Wednesday 28 July 2010

Silverburn - baby friendly!

Following on from my previous post, I was out at Silverburn yesterday and was impressed by their baby facilities.

They had a separate breastfeeding room and well-designed changing facilities.

The changing area ran round the room, and was at two different levels - cleverly noting that parents are not all the same height! Very nice indeed.

Saturday 24 July 2010

Breastfeeding and babies on the bonnie bonnie banks

Joe, Alexander and I attended the wedding of one of his work colleagues, Paul Stevenson, yesterday. His bride, Pamela, was happy for us to bring our wee one along, as being the mother to two small children herself, she knew how hard it would be for us to leave Alexander with anyone else! The wedding was wonderful - they're a great couple, and I wish them the very best.

Alexander was very well behaved, sleeping through most of the church service, and indeed most of the meal and dancing. This was the first big day out we'd had, so I expected a few challenges during the course of the day.

After the church service in Luss, we needed somewhere to change the wee guy. I'd noticed a baby changing facility at the pier, but on the way back we were met with the wondrous smell of food wafting from the Coach House restaurant. We popped in, Alexander was immediately cooed over and we were pointed in the direction of the baby changing facilities.

This was the first time I'd used these, thus far changing him at family homes or in my office. I was hugely impressed. It was quite cosy (I probably should have left the pram outside!) and doubled as a disabled loo, but spotlessly clean and well appointed. There was a cabinet on the wall filled with spare nappies, cotton wool, wipes, nappy sacks and even wee bottles of food for older babies. The changing table had big paper towels to lie him on. It's great to see such an effort to accommodate babies. I was felt relaxed and quite at home feeding him in the restaurant afterwards. I should also say that the Coach House's food was also ace - huge chunks of real ham with redcurrant jelly in a giant roll, and lovely spicy gingerbread! Definitely worth a return visit.

We then headed off to the wedding reception at the posh and expensive Cameron House.
This is where things were a little less easy. I (perhaps naively) got changed into a pretty frock. I could breastfeed discreetly out of one side of said frock, but the other required somewhere a bit more private. I did some exploring and eventually found the baby changing area. It had a sink, two small towels, a bin and a fold-down changing table situated directly under a spotlight, presumably for infant interrogation purposes. There was no chair to sit in, so I had to sit on the cold, tiled floor on one of the towels. Not particularly comfortable, or easy to get up from while holding a baby. The towels weren't changed during the course of the evening.

Later in the evening, when he needed to feed again, I thought I would ask if there was somewhere more suitable. I was led wordlessly by a senior-looking member of staff back up the stairs and all the way back to the baby changing room. I pointed out there was no chair. Instead of perhaps going and finding me a chair (I wasn't going to drag one through from another room myself while holding a baby!), he looked back at me blankly, had a quick swatch in the disabled loo next door (not sure for why?!), and decided I could use his office.
Not sure what would have happened if I'd been visiting during the day when people were working! So there I sat in an office chair feeding my baby, looking at the stats posters on the walls showing much Cameron House needed to extract from people's wallets to make a profit.

Incidentally, I wasn't the only person at the wedding with a baby - the bride has a five month old daughter, and her sister, the bridesmaid, has recently given birth to a tiny baby boy. I suppose they had rooms to go to, but that can't be guaranteed for all guests at a wedding.

While I'm fairly happy to breastfeed in public and know that the law in Scotland allows me to do so, it's not always appropriate. Furthermore, some women just won't feel comfortable breastfeeding in a public place for a variety of reasons. It's a bit of a poor show that an establishment with the reputation of Cameron House fails to provide facilities for baby changing or feeding to match those of the small family-run restaurant down the road. I've written to the manager to ask what they intend to do to make improvements.

Thursday 22 July 2010


I'm irritated at the media storm which has been whipped up around the Megrahi issue of late - particularly where there's been misinformation, and fingers being pointed in entirely the wrong direction. The lack of respect for the Scottish Government and Parliament by UK politicians is disappointing, but not unsurprising.

I've been impressed however by the calm and reasoned reaction to the criticism by Alex Salmond, coming across as particularly statesman-like on Newsnicht. Today sees the publication of a fullsome response to Senator Kerry in his capacity as Chair of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, which you can read here. It's worth a look.

Monday 19 July 2010

Florence and Precious must stay

I was hoping to make it along to the vigil for Florence and Precious Mhango this evening, but as the clock neared 5pm, the wee guy was still feeding and it was clear I wasn't going to make the train.

I've followed their case through Anne, and I really believe that their case for staying here in Scotland is justified. They have become part of their community, and it breaks my heart to think that they could be quickly and permanently separated on their return to Malawi.

Please take the time to support their cause, and read the posts by Will, Caron and Jeff.

Sunday 11 July 2010

New arrival

The blog's been a wee bit quiet this past few weeks - I went into hospital last Saturday, 3rd July, and delivered a 7lb12 baby boy, who we've named Alexander Joseph Wright.

really like to thank all the staff at the Princess Royal, who were very helpful, patient and supportive. They helped me get breastfeeding established, despite some initial difficulties, for which I'm hugely grateful. I really couldn't have coped without them.
Thanks also to Gordon Thomson, who did a lovely write-up in the
Evening Times on Wednesday. It was nice to come home to!

I'm really looking forward to getting out and about over the summer and introducing wee Alexander to the world!