Sharanya Misra

Four groups on Facebook that have had my back through this journey. They say it takes a village to raise a child. And what could be better than having the village just a click away!

(This post is part of my Mommy Moments series.)

New parenthood is chaotic. That’s a truth that, no matter how much one mentally readies herself for, STILL hits hard in the first few weeks or even months of the new arrival. But even as you grow as a parent and understand the nuances of child care, you also realise that every phase of parenting has its own set of challenges.

If first it was breastfeeding my baby, then when she became 6 months old, it was about feeding her solids. Vaccinations, fevers, milestones…. somewhere along the way I came to the realisation that parenthood is ALWAYS strewn with challenges…sometimes it’s your child screaming murder in the middle of the night for apparently no reason, at other times it is an unexpected allergy or a sudden tummy ache. One day you are battling constipation and the next you must treat diarrheoa and the resulting rashes.

What’s also significant is that with every challenge comes the HUGE responsibility as a parent to take the right decisions for your child. Should I breastfeed or give her formula? Do I introduce her to egg now or after she turns 1? Do I take her to a doctor right away or use home remedies and observe for another day? Every parent to a new baby or toddler is hounded by questions like these and I was no different. I had many people around me offering their support and advice. But more often than not, the advice was varied, and not always backed up with the scientific conviction that I look for.

It had to be godsent, therefore, for me to have discovered these 3 parenting support groups on Facebook. They have helped me stupendously in my journey as a parent so far. I was, in fact, introduced to the groups by fellow mothers who personally reached out to me(some, after years!) because they knew the kind of support motherhood demands. I couldn’t be more grateful for that. Today, I do the same and pass this on to other mothers in the hope that they too find the answers to their queries on these forums.

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1. Breastfeeding Support for Indian Mothers.

This group was my lifeline for the first 6 months of my child’s life. THIS was the group that gave the emotional courage and mental stamina to barge on with breastfeeding, despite excessively struggling with it in the beginning. It won’t be a lie if I admitted that I HATED breastfeeding in the first few weeks as a mother. Today, I can’t imagine not breastfeeding my child for comfort, both hers and mine!

The group provides SO much information about breastfeeding – latching, pumping, feed cycles, supply…but what’s also amazing is their respect for a mother’s choice to feed their baby as they feel comfortable, be it with breast milk or formula. The support here is incredible and I am pretty sure I will be revisiting the group once again when I prepare to wean my baby off. This is a group I would recommend to EVERY new mother.

Their details can also be found on their website.

2. Traditional Weaning (Introducing Solids) India

As a new mommy, I had imagined that once I conquered breastfeeding I could dust the worries away. Hah! Little did I know it was just the start. As my baby neared the 6 month mark, I started to develop sweaty palms imagining how I would even begin introducing solids. I was in the UK by then, and my husband and I had no additional support. It was all us. I was constantly scared of my baby choking or developing an allergy to something I offered her.

When I joined this group, I literally devoured all the hashtags and files they offer. It gave me SO MUCH confidence. Not only do they encourage developing healthy eating habits in your child from the very first day of introducing solids, they also provide extremely well researched, evidence based information to help you make the right choices. My daughter is now 15 months old, but I often revert to the group to check on what foods other mommies give their kids and borrow some healthy options from them!

3. Ask The Village

This group is to discuss anything under the Sun with fellow parents! When the questions on my mind fall outside the purview of the two groups mentioned above, it is this forum I rely on. Be it home remedies for common ailments, or doubts on the upbringing of our children or advice sought on personal or familial issues, this group is great to be part of! What’s also interesting is that the group caters to anonymous posts from parents struggling with their personal or professional lives and looking for unbiased opinions. It is heartening to see the outpouring of support and encouragement on these posts and gives one the reassurance that help is never too far.

While these were the 3 groups I have used throughout my parenting journey so far, there is also a fourth group that I think deserves a mention.

4. Superbottoms Family <3

I discovered this group by accident in the final months of my pregnancy and was intrigued by it. The group is basically a forum of parents who have opted for Superbottoms, a brand of advanced cloth diapers. It is fantastic because even today elders in our family recommend langots for kids without realising that we have made huge advancements in the cloth diapering area. These cloth diapers are organic, and almost as effective as disposable diapers. The group provides valuable insights into the struggles and small victories of these parents who have shunned disposable diapers for a more environmentally considerate option! I must admit though that I did not opt for Superbottoms until recently. But many mothers today DO opt for these even for their newborns and today I realise that it indeed is a fantastic option for parents to be aware of and used if suitable. Not to mention the superb prints the diapers carry!!

All their details can be found on their website.

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Well, that’s that. Four great groups on FB that have had my back through this journey. They say it takes a village to raise a child. And what could be better than having the village, just a click away!

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Updated to Add.

I am extremely grateful to my fellow mothers who reached out to me and informed me of two more groups that could help new parents. Adding them below for everyone’s benefit.

1. Gentle Baby Sleep India

This group is the one stop solution for all baby sleep related queries mothers may have. I have personally not been in the group, and I so regret it! A baby’s sleep is so essential for growth, but is such a difficult milestone for many parents. Throw in sleep regressions in the mix, and it’s the perfect recipe for parents tugging their hair off! I assume that as with all the other groups I experienced on FB, this one too would be extremely useful.

2. Cloth Diapering India

While in my article above I did mention about Superbottoms, there is also this group which talks of all cloth diapering solutions of parents, instead of limiting to just Superbottoms. A great forum, I am sure, to get lots of informatiom and reviews from fellow parents.

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Click here for my previous post “A Serendipitous Lockdown, with my Daughter” in the Mommy Moments series.

 

Mommy Moment with my daughter.

Featured Image Source – Unsplash.com

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