Thursday, 30 July 2009

Motherhood and travelling.

My life in Sweden is about to come to an end. Towards the end of the week baby M and I will be leaving our birth country, heading for rainier pastures. As a first time mother, I'm a bit anxious about this. Sweden is an extremely baby friendly country. Because of the fantastic parental leave opportunities (yes, parental rather than maternity, as father's also go on paid leave) the whole country has been adapted for mother, father, baby & pushchair. Everywhere you'll find a lift, ramp or side road to be used as an alternative to a staircase. And here in Gothenburg I have not yet seen the rumoured "no pushchairs allowed" signs that apparently have popped up in Stockholm.

So naturally, public breastfeeding is accepted and you'd rather be considered the odd one out if you have anything against it. But as we now head to London for a while, I am bit concerned about how breastfeeding and baby handling will be perceived. From my days at Starbucks, I know it's a baby-friendly place, but I can't remember seeing pushchair on the Underground or experiencing anyone being nice and helpful to a new mother (like me!)

I know that in Ghana I'll be fine. If I feel too embarassed to breastfeed (why would I, considering my own boob juice observations) in public, I am never too far away from my car and as long as the AC is working we should be cool in every sense of the word. But for London, I think I'll have to purchase a "privacy" blanket to shield myself with so I'll never have to experience of someone yelling "put ´em away!". For now let me focus on an even more difficult task: how to fit four months of living in my 20kg baggage allowance.

Do you have any advice in life with a baby in London?


Tigger said...

hej försökte ringa dig härom dagen men vet inte om du såg det....hann inte ringa igår, tänkte pratat med dig innan du reste. hoppas resan gått bra och att ni får det härligt nu när ni ses hela familjen :) kram vi hörs...

Maya Mame said...

Hej, jo jag såg och tänkte ringa tillbaks men tiden sprang iväg. Nu är vi framme, resan gick jättebra med liten bebbe. Hörs snart!

Sijui said...

To the best of my knowledge London should be fine....did I not hear that they are revising their parental leave upwards to be more comparable to other Western European I think they have the baby friendly bonafides as well :)

Hope the two of you are doing great and pictures please!

Maya Mame said...

Yes, a couple of years ago they increased maternity leave from three months to a year, maybe that's why I'm seeing so many babies around! So far I've only met friendly faces.

Good to hear from you again Sijui!


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