Mommying BabyT

Mommy T's adventures; bringing up Baby T

How one Facebook group helped me breastfeed

Pregnancy! That beautiful time when everyone around you will feel free to launch into elaborate discussions about what to eat, read, think and breathe too. And the one thing that everyone also told me was it’s ok to formula feed, it doesn’t harm the babies, “I mean look at our babies. They are doing just fine aren’t they?”  Sadly, much of the generation previous to ours relied more on formula milk than their own breast milk. So there is a serious dearth of people who will give you first-hand advice about breastfeeding. But one Facebook group is changing that.

I am greatly indebted to the group on Facebook called Breastfeeding Support for Indian Mothers. Without it, I don’t think I would have been breastfeeding at all, forget extended breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding Support for Indian Mothers (BSIM) is a peer-to- peer support group for breastfeeding parents, their partners and family members. With more than 50,000 members the Facebook Support group aims to help parents who are at various stages of their breastfeeding journey, ranging from pregnant to those with older children following natural term nursing. Even though the group is primarily targeted towards the Indian diaspora, it has members who are from various countries across the world.

I was lucky that a friend who had just had a baby introduced me to BSIM and said I had to join the group. In my mind I had thought “what was the need for a group to help women breastfeed? Didn’t it just come naturally to a new mother?”

How wrong I was! For when the gates to this support group opened up for me (read: my request to join the group was approved.) I was astonished to see that many women had issues, some minor or some complex, with this natural act of breastfeeding. The group wall was painted with queries from women all over India about their breastfeeding experiences.

Reading these scared me. The joy and mirth of pregnancy took a backseat for a short while and I did lose some precious sleep. But I also thanked my stars that I had arrived into the group at the right time and used the opportunity to soak up all the information that the group administrators, moderators and expert mothers were sharing.

I also came across a myriad myths and hearsay that new mothers were being subjected to by ill informed people around them. Some were amusing & some plain ridiculous. Motivation came in the form of mothers who shared photos of their breastfeeding milestones – 6 months of exclusive breastfeeding, 2 years and even more. I internalized all this information and even supplemented it by reading up resources such as La Leche League International and Kelly Moms, references to which I again found on BSIM.

Today BSIM is a 50,000 strong group (and growing.) They are now a registered non profit organisation. “When we started off, I don’t think we expected it to become this big,” says Adhunika Prakash, the founder of BSIM, “But now, as the group is growing at a very fast pace, we understand that it is a big responsibility and we are trying to ensure that the parents who are part of the group get the support and advice they seek.”

BSIM’s biggest concern when it comes to breastfeeding is “the ubiquitous marketing of Artificial Baby Milk (ABM) that hampers the breastfeeding relationship in most cases. It is everywhere, on TV, on hoardings, beautiful displays at supermarkets, and unfortunately, even doctors sometimes advocate formula before addressing the breastfeeding concern. A breastfeeding solution can be found, but most jump to artificial baby milk at the first instance.” In an attempt to change this BSIM has designed a petition highlighting how hospitals & healthcare professionals do not seek consent before administering ABM to newborns. You can be a part of this mission by signing the petition here:

BSIM today is crossing many strides as it partners with healthcare professionals and reaches out to many people across the country via live events. However it is still that cosy group of mothers who have found joy in breastfeeding and now continue to support and encourage each other. So if you are a #momtobe or know someone who would benefit from being a part of this group, ask them to join rightaway. They will thank you for the tip.

If you are looking for more breastfeeding inspiration, I highly recommend the blog by this talented mommy Priyadarshini Panda who blogs at Rattle Babble Battle. She has captured her beautiful journey here: My Breastfeeding Journey


  1. I loved the creative image …

  2. Its good to know that such a group is there. Surely would help so many

  3. Even though I have never thought of capturing my breastfeeding journey but it is always close to my heart and how it helped my pre term baby to recover faster.

  4. Oh didn’t know about this group. I am sure it’s helping mom across India. These days when there are many nuclear families..groups like these are really helpful

  5. This group is indeed a blessing. I had joined this one as well as its sister-group for moms of multiples and both helped me a lot. Reading stories of other moms was so inspiring. Plus every time I put a query it used to get such motivating answers.

  6. BSIM is truly very supportive group. I strongly believe that every mom needs support while they are on their breastfeeding journey. I am loving these Treeoflife images.

  7. I was recently added to a breastfeeding support group in Facebook, too.
    It’s great to see moms supporting other moms and there are a lot of information you could learn from joining these groups. ♥

    I was advised not to breastfeed my second baby (tho I have sufficient milk supply) because of the medication I am taking for Essential Thrombocytosis. A member of the group donated her milk stash to me ♥♥♥ And yes, the breastfeeding group I have joined actively donates breastmilk for mommies and babies who really need them.

  8. First of all, that’s a beautiful picture depicting the bond between mother and a child and deeper it says how breast milk is source of nourishment for a baby. Coming to the group BSIM as mentioned in your post, I have been a member of that group since my baby was just a couple of months old and I was battling with unsolicited advises from everyone in the family. I got all my strength to speak up my mind from this group of awesome mommies. I hope every new mom gets a chance to be a part if this group. Thanks for writing this Tara ?

  9. Such groups are so helpful during our new journey as moms. BSIM is such a supportive group.

  10. I didn’t know about this support group. Would have been really helpful when I had my first kid. But now I can help others by asking them to join

  11. It’s amazing how social media can impact our lives! A lot of people say its fake but I have found amazing support structures that have transformed into real life friendships. I am also now part of this group but I discovered it rather late in my breastfeeding journey. However I do follow posts by various mothers and what touched me most is how helpful everyone is without adding any pressure. It is definitely a must-join group for all new moms.

  12. Raising my hand for BSIM Fan!! I was always told that I have insufficient supply and was forced to give formula. It was when a friend added me to BSIM and I eliminated formula from diet of my 5 months old (gradually) and I am so happy that I did. We are still breastfeeding at 2.8 years.

  13. Oh, I wish I knew about this group when I was going through post delivery days and I absolutely detested breastfeeding. Thanks to my elders they helped me a lot and I did sail through it. I would definitely recommend it to my friends who are soon going to be moms.

  14. Yes, I have already been a part of this group for quite sometime and I agree the group is quite helpful for the new mommies who have queries/ issues regarding breastfeeding. Kudos to the people behind the group.

  15. Tara , I have to tell you that when I see all your and fellow moms post I realized the importance of breastfeeding a baby.I say that because Zuzu was both on formula and breast milk from the second month only. So because she was adapting well to formula , I never had to worry about my breast milk supply , and I never realized it’s importance. And after reading your posts took me back to the time, when the lactation consultant came at the hospital and it literally pressed my boobs, and I can still recall the pain, when the milk just didn’t come out even after 12 hours of giving birth to Zu.

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