some of the hindrances that I have observed that could be a stumbling block in my pursuit of breastfeeding my child.
From what I have heard in the past and the advice that I have received from medical professionals through the course of the course of my pregnancy, it is imperious that I breastfeed my child for the recommended time. However, I also need to be back to work as soon as I am done delivering the child since there is no one to undertake or perform my duties at the workplace. I would like to assess the various options that are open to me in terms of creating a balance between the two or choosing between breastfeeding my child and reporting back to work relatively soon. Addressing the issue will require examining the various options that are open to me from the organization and whether there are various arrangements that can be made to ensure that the health, growth, and development of my child is enhanced not only in the short term but also in the long term.
The need to return to work relatively soon is poised by two major reasons. The first is due to the job expectations that my bosses have. At the workplace, I perform key roles that cannot be left unattended to for a long time. It means that if I stay for longer than the leave period that I will be accorded, I might end up losing my job since the organization would opt to fill the position with another individual if I do not return to my job roles within the shortest time possible. The second reason is due to the income that I receive from my employment or job position.
As you know, my husband has not been working since he got laid off at the law firm. The only source of income that we currently have emanates from this job. As a result, I cannot afford to lose the job in as much as I would like to breastfeed by child. I am in a fix and need to assess the various options that I have at hand since losing my job may mean that I could in the future not meet the needs of my child.
I look forward to hearing from you soon regarding the matter and what other alternatives I may have at disposal and whether these alternatives are actionable so as to fulfill the needs of my child and those of the organization in terms of the duties and responsibilities that I ought to perform.
Part II Discussion
The issue identified in the above scenario is one that relates entirely to breastfeeding and creating a work balance immediately the individual delivers her first child. When a child is born, he or she relies on the mother’s milk for survival until they are old enough to consume other food products that adults take. On some occasions, when the mother dies, the baby may be fed with other types of milk. However, studies have suggested that breast milk from the mother of the baby is the best and benefits the baby in a myriad of ways that many people are not aware of. These benefits go beyond the basic thought of offering nutrition to the baby. Pediatrics across the healthcare industry recommends mothers to breastfeed their children for the first six months after they are born (Cassidy & Tom, 2016). Some of the benefits of breastfeeding are discussed below.
Breast milk from the mother helps protect the baby from numerous illnesses. After a child is born, they are highly susceptible to suffer from various illnesses. Some of these ailments include ear infections, respiratory diseases, stomach illnesses, meningitis, and blood infection. When these ailments attack a child, the child may suffer more if they were not being breastfed by their mother during the first six months after they were born. Such breastfeeding is referred to as exclusive breastfeeding and excludes the use of solid food or formula milk to feed the child. Another advantage that may emanate from breastfeeding is that it can help protect the baby from developing allergies. Children who are fed formula milk from animal products often tend to react by a high degree to allergic infections and illnesses. Children who exclusively rely upon breast milk tend to have a higher degree of resistance to these infections and allergies that may affect their well-being (Newman & Pitman, 2009).
Studies on the benefits of breast milk have also suggested that it may help in the development of the child’s intelligence. Such a connection is directly linked to the development of cognition also known as cognitive development. This is a development of the human brain and helps aid in the gaining of intelligence among children. The studies have mainly involved assessing the IQ of children who were exclusively breastfed and compared these with IQ scores of children who were not exclusively breastfed. A huge link has also been established between breastfeeding a child and obesity. Many pediatricians across the healthcare system observe breastfeeding as a way that can be used to reduce the susceptibility of a child suffering from obesity in their childhood years or later.
When a child is fed using solid food when they are so young, they may instantly become obese. This is due to the fact that their bodies have little or no ability to digest these foods and this leads to the accumulation of fat in their bodies since they do not exercise and only make small movements. Breast milk also contains less amounts of insulin a compared to formula milk that contains a high level of insulin. Insulin in the human body is responsible for the creation of fatty tissues in the child’s body and this leads to obesity. Breast milk also leads to the creation of leptin in the bodies of children. According to scientists and researchers, leptin is responsible for two major reasons that cause obesity; appetite and fat (Olds, Marks, & Eiger, 2010). As a result, breastfed babies have controlled appetite and have low affinity for food unlike babies who are fed using formula milk or any other type of foods.
