Channel: Fatima Barkatulla
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Bismillah Alhamdulillah wa salatu salam ala Rasulillah the brothers and sisters Assalamu alaykum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh and welcome to this M feed podcast episode. I'm your host, Fatima Baraka tila. And today I have a really interesting guests with me.
Her name is Sister Asha abroad and she is a certified lactation counselor, breastfeeding counselor from the UAE. So I'm just going to welcome her insha Allah. So as salam aleikum, Sister Aisha, how are you?
I'm fine. hamdulillah Wallach masala, Mohammed.
here and for joining me. It's such an interesting thought that
in the UAE, you have certified lactation counselors, what what exactly is a lactation counselor? Can you just explain to our viewers and listeners in Sharla?
Okay, so this is a certified post for breastfeeding counselors where we support women mothers, who are just telling about the babies, and even those who have like delivered after some time they are facing some breastfeeding issues, we counsel them into actually supporting them having a good trusting relationship with your baby. Because what happens is when Mother delivers a child and in the hospital, what happens is they don't have any knowledge about the latching and the newborn how the newborn has to latch and start feeding. Many times what happens is any kind of unsuccessful attempt will lead on to directly feeding them with a formula, which is Anyhow the artificial mill,
but in certain cases when it is necessary. That's one thing where the baby is not able to thrive. But as breastfeeding experts, counselors and lactation consultants, we help women learn about breastfeeding even before they give birth to their child, to learn about the breastfeeding practices to learn what to expect when they deliver their baby, and also understand the newborn behavior so that they can understand and they can understand the baby's feeding cues, and successfully breastfeed their baby for up to two years. So this is our mission, the breastfeeding awareness for new moms, and even moms who have issues later in life and after six months to eight months. Also the
help them relax state. And we know from the formula feeding and go back to breastfeeding exclusively till six months of age, help them with the infant feeding practices and understanding the baby behavior. So everything is like a complete support for them. Because we want them to have an informed decision and evidence based decisions where they can take the right decision for themselves and their child.
Mashallah, and so is this service available to all women in the UAE or how does it work? Yes, this is a certified course from the Sharjah government. So we are actually we have a helpline we have WhatsApp support groups. We also support mothers privately to WhatsApp support and there are some some lactation consultants who are ibclc as you call them, actually, it's it's another certification after breastfeeding counseling. So once they become an ibclc, they also get the permission to function as
a medical professional through the DHA. So that's when they can also do home visits, they can lead the medical clinic to support women. But as breastfeeding counselors we are mostly on a voluntary basis where we support women for free and we also test mainly to phone calls. And even if you have to visit them in the hospital, then we do visit them and then we help them out. Interesting. Well mashallah, it sounds really good. Can you can you remind us what your website is? It's a learn my own Yeah, this is my mission and motherhood.com is where I have packages. Yeah, I have developed packages for mothers, especially for the new mothers my focus, because in our community, especially
in the Asian community, they don't have any knowledge on the importance of breastfeeding. So giving them that opportunity when they learn about breastfeeding and learn to know what to expect even when they're pregnant. Even when during pregnancy they know what happens what is the colostrum on the first three days after birth of their child what to expect and many others say that I don't have milk. And so I get a formula. Um, yes, so Masha, Allah, Sister Aisha, that that just sounds so amazing, so useful because just reflecting on what it was like when I
first had my first child,
you're right, like, like, as a mother, you actually think or you imagine that everything's just gonna come naturally, like, you think that, you know, you're just gonna be, the baby will know how to breastfeed, we'll know how to latch on, we'll know how to feed, you don't really, especially with your first child, you don't really give it much thought, you know, you think it's just natural, millions of women do it all over the world. So my mum did it, everyone's you know, it's going to be something that is just going to come naturally.
I must say, like, just to share my own experience with my first child.
I found the first few days really difficult, you know, I was really determined to breastfeed.
And I've read so many books about it. But obviously reading books isn't, is not doing that it's not the same right as actually doing it.
But when I first started it, my baby was very sleepy. You know, I think that's what happens a lot as well, isn't it like the baby's very sleepy, the baby sometimes can't put the effort in to,
to suck, and to really feed properly. And so what happened with my first child was that he was losing so much weight in the first days. Okay.
