Mommying BabyT

Mommy T's adventures; bringing up Baby T

Tag: world breastfeeding week

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: https://www.change.org/p/ministry-of-women-child-development-make-it-mandatory-to-get-parents-consent-before-giving-artificial-baby-milk-abm?recruiter=749722294&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=share_email_responsive

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

Cherishing these moments of Toddler Breastfeeding

I honestly did not think about how long I would be breastfeeding babyT before we started. But now that we are still at it at 20 months, it seems like the most natural thing to do. He is still my baby and I am still feeding him valuable nutrition.

 

Toddler breastfeeding, mommyingbabyt breastfeeding, breastfeeding blog, extended breastfeeding

Toddler breastfeeding has its own dynamics and every day can still spring surprises. Feeling like you are “feeding a new-born” is common even after the child has turned, say 15 or 18 months.  Toddler Breastfeeding is still about providing valuable nutrition to the child, as much as it is about providing comfort, soothing and helps tide through the necessary ills of development spurts, teething, viral, etc. But breastfeeding is a boon at these times. Nothing can pacify a confused, cranky toddler like the mother’s breast can. Selfish or lazy, you say? Well, no. I call it my superpower.

This blog post was written as a special feature for KidsStopPress on the occasion of World Breastfeeding Week 2017. You can read the full article here:

One Mom’s Honest Account on the Joys & Struggles of Toddler Breastfeeding

The first 30 days of Breastfeeding – why new moms need to see success

I spent almost a decade in the Human Resource function and of that a considerable portion in recruitment and staffing. Please don’t be disappointed to see a very unusual analogy here. I can explain. Almost every HR specialist has read a book title “The first 90 days” and how it impacts the success of a new recruit or a newly elevated leader. And I live by this book. Most of your lives early experiences will largely determine how well you fare in those areas. And the same goes for the early breastfeeding issues.

New mothers need to see successes in their early breastfeeding days in order to have a journey that is fulfilling and satisfying to both her newborn child and herself.

And of course, as you would have with most things in life, it is the early breastfeeding days which are most challenging. Most of the breastfeeding issues begin here. Sadly, when most people tend to give up. While it is true that a little perseverance and determination can get most people through any challenge life throws at them, breastfeeding is different. It is combined with a woman who is bearing the severe trauma of childbirth, is a muddle of hormones and is probably fielding a myriad of opinions & statements on how she should be raising that little being that may be less than a day old even.  Breastfeeding doesn’t come naturally and is hard. Continue reading

On the eve of World Breastfeeding Week 2017

It makes me very emotional to be here once again, on the eve of World Breastfeeding Week. Emotional because this is the second time I am going to be writing about how I feel about breastfeeding and my experiences with breastfeeding babyT who is now almost a toddler. And also because it seems like this may be the last time we participate from a first-hand perspective. BabyT is already showing signs of reduced need for my milk, but again I am overjoyed to know that this is something that comes from within him and not by way of my forced weaning. The beauty of natural parenting continues to surprise me repeatedly. Continue reading

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