The Womaning Podcast is now live!
Issue #71: Happy Breastfeeding Week
The Womaning in India podcast is now live!
Quite proud of myself right now because I had zero clue about recording, editing, and publishing a podcast up until 48 hours ago.
Now you can ask me anything about podcasting! I will probably still not know the answer. But, by God, will I spend 3 hours on the internet trying to find it!
Episode 1: Happy Breastfeeding Week
Do give Episode 1 a listen. Three toddler moms get together - after the kids are asleep (because when else do we have time?) We talked from 11 pm to 1 am on a weekend to do this.
Obviously, my guests were exhausted by the end of it. But we were all happy with everything we had managed to cover. Our hope for this episode was that it helps new mothers who are struggling with breastfeeding and all the stigma, judgment, taboos that come with the territory.
This morning, I put the Spotify link on a group and a friend there sent me this message:
Mahima, you have started your podcast at the right time.
I just delivered a baby last month, and I am going through everything you guys discussed in the podcast. Trust me, I have smiled for the first time since my delivery today.
So far, I used to feel that I am a devil incarnate because things which are normal for others, are so difficult to me. If you were in Mumbai, I would have personally comeand hugged you.
Great going. All the best!
It looks like we achieved what we set out to do with this episode. ❤️
Here it is now:
Yes, the links will work in your browser even if you are a podcasting newb like me and don’t have these apps on your phone.
Counting the cost of not breastfeeding is now easier, but women’s unpaid health care work remains invisible (a peer-reviewed article in the National Library of Medicine)
Investing in breastfeeding – the world breastfeeding costing initiative (a peer-reviewed article in the National Library of Medicine)
Does Breastfeeding Really Reduce Your Risk of Breast Cancer? What does the evidence say? (here)
The many, many costs of breastfeeding: Breastfeeding isn’t free - and it isn’t a solution to the national baby formula shortage (here)
Breastfeeding isn’t ‘free.’ Here’s what it cost me. (a Washington Post opinion piece)
The Fed is Best Foundation for guilt-free support to breastfeeding and/or formula-feeding mothers.
What we talk about in the podcast
The three of us - Anushree, Neha, and I - have each had very different breastfeeding journeys.
Neha exclusively breastfed her baby for the first six months, and is still breastfeeding her at 28 months of age. She talked about the stigma she faces to this day for breastfeeding her daughter, even in the privacy of her own home.
Anushree - a doctor herself - talks about how having all the medical knowledge about the process still did not make it much easier for her than most mothers. She still found herself lost, confused, and guilt-ridden during breastfeeding - just as most mothers do.
And I shared my own journey, which was paved with a low supply of milk, a high supply of tears, and postpartum depression - something I have previously written about in this newsletter:
We also answered a couple of questions we received through social media before we started the recording. Some of them are:
Did you have any guilt if you were unable to breastfeed? How did you get over it?
Did you feel the need to justify your reason for formula-feeding when everyone just assumes you would be breastfeeding your baby?
"Breastfeeding is free" - fact or myth?
Breastfeeding in public - an obscene display or a mother’s necessity?
What kind of support can workplaces provide breastfeeding mothers to make the transition from maternity leave to office work easier for them, without forcing them to stop breastfeeding?
Similarly, what kind of support do families need to provide a new mother to make this journey easier on her?
Mostly, we talk about kindness.
“Sometimes, breastfeeding feels like a religion to me. And I feel like an atheist because I don’t feel included.”
“In most Indian families, we strive for Perfection when it comes to raising children. And this pursuit of Perfection affects everyone’s – especially the mother’s – Happiness. But children don’t know what Perfection in parenting is. Children understand and remember Happiness.”
“The most important thing for the baby in the first year is the happiness of the mother.”
Do listen to it. I will await your kind emails, comments, messages, and feedback on this debut.
This newsletter (and now podcast!) comes to you free of cost. But that does not mean that it costs nothing.
Womaning in India is a physical, mental, and emotional labour of love. If you appreciate the work I am doing with it, you can show me your love by buying me a coffee.