And maybe there was there was another thing as well there. And that is that as a Muslim woman, I felt quite shy, I think, to ask for help. You know, like, I didn't really want to
expose myself in front of somebody. Yep, in front of another, even in front of another lady. And I think that wasn't right, you know, there was no need for me to be so. So kind of, you know, worried about that. But that was just like a natural, instinctual thing, it wasn't, it wasn't. And nobody was telling me that I can't do that. It's just, I just didn't think I needed to ask for help, or for anyone, like a like a nurse or a midwife to have a look and see and make sure that I was breastfeeding properly, or that the baby was getting the milk. And so what happened was, my son lost so much weight. In the first days, even when I went back home, I know that some weight loss is
normal, right at the beginning. But his weight loss was going so low, his weight was going so low that we have health visitors in the UK, so a health visitor will come and visit you and see that everything's okay. And the like after the first 10 days.
She said to me, you should just stop bottle feeding now. Right?
And I was so against it. I was like, No, I'm not going to stop water feeding. Because I was determined. And I had this thought in my head that, you know, Allah subhanaw taala has provided me with this baby. And he's provided me with the milk for this baby. Right? He gave the risk for this baby. And so I am determined that I will not bottle feed, even though the health visitor was really putting quite a lot of pressure on me actually.
And when she saw that I was not going to change my mind. She said, Okay. In that case, you're going to have to breastfeed every few hours, day and night, in order to make sure that he gains enough weight.
And, you know, she told me some other things I could do. And also she, the midwife came. She watched me feeding my child. And she pointed out to me that the baby was not latched on properly. Okay. I think that was the key problem, you know,
that even though there's the milk is there, the baby is not, especially when they've so newborn they like, you know, they don't have that strong kind of reflexes or very strong kind of ability.
She showed me how to make the baby latch on properly. And only then did my son start gaining weight. Subhanallah you know, and it's such an emotional experience. It's such an emotional time because as a mom, you don't want to harm your child. Right? And so you start feeling guilty if if it's not if the progress isn't being made.
And I'm just thinking Subhanallah which is so nice to have. It would have been so nice to have somebody like you there you know, like somebody who's, who understands how strongly we feel that we want to breastfeed.
But that can reassure you, you know, and give you some tips and give you some ideas of how you can cope with this period. Because it is really emotional. So I think a lot of sisters, maybe prematurely give up.
Would you agree with that? Yes, I what I was saying was many mothers in the first three to five days of the birth of the child, it's obvious that the milk will take some time to come in, because the first three days restroom and there is just drops drop. And then it's just a little bit of the milk, which like, you know, maybe a teaspoon, we fill up the stomach, and they think that it's just low milk supply and the baby's crying a lot. The baby's not sleeping well. And basically, it's the client that matters to them. And they say that maybe because I don't have milk to the baby's crying. And they they give the formula milk so that the baby sleeps. Now, when they see the baby's sleeping,
and they're happy about within one or two weeks, again, they have the same problem saying that when they want to breastfeed their child is the same thing, the child is pulling back at the breast and the child is not sleeping, the shadows crying, and that's when truly they will supply starts reducing because they have shifted to formula. And they're not feeding the child on demand. So that's like a cycle they going back into. And finally, they go into exclusive formula feeding and then there is no breastfeeding at all for them. Yeah, because breast milk just just for people who are listening who don't know, breast milk is produced, when there's the sucking action from the
baby, right? Like, the brain tells the body that it needs to produce more milk, when it feels that there's a demand, right. And so when the demand goes down,
the body doesn't produce as much milk. Yes, it's the brain signals that is activated during when the sucking reflex takes place. And also, the baby is skin to skin with the mother when the baby cries oxytocin is produced in the dog's Tosun hormone is produced in the body, which helps in the milk production. So when all of this is not there, and especially when there's no skin to skin contact soon after birth, that it does affect the milk supply. Because the baby's away, the mother is in stress and everything goes haywire, you can say. So it's good, it goes out of balance. So in order to for the milk to get produces mostly when the baby sucks, the milk is produced and that cycle
again. And when the baby cries, the mom takes the baby, or the oxytocin hormone helps in the milk production boosting.
