Friday, February 18, 2011

Boob job

Warning: this column is about boobs, and what they’re really made for

Whoever coined the phrase “it’s no use crying over spilt milk”, obviously never met a nursing mother.
After many weeks of planning (read: stressing), I have gone back to my office job while still continuing to breastfeed my daughter.
I found support and helpful advice through the Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA), and my employer has been very accommodating with regards to lactation breaks.
However, because I have to leave expressed milk with my daughter’s carers during the day, it is no exaggeration when I say that breastmilk to me is like liquid gold.
So you can imagine my ‘express distress’ when I managed to pump out 80ml of milk, and just as I was unscrewing the storage cup, I dropped it, spilling the precious liquids all down my pyjamas and onto the floor.
What did I do in my sleep-deprived state?
I burst into tears.
The next day I took my daughter to her childcare centre knowing that I still had a good supply in their freezer.
But cyclone Yasi came along and took the power out, so at least two days’ supply of milk had to be thrown out!
Another reason to cry over spilt milk.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Dealing with trauma

In the wake of our biggest ever cyclone, how are our kids coping?
I have written about how to help children deal with trauma before, but it’s worth looking again at this topic in light of recent events.

Ongoing news reports showing images of floods, cyclone destruction and violence of worldwide events, can confuse and frighten children of all ages.
So when a crisis occurs, how do we help our children?
Children’s reactions to a disaster will depend on what they experienced and on how they were prepared.
Preschoolers may exhibit thumb sucking, bed wetting, clinging to parents, sleep disturbances, loss of appetite, fear of the dark, bad behaviour, and withdrawal from friends.
School children may be irritable, aggressive, clingy, have poor concentration, want to avoid school, withdraw from friends and experience nightmares.
Adolescents may have sleeping and eating disturbances, agitation, increase in aggression and conflicts, physical symptoms, bad behaviour and poor concentration.
If a child has previously experienced trauma, death of a loved one or mental illness, then they are at an even greater risk and parents should contact a professional for assistance.
Having to evacuate their home and leave all possessions behind is difficult enough, but having their home destroyed and fearing for their lives can be devastating.
Most children have similar fears after a disaster such as a cyclone.