Breast milk has also been observed to lower the risk of sudden infant death syndrome also referred to as SIDS. When a baby is born, they are on many occasions very sensitive to their environment and the people around them. This means that they are likely to die with ease when affected by any form of distress. Researchers who have undertaken studies in this area have suggested that when a mother breastfeeds her baby for the first one month, the risk of SIS reduces by over 50% (Segura, Ansótegui, & Díaz-Gómez, 2016). If a parent wants to protect their child in the best possible manner, breastfeeding the child would be the proper way to ensure that their health and life is enhanced in the future. This can lead to the reduction of infant mortality rate in the country thus enhancing the lives of people. These deaths can easily be avoided through breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding does not only provide numerous benefits to the child, but also to the mother. Many people have the perception that the milk is only meant to enable the growth of the child and protect their health. However, there are several advantages that are attributable to the mother as a result of breastfeeding. The first advantage is that it helps reduce the stress levels and the risk that is associated with postpartum depression. Postpartum depression is a term that is used to refer to the depression that a mother suffers after they have given birth (Borra, Iacovou, & Sevilla, 2015). On many occasions, it is accompanied by hormonal changes, fatigue, and the long process of adjusting psychologically to motherhood. Depression is common among many mothers especially those who had not thought of the many changes and challenges that they would face after childbirth. The depression is mainly observed in mothers who deliver their first child and find themselves in unfamiliar territories. It is also common among mothers who had a traumatizing experience in their first delivery.
Studies that have been conducted on postpartum depression have indicated that the mothers who are at the highest risk of suffering from this type of depression are those who partially breastfed their child and those who ignore breastfeeding their child. Breastfeeding has a tendency of creating a relaxing feeling among mothers since it triggers the release of various hormones that are responsible for a great feeling that is relaxing in nature. The hormone that is released when a mother is breastfeeding a child is known as oxytocin (Stupin, 2016). The hormone develops a feeling of relaxation and thereby enhances the welfare of the mother in the long term. In situations where the mother is suffering stress or any other form of pressure from work or their personal lives, breastfeeding may prove to be a remedy for enhancing the life of the mother. The studies have also revealed that it also helps in the contraction of the uterus thus reducing the bleeding that occurs after birth.
Breastfeeding has also been observed to reduce the chances of the mother suffering from various types of ailments and cancers. Some of the major types of cancer that affect women include ovarian and breast cancer. When a mother fails to breastfeed their child, the milk that is deposited in the breasts may gradually lead to the development of cancerous cells in the breast that may cause breast cancer. As a result, for a mother who requires to prevent the onset of breast cancer, the best way could be to ensure that they breastfeed their child for at least a year before moving on to other formula based milk and foods. The chances of being diagnosed with ovarian cancer are reduced since lactation plays a huge role in the suppression of the levels of estrogen that are produced by the female body (Tuthill & McGrath, 2013). This thereby plays a huge role in enhancing the lives of women in the future.
Breastfeeding also plays a huge role in the creation of a bond between the mother and the child. On many instances where a mother has breastfed their child over the relevant required period, the bond between her and the child tends to be stronger than on instances where the mother did not or partially breastfed the child. Creation of a close relationship between the mother and the child is an important factor that could go a long way to determine the nature of their relationship in the future. Many of the family tensions that are observed between the child and the mother may at times be attributable to spending very little time with the child when they were infants and thus lack of a bond between the child and the mother. Breastfeeding also tends to be a very empowering tool since a mother thrives in seeing their child grow and develop on breast milk alone.
