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.

Laid back breastfeeding

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.

Follow me Facebook and Twitter as I acknowledge “Women & their work” all through this month.

Breastfeeding Support Group: BSIM: #AtoZChallenge 2017

24 thoughts on “Breastfeeding Support Group: BSIM: #AtoZChallenge 2017

  • April 3, 2017 at 3:15 am
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    I am so glad you found a support group to help you out. Yes, these groups are really helpful for new mothers who themselves are very stressed out about the baby. Thanks for sharing.

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    • April 3, 2017 at 12:32 pm
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      Yes. The support group was important & I hope through this post I can spread some awareness about it for those in need.

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  • April 3, 2017 at 7:32 am
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    I remember my own breastfeeding journey and how painful it was. Back then I only had a very good friend whom I could text at any time of the day/night and that made such a difference! We need our village to survive. Without them we’d be finding this very tough. Glad that these support groups exist.

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  • April 3, 2017 at 10:49 am
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    When the world goes gaga about the safety issues of virtual world, if rightly used it’s the best support system ever. You got people supporting in every phase of your life. Whether in blogging, parenting, pregnancy, working women etc. So thankful that we can have a home away from home in this huge world.

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  • April 3, 2017 at 11:31 am
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    what a wonderful post and you are so right… support and correct information is so vital when things go wrong… and even when they are going right. I was a breastfeeding counselor with the Australian Breastfeeding association for over 19 years and was a passionate supporter of breastfeeding. I am so glad to hear that such a wondeful group exists in your country too. ABA used to have local groups as well so mums could have face to face contact and support with the counselor and other mothers. Our local group has closed in my town but support is still available via phone, email and the website. My “baby” is 22 years old so its 20 years since I last breastfed but I still miss it and I love to see babies on their mother’s breast. So special

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  • April 3, 2017 at 1:26 pm
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    With my children, I found more support from the Breastfeeding support networks and groups than medical practitioners. Some of these are unsung heroes, as you rightly said, working tirelessly to motivate, tell new moms to hang in there, answer the most elementary of questions. One can’t truly put a price on this support at that crucial time in every mom’s life. Thanks for writing about this.

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  • April 3, 2017 at 1:49 pm
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    Being a mother is a frustrating experience . How much ever one reads or is mentally prepared – nothing really goes as per plan in a lot of cases and we need all the support in the world we get through some of the challenges. Women can really understand and empathize with women especially in such sensitive matters. It’s not just a physical challenge , it’s a very psychological struggle too and you treated the story with so much dignity . ‘Women and their work’ as a theme needs a lot of voice and a lot of visibility — so well done Namy for taking it up!

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    • April 3, 2017 at 2:13 pm
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      Namy it helped me also a lot..Thanks for introducing me to the group..Very beautiful post..

      Reply
  • April 3, 2017 at 2:24 pm
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    The beauty of connecting with others, more so on social media. There is always someone ready to extend a helping hand.

    Hank

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  • April 3, 2017 at 2:42 pm
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    Breast feeding is painful and I salute all mothers who manage to diligently and exclusively breast feed their babies. I admit I happily put my kids on the bottle after 12 weeks of breast feeding but made sure I supported my daughters to breast feed their babies and I must say that it made no difference to their over all immunity. My own daughters who were weaned early were healthy as oxen and didn’t miss a day of school. My grandchildren who were breast fed exclusively till they were 6 months already go from cold to cold ……………

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  • April 3, 2017 at 2:47 pm
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    It is so wonderful that you have found a breastfeeding support group. I am a total supporter of breastfeeding. I had breastfed exclusively both my children till 6 months and then till 1.5 years I did not wean while giving extra nutrition. I can see that has helped them to remain a lot healthier than their peers who had been bottle fed.
    Launching SIM Organics
    *Menaka Bharathi*
    *SimpleIndianMom*

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  • April 3, 2017 at 10:23 pm
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    I am a part of this group too, though my breast feeding journey was extremey terrifying and torturous. I have spent endless days crying because my son didnt latch properly and hated BM. BUt then I had to make peace with formula and keep the formula shamers away. A lot happens in the mind.

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    • April 4, 2017 at 6:45 pm
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      Each mother’s journey is different and depends a lot on our baby too. I believe mothers should stop judging each other and instead stand by each others choices.

      Reply
  • April 4, 2017 at 4:35 am
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    When I was a young mommy, (YEARS AGO) I was a counselor for Nursing Mothers Council. I would go out and help other mothers, the woman;y art of breast-feeding. – So I really really enjoyed your post. I haven’t thought about all that in years.

    Baby Boomers – sheltered from life’s fallout??

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    • April 4, 2017 at 6:43 pm
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      Love the way you put it as “the womanly art of breastfeeding!”. Though it is a natural process it is still an art and a dialogue between us and our baby

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    • April 4, 2017 at 6:41 pm
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      I have read many of La Lache League’s posts, but they do not currently have a presence in India. This online group has hence been a boon to us.

      Reply
  • April 4, 2017 at 8:48 am
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    When I had my twins 30 years ago, we didn’t have the internet and the beauty of support available whenever. I’m so glad that you reached out and received help and were able to continue to breastfeed!

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    • April 4, 2017 at 5:00 pm
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      The internet is such a boon to us in many ways, though it is also equally distracting. Just someone affirming that what we are doing is right, is a form of support too.

      Reply
  • April 4, 2017 at 1:59 pm
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    I was so grateful to the Nursing Mothers Association of Australia when I had young children. They weren’t officially allowed to come into hospital when I had difficulty feeding my first child but came as “visitors”. I really valued the support they gave me…thank goodness I attended their meetings before I gave birth so I had the connections I needed afterwards. The morning teas were a lifesaver and I made some lovely friends. I probably only breastfeed for a year or so for each child but the support I received from that group and some other wonderful women in the community was so valued. The mother of one of my schoolfriend’s was especially supportive telling me that there was no “right way” and that “mother knows best” and to trust my own instinct. If you’re interested you can read about her book here http://finch.com.au/books/baby-care.

    Reply
    • April 4, 2017 at 4:57 pm
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      Yes Alex, as she says “mother knows best” is what we all need to believe in especially when we are so overwhelmed with a new born. Will definitely take a look at her book.

      Reply
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