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Why don’t you do a PhD?

Posted on July 28, 2012 by Ailsa RothenburyComments are off

This picture is really cute but won’t really help anyone with the feeding problem!!

I am still working on my professional doctorate, having been forced to change the topic several times. When talking to friends and colleagues, it seems very easy for them to say – ‘why don’t you do a PhD’?! If anyone says that to you – beware!

It isn’t that there is anything wrong with the topic, just that the best angle of approach can be difficult to find given the demands of the academic world and the processes to be followed. Now, I am planning to conduct a phenomenological study of the lived experience of lactation consultants’ in metropolitan Perth. There is a general understanding that an LC, is an LC, is an LC – but like any professional there is a tendancy to specialise even more once the basic qualification is achieved.

A midwife who is an LC becomes expert at ante-natal education and care immediately post delivery; a community child health nurse LC focuses on normal development of the infant and interaction with the mother/parents; other LCs work in retail pharmacies, pediatric hospitals, private practice (incorporating their special areas of interest e.g. sleep management, food sensivities, chiropractic). Most LCs in Australia have a nursing background, but a range of other disciplines are represented, and many have been lay counsellors in the community, for many years.

The recent interest in the photo on the cover of Time, reminds us not to have knee-jerk reactions to issues. When doing an assignment for my Grad Diploma, I consulted a photography book and learnt that photographers have many techniques for including or excluding the viewer. Usually maternal focused shots have the mother’s line of vision on the infant/child, whereas one intended to be more sexy, has the subject looking directly at the camera lens. This is what I think was ‘wrong’ with Time’s representation of long lasting feeding. My off hand response is that ‘some Australian men, never give it up’! There are many personal behavious I might not want to see in public, but private behaviours are the domain of those involved. I heard, that if you suggest to horse breeders that weaning should occur naturally, much the same level of anxiety is generated.

Well, back to the proposal and hope that this persistant cold I have had will resolve soon.


Tags: ante-natal, focus, lactation, lactation consultants, line of vision, Perth, PhD, phenomenological,private, public, Time