Another advantage that the mother may receive is based on the fact that breastfeeding may mean a menstrual vacation. This is due to the fact that it leads to the delay of ovulation and this means that menstruation may be a thing of the past. It also means that the mother may have to stash the condoms at least for the period when they are breastfeeding their child exclusively since ovulation is reduced or delayed for later periods. Breastfeeding may also be important for the mental health of the mother (Lau, 2017). On many occasions, one may have to look for other mothers who are breastfeeding and this may create a platform through which closer social ties are created and friendships are built. These advantages are a true revelation that breastfeeding is an important process that Essie needs to consider before sacrificing it so as to meet the job expectations that are expected from her.
Essie needs to consider the information presented above before going ahead and exploring the various courses of action that she can take in the near future once she has delivered her first child. It is clear that breastfeeding her child is something that she must do if she will be in a position to in the next few weeks. These considerations indicate that the growth, health, and development of the child is imperious and thereby it must be a fundamental issue of concern that she needs to address. However, creation of such a balance will not be an easy thing since she relies on her employment to offer and meet the needs of her family since her husband does not have any income at the moment. Some of the options that may be open to her as she wonders on what to do are discussed below.
Part III Solution
In modern society, there are numerous workplace barriers that exist that hinder women from breastfeeding the children for the required period. These barriers have over time led to decreased rates in terms of children who are breastfed in society. In assessing the issue, it is important to first consider what the law says in relation to breastfeeding. In the United States, the law requires employers to have an exclusive sport within the organizational facilities where employees can breastfeed and lie down as they do so. Essie needs to assess whether her current employer offers such services. There are several solutions that could be implemented by Essie after giving birth and some of these solutions are discussed below in close detail to solve the current issue.
In the modern world, working and breastfeeding is not something new. Women have always been working as they breastfeed their child since many have to look after the needs of their families and specifically of their child. The process is a difficult one and start from the moment the baby is born. After delivery, Essie will be given a maternity leave and this depends on several factors such as the nature of the delivery, her job position, and the requested number of leave days that she request from her employer. Before she returns to work, there are several strategies that she may apply that may play a huge role in ensuring that she attains the required level of breastfeeding her child.
Before she returns to work she ought to make a commitment to breastfeed the child on as many occasions as she probably can. Making such a commitment is an important step since the mother may suffer from ridicule at the workplace or in other public places as a result of breastfeeding her child. To enhance her motivation, she needs to have the benefits of breastfeeding in mind since they determine the health and development of the child in the future. The two activities are imperious to her since she cannot afford to lose her job or fail to breastfeed her child since it could have numerous detrimental effects to her health and that of the child as earlier identified. The mother must also get connected with the child before she returns to work. Creation of such a connection ensures that the mother is not worried about what could happen if the child fails to respond to various items around him or her.
Immediately after the child has been born, the mother must ensure that she gets the breastfeeding process off to a good start. Such a good start ensures that the ability of the breasts to produce milk is enhanced and thereby there is sufficient reserve for the baby whenever she requires being breastfed. Offering such a cue helps the breasts to produce milk that is in line with the needs of the child within the first few days. As a result, the breast get to produce milk according to the demand of the child so as to ensure growth and development of the child is guaranteed in the first few weeks. The first few weeks are also important to the baby since it leads to creation of sucking skills that allow the baby to learn how to such the mother’s breasts. The stage also offers the mother with great skills with regards to solving future problems that the mother may suffer from in the breastfeeding program.
The mother must also plan to ask for as many leave days as she possibly can. Maternity leave days that are accorded to the mother may at times not be sufficient to allow the mother and the baby to create a bond that could allow them to foster a relationship that ensures that she is breastfed. The longer the maternity leave is, the better the mother can cope with breastfeeding and continue with the same once she has returned to work. Essie may have to accumulate her leave days and consult with the employer such that the leave days are added to the maternity leave so that she may spend most of the available time with her child. Another option would be to consider an unpaid leave for about a month or two months when she can concentrate on breastfeeding her baby so that the two can receive the various benefits that are associated with the process.
