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Breastfeeding and coding – were there ever two more unlikely words to be smushed together?

My breastfeeding journey is still going strong and baby is almost 2 now. It definitely occupies a huge part of my day and night, and even when I go into the office I still am pumping milk and there is so much logistical hassle that comes with it. I’ve done so much research into it, that maybe one day I should write a post just about breastfeeding and breast pumps… (wait, who is the audience of my blog anyway? Any breastfeeding mums here?)

I encountered a paper in which they tried to run an experiment testing the hypothesis that breastfeeding women are the victim of bias. The results pointed to negative societal perception of breastfeeding, with breastfeeding mothers were rated as being significantly less competent in maths (Source: Smith, J. L., Hawkinson, K., & Paull, K. (2011). Spoiled Milk: An Experimental Examination of Bias Against Mothers Who Breastfeed. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 37(7), 867–878. https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167211401629)

If someone is a working breastfeeding mother it often means they have had to rearrange much of their lives in order to accomodate this, and the experience will probably make them even more awesome at time management. I look back on the years before the Bean came along and realise that I’ve squandered so much time in the past on frivolities. Breastfeeding and wanting to do it all (career-wise) really does means you have to be extremely careful with how you manage the finite resource of time – I’ve never been more focused and productive at work, because I only have one shot at things now! I don’t have time to faff about!

It is true that the logistics of breastfeeding (when done directly) is such that it can be difficult to do work with your hands. But I was resolved to become a better coder despite also having to spend an inordinate amount of time breastfeeding my baby. I like to follow various Python MOOCs whilst lying down breastfeeding baby, with just my phone (for coding) and tablet (for the MOOC). All this seemed to point to the importance of having a cloud-based service where you could code, and to have the right coding-oriented keyboard on mobile.

The solution? Google Colab + Codeboard (a coding-oriented keyboard for Android) to play around with Python on the cloud and on your mobile!

Seems fitting that this post is being posted on Mother’s day. Big up to all the hardworking mums out there, it sure is a lot of work to raise a child!

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