When Moms Broke Down...
What if we told you that a mom was not allowed to breast feed her child for the first three days of her child’s birth by her hospital, sans any reason? What if we told you that a mom was judged for not being able to feed her child? What if we told you that a mom breaks down with guilt even after 2 years of having her daughter because she simply could not lactate enough? What if we told you that a mother broke down because she did not always have an answer to why her child was crying?
What if we told you that unhappy experiences of breastfeeding led to unpleasant memories of motherhood for a new mom?
These and many more real stories emerged when 40 mothers came together to speak about their struggles of breastfeeding & motherhood. On 12th of May, on the occasion of Mother’s Day, Babychakra in collaboration with Zandu and Surya Hospitals conducted an awareness event on Motherhood and Breastfeeding in Mumbai. These moms were either expecting or actively breastfeeding their children. This successful event gave an amazing platform for mothers to come forward and share their breastfeeding experiences, struggles & challenges. The event saw a panel of esteemed doctors & experts deftly handling queries & busting myths.
Breastfeeding is an extremely emotional experience for mothers. For a new mother, especially a first time mother, it is an absolute struggle,both mentally and physically to get her baby to latch and feed. Our society fails to understand this dilemma of a new mother and often lacks in providing the required support. Many mothers in this event, shared their personal experiences which were more or less based on this fact. Their breast feeding journeys were full of pain, guilt, struggle and depression. There were stories where mothers clearly spoke about how they were deprived by hospital staff, of feeding colostrum to their babies the minute they were born. There were stories where mothers had to fight the struggle of latching and expressing milk, without any support from family. Mothers were judged for unable to produce milk. Mothers were made to feel helpless.
As a new mother, a woman’s body undergoes a lot of stress and trauma.Our panel of experts acknowledged the issues raised by mothers and addressed the concerns with some great tips like:
- Mothers should increase awareness about breastfeeding from third trimester. It helps them prepare mentally.
- When a baby is born, the entire family should not only focus on baby but also give equal priority to mother, her health and happiness.
- If required families should not think twice before approaching a lactation consultant.
- A mother has all the rights to make decisions for herself and her baby and she should be loud and clear about it.
- A mother should never feel guilty of her body’s inability to generate enough milk. She should not give attention to how people judge her.
- Resting and eating supplements is of utmost importance for mothers, especially for the first three months.
A mother’s ability to feed her baby has a major impact on her psychology. If things are not handled well at the primary level, soon after birth, they can leave a long lasting impact on her mind. Like our health professionals right said, our society is confused with traditions and advanced science. People very conveniently blame a mother for everything that is not in favour of her child. It is important for the village around a mother and her baby to know that a mother’s instinct should never be doubted and her ability should never be underestimated. Breastfeeding to the best of her ability is her right and her gift to her baby. Accepting that right and ability is something that the family should do first. Only then will a mother thrive.
A meet like this stands out for 3 reasons: Experts who understand the dilemmas & pain of a mother, Brands that strive to be a complete support system for a mom and a Community that is non-judgemental, truly has the back of a mom in her journey & is the one place where a mom can proudly say, “I am not perfect but I love my child, like no other!”