Yeah. And I think some people also don't realize that Islamically it's actually the right of the baby, you know, that we that we breastfeed is any. Of course, I'm not saying like, if there's a really, you know, there's a reason why it doesn't work out then, but still like as a, the default, or the norm is that
the baby has a right to be breastfed. And I think we need to internalize that. And our families need to understand that as well. Because unfortunately, what I've been seeing since dicha, is that sometimes families are not very supportive, you know, of the woman who's trying to breastfeed,
they get impatient, or they start putting pressure on her to stop breastfeeding, because they want either no, they want her to go back to work or something, you know. And so even though she really wants to breastfeed, she doesn't have the support of the family.
Yes, and that's really common in our community, because it's like, especially when there are women in joint family system, extended family system, they are expected to get up at certain time, and then make food for the whole family. And that when the baby's taking the whole time, and they are always in the room, it's demand, like, Look, you have to come and take care of the house chores. It's not like within one month, or maybe like within the three months also because the way this pattern keeps changing, and feeding on demand becomes becomes really tough for the mother. So it's like what they are taught, usually in hospitals is like feed every two hours.
Even if within an hour, you don't have to go to the baby, then the baby cry. So what happens is, it's like the mother is just stressed and the mother cannot go to the baby, even if the baby's crying within 15 minutes within because during the growth spurts, the baby asked for more milk and more frequent amount of time. So it's like they set a pattern for the mother to follow. And it becomes a pressure upon her when she gets stressed, then automatically the milk supply reduces. And then again, the formula is again, creeping back into the lifestyle for the baby and the mom. So it's, it's all the stress that adds up to her. That's really surprising to me that you said that,
like in some families these they still expect the mother
do the chores. And like the new mom, you know, because like, like first few first month or the first few months, they're given a lot of rest in our culture, but there are places like, still that expectation, right? Okay, literally the first three months to understand, especially if it's your new child, if it's your first child, you don't know how to tell of what exactly to expect with it. And you just need to be with the baby constantly, day and night, day and night. So which is not truly supported in many communities as such, and they are expected to you know, like, there'll be guests coming in, they'll be people you will be meeting at. So there'll be an off time with a baby,
there'll be something that you keep on, you know, doing something apart from feeding the baby. So that kind of alters the attention and helping for the breastfeeding journey to take this because you need to understand what the baby is trying to say. And it's kind of hard to understand, you need to spend a lot of time in understanding and interacting with the baby to breastfeed successfully, especially if it's your first and second child. And we know exactly to expect also. So in the first trial, the biggest the if the first child post, even if the birth is traumatic, if the breastfeeding journey is traumatic, then it's very difficult to heal again, and then start off with the successful
breastfeeding journey and bonding with your baby for your second, third, fourth, fifth.
And I think also it's worth mentioning that breastfeeding, why why is breastfeeding better? You know, I think that's, that's something that, like, in in the West, in Western countries, during the 60s and 70s, which is was like the second wave of feminism here in the West.
They were actually campaigns that were against motherhood, you know, like you can actually see, like protests, where they were calling motherhood, slavery, right. And so there was this negative connotation attached to motherhood. And then
the formula milk companies also were like, you know, advertising that, you know, making output the formula milk is better. And so women actually stopped breastfeeding. There was a time in the UK when the breastfeeding the level of women or the number of women, breastfeeding is very low. But now the tables have turned and,
you know, the NHS here, the National Health Service, they're constantly trying to motivate women to breastfeed.
So even like, if you walk into an antenatal clinic, or an antenatal Ward, you'll see signs that say breast is best, you know, they're really trying to, like, motivate women, and they're saying to them that look, it's not just food, you know, breast milk is not just food, it's actually much more there's, well, you can tell us, sister, you know, what, what would you say if a sister said to you, what's the big deal?
I would say it's just that formula. Milk is produced by
the humans and the breast milk is very natural, it's by the Creator itself. So that's the first thing, breast milk is natural. And it's, it's actually a very bio dynamic fluid.
