Sunday, 15 July 2012

#AttachmentParenting and Business

Following this morning's article in The TelegraphI investigate how #breastfeeding, baby wearing and business can be compatible.

I have a 4-month-old baby and a toddler. Due to the funding on offer, business advice available, and creative vibe in East Kent at the moment I believe that it is essential to network, information gather and seek funding for my start-up business now. However, I am also passionate about the benefits to mother, child and society of natural parenting methods. These include baby-led breastfeeding, carrying baby and bed-sharing - all of which have recently been termed Attachment Parenting (but which my husband and I came to by accident).

We are in a financial crisis, a pension crisis, an unemployment crisis, a childcare crisis and parents are struggling as children spend less and less time with the family (whatever type of family unit that is). It’s time for society to ask some tough questions. Just tweaking the same old policies is not going to work anymore. I think some of the principles of Attachment Parenting (I prefer the term Natural Parenting) can help us do this. And no, this is not a return to the 1980s/90s supermum! Nor is it a return to a dangerously sentimental perception of motherhood. To find out more read:

The Health and Financial Benefits of Attachment Parenting
The World Health Organisation, among other leading international bodies, has demonstrated that breastfeeding for at least six months (ideally a year plus) is best for baby and mum - especially in the battle against obesity, which costs countries millions of pounds and lives. Going from breastfeeding to solid food (baby-led weaning) without the need for purchasing pureed food is also free. Through education we could help children have healthy diets and save parents money. This has to be a good thing.

Top Tips for Mixing Babies and Business:

  • Be respectful. This is not an in-your-face political battle. Most people are happy to assist you – particularly more mature women who were mums of young children over the past few decades.
  • Be thoughtful. If you’re breastfeeding, is it worth taking a muslin square to cover yourself even if you don’t usually? (I rarely cover myself when breastfeeding but one society-changing activity at a time).
  • Be considerate. If your baby is screaming continuously, please leave the room. We need to show that parents can mix motherhood (or fatherhood) and business in a responsible and reasonable way.
  • Be prepared for a lot of interest and questions. This can actually be good for networking!
  • If it’s a large gathering, like a networking event or there are public speakers, contact the meeting organiser in advance if you can. This will allow you to build a rapport with her/him and a chance for them to accommodate you on joint terms. For example, to arrange seating arrangements in case you need to make a speedy exit for things like nappy changes.
  • Can you do something to promote the organiser or can they use you to promote them as forward-thinking and open to new working practices?
  • Embrace social media and new technology for support, networking and flexible working opportunities.

A call to action
Children are suffering. Mums and dads feel torn. Rather than just talking about the same old topics: the importance of breastfeeding, the need for quality childcare and the requirement of my generation to support an ageing population (#whenIm65), we need to come up with alternative economically and socially viable solutions.

I don’t like the options available to me and my family and neither do most of the other mums and dads I know. I want to find ways of sharing my experiences and maybe, just maybe, through social media and exposure other parents, MPs, healthcare professionals, business entrepreneurs, FTSE 100 companies, academics, charities, educational bodies etc will want to join my experiment too. 

I’m a catalyst for ideas and experimenting with new business and parenting techniques. For debate and ideas please use me!

Mixing Babies with Business in East Kent
I have recently attended some important business and voluntary group meetings with my youngest baby in a sling. Sometimes my toddler comes too if it’s the kind of event where we can do colouring-in, puzzles and other fun activities. But sometimes this isn’t fair to him or appropriate to the event, so daddy, his grandparents or a friend have helped look after him (more on the childcare debate another time!).

I would particularly like to thank and highlight the following events for welcoming me as a slinging, breastfeeding mum trying to do business and support families in the local community:

With thanks to @hackneydoula for highlighting the article.


  1. Great article, I totally agree with what you are saying, existing options just aren't good enough. I gave up my job as the cost of childcare plus commuting would have eaten up all my wages. I also believe that children belong at home with their family whenever possible. We have also come around to a natural parenting point of view, although we came to it later than many. Did you know there is an NCT Work at home parents group in Canterbury, and I'm also helping to start a natural parents group in the area. If you're interested in either or both let me know @mummykins82

  2. Hello, it's your cousin here! I hope you don't mind, but I have just linked to your blog from mine ( We really must get together soon and chat about attachment parenting (an parenting in general!) You might also be interested to know that I've been writing regularly for a natural parenting blog called Four Mums ( I'm 'Organised Madness' on that one. xx