Providing peer support to breastfeeding mothers

Providing peer support to breastfeeding mothersProviding peer support to breastfeeding mothers
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Adhunika Prakash, who founded non-profit Breastfeeding Support for Indian Moms in Pune, her mission is...

Adhunika Prakash, who founded non-profit Breastfeeding Support for Indian Moms in Pune, her mission is simple—help newbie mothers through their breastfeeding journeys. When she set up the community Breastfeeding Support for Indian Mothers (BSIM), her target audience was mothers in Pune where she was based out of initially. Little had she anticipated it to grow into a community of over 90,000+ people, providing peer support to breastfeeding mothers.

Adhunika started the Facebook Group in June 2013, she says, "I started this when I felt that an online community was needed to support breastfeeding mothers in India. Until then, I had experienced the benefit of being a part of an Irish breastfeeding group."

The journey has not been easy for Adhunika, a mother of two, as she struggles to manage her family life and the needs of members of the community, which is non-funded. Apart from this the challenge was, "The challenges were to keep the community going even when I had a crisis in my personal life. The continuous need to keep providing even when I was in the best state mental health wise was very hard," Adhunika says.

Today, Adhunika is a mother to two children—a son and daughter, aged six and three and a certified lactation educator and counsellor. The task ahead is to help thousands of women shatter myths and overcome the hesitations surrounding the public discourse on breastfeeding. "It can be challenging with two kids, but I manage to dedicate a few hours every day towards this cause," she shares.

Her aim is to support breastfeeding mothers to reach their own personal breastfeeding goals. "About Facebook Community Leadership Programme, she says, "There were 6000+ applicants for this program, out of which 115 were selected. 110 became eligible for up to 50,000 USD and 5 were eligible for up to 1 Million USD. I hope to use these funds towards creating a larger offline impact to support expectant and breastfeeding parents."

Apart from answering queries posted by members and busting myths, the group also encourages its members to breastfeed in public. The group was a result of her own struggles with breastfeeding and the lack of accessible support available to new parents.

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