In technical terms, which, which just has a formula is a food to the baby, it has a nutrients and everything. But then what breast milk contains is completely tailored to every baby, individually. One baby receiving one type of breast milk and the other baby won't receive the same type of breast milk. Even if it's twins, both the babies will receive their own individualized pattern of breast milk when they're feeding. So it's not the same. So how can a Formula One single formula is the same for every single baby? So that's why since it's man made, it can it's something which can be used in only very dire circumstances, if the baby is not thriving. If the baby is not, you know, there's
life that rest of the baby at that point of time. But then again, if the mom is taught to breastfeed, then everyone can breastfeed, every single mom can breastfeed, it just takes persistence, right? It takes persistence. Once it's almost like a there's a point once you get through past that threshold, suddenly it becomes easier that's how I felt anyway, even for me being a second time mom the first three months were hard I had to literally lock down everything but the lock for my baby what she was doing, why she was doing for the first three months it was like literally sleepless nights. Why what when when even though I knew that, you know this should be to
be done, but then still the baby every baby is different. So at what time how they behave. And what exactly has to do with the sleepless nights you have to actually wonder what steps you need to take. So if you have the resistor
And then if you have that, counselor, someone you need to speak to, even at 2am in the night, if there is a counselor available, then it's a really big help, because it'll help you understand the baby and then feed the baby will go back to sleep at least for a few hours. So if you just don't receive any help, then you just end up getting stressed. And then there's no are we out for it at that point of time. So it's just like you feel completely lonely. That's the biggest thing. Yeah, the loneliness factor comes in. And it shows you that, that fathers husbands have to really support their wives. Right. I mean, like, one thing I reflect on is the fact that Islam, Allah subhanaw,
taala, lifted the burden of financial provision, you know, the responsibility of financial provision from women, right. And he made that responsibility, the responsibility of men. I think for a lot of us, we understand that once we become mothers, right, like, especially when you have a newborn, you realize how so Pamela, it's such a, it's such an all consuming role, you know, and I don't mean that in a negative way, you know, of course, like, we're talking about some of the difficult aspects of it. But obviously, once you get past a certain point of difficulty, it becomes an it is a very beautiful and fulfilling experience. But the fact that you that Islam doesn't demand of us as women
to be the breadwinners, is a huge relief, you know, especially during that period.
Yeah, and I think I think,
like with the younger generation, I always tried to say to them, you know, keep that preserve that, you know, preserve that fact that Allah subhanaw taala made the men responsible for the provision. Because, you know, I fear sometimes that we're, you know, the younger generation, especially, like, coming up, because women feel the pressure to work and feel the pressure to also contribute financially. When they become mothers, it's going to really be a shock to them, you know, because
Subhan, Allah, you can really see that ALLAH SubhanA, Allah recognizes that mothers have such a huge responsibility that he wanted to lift, lift the financial burden from the shoulders. Hmm, that's true. But then again, now, I guess it's also not an option for many moms who are into this situation, because of COVID. The COVID has put a certain amount of pressure for even mothers who have to end up working,
basically due to roles because here, I think in most parts of the world, where husbands have lost jobs, the businesses have gone down. It's an added
responsibility, you can see all the mothers also. But yes, that itself, it's like it takes control all the time, the motherhood factor consumes all the all of the time. If the first four months, five months are going well, then it becomes easy. Like when your baby six months and not starting with the solids, it does become easier to understand and then also divide your time into other work that you need to do.
Another aspect of it is I was reading that there's a book by a psychologist here in the UK. His name is Steve Biddulph, he wrote a book called raising babies. And in that book, he actually says to women who can't breastfeed or don't breastfeed.
He says that even if you are going to give the baby formula milk, it he he's really emphasizing that it's not just about the food. So he's saying that what you should do is actually bear your chest he says, You should uncover your chest every time you you bottle feed. And he says you should hold the baby against your chest, the cheek of the baby against your chest. So Pamela and I was just thinking about you know, how
breastfeeding is also about the connection that the baby has with the mother and how that makes the baby's brain actually grow, doesn't it? Yes, exactly. And that's the main bonding where the baby's against you and then you're feeding the baby you're looking into their eyes and the babies because when I feed my baby also the way she looks at me that itself has releases the oxytocin hormone for the produce even more and then let down to happen that's the basically call a letdown when the baby when the oxytocin is there. So when you're stressed there is no let the letdown was very less. That's called like, you know, when the baby starts drinking actively, till then the baby tries to
And then activate leg down. But that happens very less when you're stressed. And whether it's the baby style if you're tired, so it's everything is like,
connected when the baby is there with you, the baby's looking into your eyes, and then you're bonding with the baby, it becomes a smooth process.
