World breastfeeding week: Hundreds of mothers across India come together to support public breastfeeding!

World breastfeeding week: Hundreds of mothers across India come together to support public breastfeeding!

Members of the Facebook group, Breastfeeding Support for Indian Mothers(BSIM), these mothers have only one intention in mind to help mothers all around India to shed their inhibitions and spread awareness about breastfeeding as much as they can.

In a first, lactating mothers from all over India  have decided to come together and lend their support to public breastfeeding and to bust the many myths associated with breastfeeding.

Members of the Facebook group, Breastfeeding Support for Indian Mothers(BSIM), these mothers have only one intention in mind to help mothers all around India to shed their inhibitions and spread awareness about breastfeeding as much as they can.

"We are having a series of events in Coimbatore, Chennai, Bengaluru, Goa, Kochi and Pune from August 1 to August 7. The only intention is to promote breastfeeding and help other mothers as it is World Breastfeeding Week. All the women and mothers associated with this program are all volunteers and no one is being paid a penny. We just want to help mothers as much as we can," says Adhunika Prakash, who founded the FB group in the June 2013. Adhunika is also a certified Lactation Educator and Counsellor.

As part of this program, 30 lactating mothers from Coimbatore came together to breastfeed their babies in public to lend support to public breastfeeding and break the many taboos associated with it, especially in India.

The mothers came together to lend support to millions of Indian mothers who are in a fix when it's come to feeding their babies in public and have to either look for a room or nursery to feed their babies or to express their milk in a bottle with the help of a pump and then feed to their child.

"In the previous generations a lot of marketing was done by formula companies to spread a lot of misinformation about breastfeeding and promote formula feeding. So the previous generations were misled about what's normal and what's not. So the only intention behind these programs is to educate women and the general public at large about the importance and everything associated with breastfeeding. We have a lot of flyers and infographics as well to help new mothers that can be accessed on our FB groups and website," says Prakash.

Mother of two kids who are four years and six-month-old respectively, Adhunika is currently tandem breastfeeding both her babies and feels that extended breastfeeding should also be encouraged.

Continue reading on the next page to know why mothers should support extended breastfeeding as well!

"About two generations ago it was completely normal for kids to breastfeeding at the age of four or five and even longer. There are many grandmothers who would tell you that how they would breastfeed their babies when they came back from school at the age of 6 or 7 and how it helped them connect better with their mothers. People that time believed in self weaning and they would tell you how this child weaned at the age of 6 and 7. So its completely normal to breastfeed children until they self weaned. Its a biological norm that we're talking about," says Adhunika.

However, sadly these days people are being misinformed and are discouraged to breastfeed their babies after the age of one, which is worrying feels Adhunika. And there are a lot of women who end up giving formula when there's actually no need for it.

"We're not against women who formula feed or who take their own decisions, we are just against their unfair practices that are being followed and that spread misinformation about breastfeeding," sums up Adhunika.

The FB group has many sub groups as well and has around 20,000 members. Their ultimate aim to help mothers and organise meets all over the country to let mothers come together and support breastfeeding, says Adhunika. You can know more about the group Breastfeeding Support for Indian mothers by clicking here.

Also read: UNICEF: Breastfeeding within first hour of birth is the baby’s “first vaccine”

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