“I can’t take it anymore“
It was the middle of the night and I was in tears. My nipples were cracked and oh so painful. My baby who had been a professional breastfeeder from almost the instant he was born, had somehow forgotten how to latch after 6 weeks. I was searching for reasons to justify starting formula or anything else that did not involve breastfeeding. With reluctance, I posted my dilemma in a group on facebook: Breastfeeding Support For Indian Mothers(BSIM). A ton of ideas poured in almost immediately(yep! there are always some mothers awake at night). Someone suggested a semi-reclining feeding position(used in case of overflow) and it actually WORKED! More than a week of pain vanished in just a day.
That was more than 3 years back, and I continued to share a beautiful breastfeeding relationship with my son until quite recently. It was a bond I value deeply and I owe it to the valuable information and immediate support provided by this group of women. BSIM was created by Adhunika Prakash(now a certified Lactation Consultant), and is able-ly supported by a group of admins(Lata Chauhan, Chetana Ajit, Asha DSouza, Madhu Panda) and moderators. The strength of the group lies in its almost 40,000 members who create a space where you can voice your breastfeeding related queries & opinions.
Why do they do it?
“Only for the satisfaction of helping other mothers in need of support”
And we do need the support. In those moments when you want to give up. On those days when you have various people giving you contradicting advice, when opinions are forced on you. That is when evidence-based information becomes so important. I know we have google, but a support group is so much more than that. These are real people listening to you, giving you real-time help, so that we can base important decisions on it. And I thank them with all my heart for it.
Are you a mother(or know someone) struggling with these questions:
- What is the right age to stop breastfeeding?
- What type of breast-pump should I use?
- How do I breastfeed in public?
- What do I do when I join back work? (Many women have taken inspiration from the group to set up breast-pumping spaces at their workplace)
- What should I use for cracked nipples?
Do head over to their page. The best time to join them is during pregnancy.
I would like to add that it is not my intention to offend anyone who chose to not breastfeed. I believe it is each individuals choice, made according to their situation.
In the course of the #AtoZChallenge series, I would like to celebrate not only the paid work or extraordinary achievements, but also the unacknowledged work which women do in the course of their lives.