So sister, Ayesha, how did you get into this? Field? What What can you tell us a bit about your background and how you kind of got into?
Like, where did you even think of becoming a breastfeeding counselor? Okay, my main graduation degree was computer science, engineering. I graduated as an engineer. And
I said, again, your main,
main was an engineer, I graduated as an engineer, computer computer engineer. But then I wasn't interested in working the computer field, somehow, then I got married after a few years. And when I can see
my husband also was entitled to holistic living, like it's more natural, and what medications unless there is a very big need for it. So we go into the sooner remedies and all of that, so I was more holistically conscious. And when I used to research on the net regarding these things, and then I came across Sharjah, dissuading friends, it's called as a community where they do courses. And at a very minimal rate, they do this course, that time it was on site now, because of COVID. They're doing it online also. So now they have now even ladies from different parts of the world have opportunity to become a breastfeeding caster from Sharjah. So at that time, it was an onsite time.
And when I came to know about it, I wanted to learn more about it, because it was just a 10 days course and where they will take you through all the details of breastfeeding and baby behavior and everything how you need to become a counselor to others. So once you're certified, you can even practice on your own, you can also go into, you know, visiting women to help them out, cause hotlines, WhatsApp groups, it's just you become more empowered in understanding that you can do something naturally with the information and the knowledge that you have gained.
So that that empowered me to learn. And by the time I was researching that, I was still first time I was pregnant, but then I couldn't do the course at that point of time. But I just knew that this thing existed. And that that same time I also came through, there's something called natural birth, the birth, which is without interventions, the birth that is led by midwives, and all of that, but I wasn't exploring that option. During that time. I haven't been allowed my first birth was very natural without any interventions. But post birth there was
the doctor had told me there was some complication and that they had to do hematoma operation. And after that I went to medications, and was like antibiotics, not of antibiotics, and I had the side effects, then I had hypertension because of that. So
although I knew that there is something called Nash, I need to work around with the last for the baby. But those medications put me into a complete
blurry zone where I couldn't literally for four days, I didn't sleep at all, I was just into the medication that drowsiness and I didn't know what the baby was doing.
And, or she was feeding or not feeding, I just couldn't follow anything through and the hospital, they just forced me into giving formula because they were saying the baby is losing out weight and sugar levels are going down. They came when they completely made us into a panic mode, they kept they kept making us panicked about the whole situation, even though I knew that this is not happening, right. But I was not in that alert state of mind to actually sort it out. So it was a bit of a struggle, I went into postpartum depression also, because of that for at least a month or two I was into postpartum depression. And then gradually, gradually, gradually, as I came out of it, then
I started having the intention that no for my second child, I need to be well equipped with the full information before anything happens, you know, so that I am vocal about my situation to the doctor. And also after the birth. I know what to do. So I took this course. And yeah, I think I finished Yeah, I finished scores by
one year before I delivered my second child. And it was well equipped with the whole information. So I knew what to do. And I was pretty confident even with the childhood certification. Also, I just finished that before I became pregnant for the second time because I just needed to have that information in hand before anyone who come and tell me Look, this is what you have to do. I need to have that knowledge to empower myself to speak to the doctor and maneuver my way through the right path.
To have that natural, but so it's all my experiences that led me to deciding what I had to do. I just didn't want to have any trauma from after every month, and just go unnoticed.
Without knowing things what?
Yeah, what you said about the doctor's pressuring you, or the health people, you know, really resonates with me. And I think it was only because I was, I had read a lot of books about breastfeeding, that I resisted, you know, and I'm humble, I wasn't ill, or anything, you know.
And only after doing, like, every two hours, breastfeeding day and night. And that meant no sleep, my son did start gaining weight, and then I just, I could just continue breastfeeding, you know,
but it really resonates with me, especially with the first child, how tempting it is to just because you already feel you know,
inadequate, you know, you feel inadequate, because, especially when somebody tells you, you're potentially harming your baby,
is a very emotional time. And you really even you need to have a lot of knowledge and information at your fingertips. Or you need to have people who are really going to stand with you, isn't it? Yeah.
