The afternoon of December 4th saw a few of our JAMMS mommies and their adorable babies get together at Lil Monsters Café and Playarea, Chandivali for a Baby and Me workshop. The participants got to meet and understand areas of natural parenting from experts in the fields of breastfeeding, baby-wearing and cloth diapering.
First up was Dr. Zinal Unadkat, a practicing pediatrician and a certified lactation consultant. She is one of the first professionals in India to have acquired this certification and has helped countless mothers fulfill their dream of breastfeeding their babies. Dr Zinal spoke of the importance of the magic of breast crawl and the importance of feeding baby within the first hour of birth, exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months, and newer methods of weaning like Baby Led Weaning. She reinforced the need for demand feeding babies as breast milk is so much more than just food, its mommy’s love and providing comfort to the child in this new world they have arrived into. It was inspiring to hear real examples, from Dr Zinal, of the many strong mothers who resolved to do the best for their babies even while juggling the pressures of home, work and society. Her emphasis on using modern methods like breast pumps to feed baby breast milk even when the mother is not around baby, gave some of the participating mothers hope of regaining their career aspirations, without compromising on the best for their baby.
Vinkita, mommy of lil Vihaan had this to say, “Dr Zinal was great at giving us the right knowledge about care for infants and the right attitude about motherhood. A lot of myths and beliefs that we follow were scientifically reasoned out.”
Baby-wearing is not a new concept with many cultures across the world practicing it from time immemorial and Smita Jain-Lunawat from Cuddle-n-Care, amazed us all with a range of baby carriers to suit every mother and baby at various stages in their journey. She had on display carriers like wraps, ring slings, soft structured carrier (SSC) and a mei-tai. Smita demonstrated how each carrier is worn and even took the opportunity to carry some babies to show how comfortable and easy it was to baby-wear. She spoke of how baby-wearing has helped mothers comfort their baby, tide by difficult phases such as illness, teething etc. and showed how it is possible to even breastfeed discreetly in a baby carrier.
Mothers at the workshop were encouraged to try on the carriers that Smita had brought along. It was heartening to see the tiny little squishes cuddle up to their mommy in the great quality carriers Cuddle n Care provides. Neha, a participant mother found the baby-wearing session most useful and said that baby-wearing was “something very new which I was not aware of. I got to know the various varieties which are available and which is suitable for what stage of baby’s growth. The best part was that I was able to get hands-on by wearing my baby. I would not have learnt it in a better way and with certified experts around for help.”
The final session for the evening was conducted by Pallavi Utagi of Superbottoms cloth diapers. Cloth diapers are modern versions of the traditional nappies which ensures that baby diapering needs are taken care of in a safe, efficient and effective manner, while at the same time promising to be more environmentally-friendly, cost saving and safe for baby’s delicate skin. No more chemical filled disposable diapers and no changing langots (traditional nappies), clothes and bedding every single time baby pees. Complete convenience for mommies and caregivers; and no cranky babies. Pallavi also had on display some Superbottoms cloth diapers to help us understand the different types available such as covers, pockets and all-in-one diapers. She explained the benefits and advantages of each type of diaper. Not to mention we got to see the adorable and quirky desi prints that Superbottoms has on offer.
JAMMS mommy Dheera Shah who attended the session with her adorable little baby girl, found the Superbottoms session to be “awesome. Such cute designs and plus so many benefits, super cost effective too. I am using all of it and enjoying every bit of it” and mommy Neha is super enthused to try cloth diapers for her baby, “after getting so many positive reviews and even knowing that some mothers have used it while traveling.” She added that “the session has boosted my confidence to go ahead and buy it.”
A special mention must be made for the Lil Monsters Café and Play-area, started and run by an ex-banker Srinitya and managed along with Deepali Shah. It houses a quaint café at the ground floor and a cosy play-area for the little ones on the mezzanine level. Complete with a maze, ball pit, trampoline, large sized board games like Jenga, Connect4 etc. and plenty of place to run around, it kept our little ones busy during the Baby and me sessions. I was a little apprehensive of leaving my 11 month old alone in the play-area but the caretakers there did a great job of engaging him and keeping him happy while I focused on the workshop. I was very satisfied and relieved to have a few moments without worrying about what babyT was up to. Fellow mommy Neha adds that she found the place to be “very spacious and hygienic, very comfortable to sit there and attend the sessions. They also have a separate section for mothers to breastfeed which made things so easy.”
Overall it was a great networking and knowledge sharing session. It was wonderful to meet fellow mommies who we interact with on the JAMMS WhatsApp groups, was great to put a face to the names. It was a great pleasure to meet Ritu Gorai – Founder of JAMMS, and very heartening to note that she personally attends all JAMMS networking events. Getting to learn from each other’s experiences and getting to see baby care products first hand was very helpful. Mommy Dheera sums it up beautifully when she says, “The workshop was very informative, many misconceptions were cleared and lots of knowledge was gained… breastfeeding, baby-wearing and cloth diapering were all perfectly covered and we enjoyed the sessions immensely.”
About JAMMS – Journey about Mast Moms, initiated by Ritu Gorai, is an award winning Mumbai, Thane & Navi Mumbai moms only support group for networking that started in April 2014 and has been steadily expanding and evolving since then. It boasts of over 15,000 moms from various fields who connect and communicate online and meet offline every month during one of their complementary workshops, paid seminars and other events. JAMMS operates on a self sustainable model and has a team of 16 mothers that volunteer to run the network. JAMMS has groups for moms-to-be, new moms, grandmothers, single moms, moms of twins/ triplets, mom bloggers, HR corporates, artists, lawyers, book clubs and many more. If you are a Mumbai mom and would like to be a part of this wonderful community, go to their website here or connect with them on firstname.lastname@example.org / +91-9930203454. They also have a presence on social media on Twitter and Instagram