In a bid to come up with various solutions for Essie, she may have to explore some options that may help her to work and breastfeed her child at the same time. The first option is to consider bringing her baby to work. In the modern workplace, there are various employment positions that would allow the mother to go to work with her child and perform her duties without any interference or disruption from the baby. The key decision to be made here depends upon the nature of the work undertaken and the various restrictions that exist at the workplace. On some of the workplaces, this may not be a plausible option especially if the work is on an industrial scale and involves heavy machinery and hazardous environments. Such hazards can be detrimental to the health of the baby and thereby there would be no need to carry the baby to such an environment.
Carrying the child to the workplace is a seamless activity for the mother since they baby is light and requires very little attention. At the workplace, the mother may easily perform her duties and this may ensure that the health of the child is guaranteed in the future. Some of the materials that the mother may have to carry when going with the baby to work include diapers and napkins so as to ensure that the child does not disrupt any of the activities that are performed by other employees at the workplace. The second option that she could explore includes trying work and wear. This is where the mother buys a carrier bag where she can keep her baby during her time at the office or at the workplace. This ensures that the child is close to her mother as she undertakes her various roles at the workplace.
Another option that Essie could explore is bringing her work to her baby. This involves working from home instead of the normal workplace. In the modern age of telecommuting, working from home has become a reality for many businesses and work processes. This is due to the fact that one only requires internet connection and connection to the intranet of an organization so as to perform the various roles and responsibilities that are expected from them by the institution that they work for. Such a reality may only happen if Essie’s job does not involve hands on exercise that requires her to be physically present at the workplace. Another option could also involve asking to work from home for two to three days a week and reporting to the head office of the organization for the rest of the week after she has had enough time with her child.
These possibilities give the indication that technology could in the future allow mothers to breastfeed their children since they can comfortably work from home and at the same time meet the goals and objectives that are expected from her by the organization. When working from home, the ideal time to concentrate on work is when the baby is having frequent naps. These moments can prove to be pivotal in allowing the mother to comfortably look after her expectations at the workplace while at the same time guaranteeing the health of the child through constant breastfeeding. It can even be possible to work when the child is nearby or when holding the child on one hand and working on the other. These skills are important since they ensure that there is a creation of a close bond between the two at all times. The other option that Essie may consider is on-site day care. In the modern world, many employers have brought day-care services closer to employees. In large business hubs, it is common to find a daycare that is located within the different businesses so as to meet the needs of mothers who require their children to be looked after as they work.
In conclusion, the current scenario that Essie faces can be addressed through an investigation of the various recommendations that are detailed above. It is imperative that she ensures that her child receives as much breast milk as she probably can despite the fact that she may be working on most of the occasions. As earlier mentioned, there are numerous benefits of beat milk and these benefits not only benefit the child but also enhance the livelihood and welfare of the mother. Essie may also seek support from her husband who is without a job or source of income at the moment. Due to the hectic schedules that she has to follow on a daily basis as a result of feeding the child, the husband, help on some of the home chores so as to relieve her off some of the stressors that she faces.
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Borra, C., Iacovou, M., & Sevilla, A. (2015). New Evidence on Breastfeeding and Postpartum Depression: The Importance of Understanding Women’s Intentions. Maternal & Child Health Journal, 19(4), 897-907. doi:10.1007/s10995-014-1591-z
Cassidy, T., & Tom, A. O. E. (2016). Ethnographies of breastfeeding: Cultural contexts and confrontations. London ; New York : Bloomsbury Academic, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.
Lau, Y., Htun, T. P., Lim, P. I., Ho-Lim, S. T., Chi, C., Tsai, C., & … Klainin-Yobas, P. (2017). Research Paper: Breastfeeding attitude, health-related quality of life and maternal obesity among multi-ethnic pregnant women: A multi-group structural equation approach. International Journal Of Nursing Studies, 6771-82. doi:10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2016.12.004
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