You're gonna need to have the support, or you need to have that knowledge to equip your
sister. Yeah. What about?
You said that you wanted to mention about how breastfeeding improves the gut of the mother and the baby, can you tell us a little bit about that?
Oh, the breastfeeding, basically, it's a dynamic liquid. So it's whatever the mom eats the breast milk and goes into the breast milk, and the baby can get a taste of it, the baby gets the properties of it. So it actually basically starts, how the mother's gut is formed. If the mother's gut is healthy, the baby's gut also is healthy, because the breast milk would be giving those enzymes and those properties through the breast milk.
If it's a mom is not healthy, and she's having a leaky gut, for example, and she's not been having healthy foods through her breastfeeding time, the breast milk would also eventually end up in the baby's gut, as you know, the baby's gonna go and be that healthy, the babies are born with a leaky gut. So at that point, if they get the breast milk with the right, the nutrient with the right, so nutrition at the moment is taking in, then the baby's gut starts healing and then closing, the leaky gut starts closing in, and then they don't get these future allergies or intolerances. Mostly we hear about like, you know, babies having lactose intolerance and some allergies when they grew up.
So it's also that the baby's got resembles the moms. But if the mom is having constipation, for some reason, the baby will also end up having constipation. I have observed that in my case, and just from an observation that I'm seeing, whatever I'm eating, or I'm going through, after eating the baby, my baby goes to the same thing, if I'm having an issue of constipation, and my baby's also having that time, and whatever I eat, if I'm not having any healthy food, for example, is too much of dairy.
There is the gas in the baby. This is one of reflux. So it also depends on the quality of food that you're having.
So if my gut, I start healing my gut to have a lot of probiotics and prebiotics, the same properties can passed on to the breast milk and the baby's gut is also resembling the similar ones. And
the thing is a microbiome that is the microbiome that is, is there in the gut of the baby and the mom. So the first time the microbiome and the gut is exposed to all of these microbes is during the birth.
If it's a vaginal birth, so the baby's microbiome will resemble the moms microbiome because it's getting
connected towards the from the vaginal channel when when the baby is coming out. So that's the first time the baby's microbes get formed in contact with the mother's microbes, the microbiome. So that's where the gut, the gut lining, the gut semblance is all taking place. And it also resembles what your grandma was actually, you know, was how healthy was my mom's but it was like, when you say your, your the mother carries the embryo of her grandchild. So it's like on genes and genes and generation. So it's calling the the science is right now being in research calling them microbiome and epigenetics course. So I have run that course also. And that's where we can explain all
On the Properties in breast milk, there are like oligosaccharides. There are HMOs how the fructose and sucrose and the characters form to each other when in the breast milk and how the enzymes are secreted. So this all it's like, you don't have all of this in
the formula. And it's only America is not like it's passing on any kind of properties or genes. But the breast milk that genes are the properties from the model that gets passed on to the baby.
It resembles a lot.
So if the moms got the moms that needs to be healthy for the babies got to be healthy.
Yeah. When you said about the mum has the
the bit her own baby, and then she has her babies embryo? I think you meant egg, right? Yes, egg. Egg. Yeah. Okay. But that's quite amazing, isn't it? If you think about it, SubhanAllah. Like, it's just a research. I'm not sure how it's true. But then it does make sense to say eggs, the eggs in the
in the embryo form quite early if it's a female if it's a female, baby. So Pamela, so I did read that myself, actually. And I thought it was quite make sense of the gut system also. Because at that point of time, what nutrition you're putting in the body? The baby's getting?
Yeah, I think for a lot of women, it's when they first have a child that they really start reassessing their diet. Right. Right, like eat and drink,
either drink a lot more water, have a more balanced diet, more fiber, more greens.
You know, avoiding junk food.
Eating healthy when we sell baby suffering. So until then we just don't
Yes, apparently, it really wakes you up, I think to the fact that what you eat and is a good not just going to affect you, but it's going to also affect your children.
