"Breastfeeding is not easy, nor is it the hardest. But it is the most rewarding thing you can do in your entire life !!!
My journey with Hridhaan began 11years ago when I found out the happiest part of any couple's life - we were pregnant. Yes, we were pregnant!!! Being a doctor myself I knew all the ups and downs, anyone, through pregnancy could have but luckily I had a very smooth first trimester. Immediately then started browsing through which antenatal classes were being conducted around and that's when I met the rock-solid support who has been there since then to guide me in every stage as a parent, who has helped me grow and be what I am today - Dr. Manisha Gogri at FitforBirth Lactation - the best antenatal/postnatal classes one could attend to know and receive knowledge on all the W's of pregnancy, childbirth & Parenting. After enrolling for these classes began a different journey within a quest to know all that I was learning. And finally, D-day came, when my little one was ready to come and make the grand entry into this world.
Now, why am I telling you about these antenatal classes that I attended???
Because what I learnt was to make informed decisions, understanding all the basics of labour and childbirth, understanding how labour progresses and most importantly what was told to me by Dr. Manisha Gogri was that the baby will guide its way out and you will know if the baby is ready to come if you pay attention to the signs your body is giving. Having that in mind I got admitted to the hospital on 13th July 2010 early morning following labour pains which had already begun and after about 11hours in labour my sunshine, my heartbeat was born in the evening. Happiness surely knew no bounds and like every new mom who was well-read, I wished to do a breast crawl as that is something I learnt from my childbirth educator that it is something that every newborn should be allowed to do to. Having an excellent support team of a doting gynaecologist, Dr. Manisha Gogri and my husband I was able to achieve almost something like a breast crawl but more importantly, initial skin to skin touch was given within the first few hours and that was the beginning of the bumpy ride with my little one.
Like all new moms, I also faced a lot of issues in the early days but one constant motivation from Dr. Manisha's side who is an IBCLC was that you will get through it. She had well explained the various positions in which I could manage the early days post-birth and so I kept trying until we managed it right.
The importance of knowing it all and doing it was known at this moment. She kept supporting me through each hurdle and was like a constant pillar and a big big advocate of breastfeeding.
We did face small bumps and aches at each stage but the will to give the best to my little one helped me pass through each hurdle happily. The long night feeds, the untimely naps, sleeplessness all of it definitely wasn't easy but the smile on my little one's face but knowing the importance of breast milk and its benefits both for the baby and me helped me go further down our journey. We exclusively breastfed for the first six months and that's when we decided to take our first family trip abroad with our little one and on Dr. Manisha's guidance, we delayed the introduction of solid foods to our little one by a few weeks as we were travelling. He was exclusively breastfed for almost 6.5months I introduced solids to him and continued to breastfeed him until 23 months and 2 weeks when suddenly one day he didn't ask for milk like his regular routine and I was in tears. We weaned and it happened suddenly. He would ask for water and not want to have breast milk. I was told by my constant support in those days and even now that rejoice in every moment that you came by so long in your Breastfeeding journey and feel proud to have breastfed him!!
What is important in any woman's life when she is pregnant is support from loved ones and family around, a very good network of doctors, Childbirth Educator, Lactation Consultant or a Lactation Counsellor who support breastfeeding for a good cause, and her will to do the best!!
In my case, I was lucky to have all of the above and I dedicate this long breastfeeding story (my own breastfeeding journey) this year on account of World Breastfeeding Week 2020 to my very own teacher, mentor and guide who has been a constant support then and now, who helped me throughout to support breastfeeding for a good cause and by doing so in turn here I pursued this and dwelled into the beautiful world of moms and babies. Today, 10 years down the lane this is my breastfeeding story of a mom to a smart son, a Homoeopath and a Certified Lactation Counsellor helping other moms and supporting our planet earth.