I'm just not going to hire him for that.
What about, like common breastfeeding issues?
Like say, say there's a sister who's listening.
And she's thinking, you know?
How can she as a new mother manage to have a smoother bonding bonding experience with her baby? What advice would you give?
the first thing is
for the smoother bonding for the baby, she needs to breastfeed, and she needs to know, she needs to know the baby's cues. That is the crime cues, when the baby is putting the hands towards the mouth, when the baby is rooting the head near the mom. So this is a time when she needs to go and feed the baby. Now have to let the baby cry and cry it out method you heard you say Right. So which goes which makes the baby very hysterical kind of cries and then the baby won't latch on the baby won't feed. So the bonding starts off with the time when she starts understanding and looking at the baby's body language. And hearing the cries because the cries are different for each and everything.
The cry of pain, the cry of hunger, everything. So if she's well equipped with knowledge about this, all this knowledge is power, right? So when she has a lot, doesn't that take time to figure out because it's like different for every every baby, right? Like, it is different. But if she has this, what if she has the knowledge beforehand, before she tells us before she gives birth, she will be alert enough to actually find out and look out for it. She will look out for it. And also very important that her husband, her family is supportive enough to actually give that time to understand know that that
private, intimate time between the moment the baby is there, so that she's able to understand the baby what the baby's trying to say. And most of the time, especially the first month, the mothers are not allowed to get up from Tibet, they're just sitting there right? So that is the time that you need to utilize to monitor the first 40 days. That's what we say. So that those days are like the golden days where you know your baby, when you interact with your when you want with your baby and everything when you do start getting in what the baby's trying to say after like two months, three months, it's because it's easier because the baby's more expressive, and you know your baby's
patterned by them.
And do you advocate that?
people keep their newborn in their bed with them.
It depends on how they're actually prepared. Because there are there are, there are beds are there people who sleep on the floor with the future on kind of beds. So if you have that kind of space, and you are allowed to nap at night times to get the baby far enough, and you can feed also at night, that will be okay. And some people prefer to have a separate court next to the bed where they can get up and feed. I personally don't have to get up and feed and sleep. So I just want the baby next to me whether even if it's far, I will sleep a bit far further. So like, you know, the bed is restricted the bed, when you have a normal bed is restricted, it's just that king size, but when you
sleep on the floor, you can just sleep more further and your baby's still sleeping, you don't have to get up. So it just depends on the arrangement. But you need to be sure that the baby is not sleeping, especially first three months, the baby's not sleeping on the stomach, you need to keep getting up and checking. Actually, the baby's sleeping properly. So that's what I used to do. So it's like personal but then you need to be alert. Either you or your husband is like waking up at times at night and then checking the baby. That's what's preferred. Yeah, I think with most of my kids, actually all of them, I did have a little cart, but I hardly ever used it to be honest, you
know, it was just, it was there, you know, one of those carts with the side that goes down. Yeah, so just attaches that was quite useful. That was quite useful. But especially for the first six months, I'd say, I, sometimes my husband wouldn't even sleep in the bed, you know, he could just go to the living room, you know, just so that he could get a decent sleep and go to work. And that was good for me in a way, you know, just me and the baby. And that way, we don't have to live on anybody else's time plan, you know, we can just wake up and sleep whenever we need to. Because sometimes you have some really amazing moments right in the middle of the night right where your baby's like
really alert and awake. And it's almost like the baby wants to talk to you like to have some communication with you. My second one of the night for the first segments also,
it's when the fourth and the fifth month she started waking up at night, but she won't make up for like playing, she will go back to sleep because I'm sleeping and it's all dark. So I had both of my babies aren't experienced much of Waking Times early morning or in the light was during the year but she will sleep late at some point for months, she would sleep really late. She will want to wake and play up to like 1am 2am and then see.
Yeah, I used to use the time when I was breastfeeding to.
To learn Arabic actually, I learned a lot of Arabic during that time because of Quran as well. Like, I used to just wake up and just listen to some Quran or some Arabic lectures. So that is to really help me make them it made me feel alert. And
maybe it was benefiting the baby as well listening to some Qur'an, you know?
Any other advice that you give to, to new moms.
Seek knowledge in the way you seek knowledge for the, for Islam the same way you need to seek knowledge for your own betterment and your future because you are the main educators of this ummah, where you lead the generation. And if you as a mom can do this as an empowerment for yourself, your daughters, your sons who take the lead to also
empower their wives, and they will empower themselves your daughters in a way that they can, you know, it will be it will go on for generations and generations. Now, once now since I have finished my certified breastfeeding counselor, I can teach my daughters when they grow up, they don't have to go outside and seek the support. Like, I don't know, my mom doesn't know, we don't know, what should we do. That kind of it's without a security that is provided for them in the form of knowledge. So same, like how the Quran is preserved that this knowledge has to be preserved? Well, you know, because I mean, it was the beginning that breastfeeding is we think that breastfeeding comes out
naturally. Actually it does. Because when you are seeing your family and extended family, breastfeed their children, you you keep seeing you keep seeing and then you learn when you see, like in Africa,
you see the babies being carried with the back, right, so and you have these carriers. So in Africa, it's natural, it's normal. It's a part of life where they carry the babies on their back, and they are breastfeeding. And it's like when you're seeing people doing certain things, you will know that it's natural process and you don't have to be disconnected from it now because we have disconnected from this normal practice of breastfeeding, the latching and everything and we don't see our own relatives our own sisters.
Our moms breastfeed their children in a way that we can learn things. We are so disconnected from the natural information. And that's why we as mothers are now facing a problem when we give birth the first time and we think it's completely oh my god, something new oh my god, it will take away a lot of my sleep, it will be a lot of stress, so might as well as the formula and then sleep well. So that's the trend that is now that is happening. And that's where the formula is actually increasing in number.
Is that what you're seeing in the UAE?
Yes, it's everywhere. UAE also it's like, you can see literally in all pharmacies, the first line is the formulas. Really, the marketing is like, there on the top.
I don't think it's the case in Britain. I mean, I'm not saying I think breastfeeding is is not where it should be. But because probably in Britain went so far the other way. Now, there's more of a move to you know, encourage
that culture over there. Also, here, sorry, in UK, there is a midwifery culture mostly.
here there are there are no improve yours. There are a lot of hospitals that are coming in and advocating for natural birth and breastfeeding. So anyways, and upcoming in this, many, many hospitals here have a natural birthing center, you know, and as long as a woman doesn't have any complications, or, you know, they can't tell that there's going to be any complications or that you're not overdo too much. They usually, you know,
welcome you to That kind of natural birthing center. And also home births are allowed here, you know, so people have to, they have to, obviously make their own arrangements. But sometimes people will hire a pool, you know, a birthing pool.
or even in the hospital, you know, the they provide birthing pools, depending on you know, which hospital you go to So
Alhamdulillah that, but sometimes you might plan a certain way, but it doesn't work out that way, right? Oh, yeah, that happens.
So, Sister, can you tell us any kind of inspiring stories or I don't know any clients that you've had, that you've seen amazing breakthroughs or amazing like, progress, maybe they thought they could not manage? And then, you know, things changed? Can you share any stories with us?
There was one sister whom I was actually consulting in Pakistan.
It was a whatsapp consultation. And she was also I think, seven days, or 17 days postpartum. And I was like, 2024 days postpartum. It was just even close at that time. And that I'm also I was giving WhatsApp consultations. I was just helping her out with the WhatsApp, when she was messaging me her issues. So I was trying to get in her symptom, what she was facing, and then give her feedback. It was to improvise notes various times of the day. What I sensed was, there are some common things that mothers go through in the first three months. It's like, you know, overactive letdown, and the baby is pulling back baby's not sleeping some days, the baby's having a lot of reflux blocked knows
all of these things. So when I was starting to note down my own
second daughter, my own daughter's behavior at that point of time, I was putting the Logout
when Hey, just it's not that it was something great that had happened to her. But for her, the experience was as such when I started writing those things down or find my daughter, and then the next one or two days later, I get the same question what I just resolved on for my own self, she asked the same question that my baby's doing this, my baby's doing that and then I will have just finished sorting that issue up myself.
So I could get back to vote with the same replies and what the same solution I had done for my own child. And then she would be like, yeah, it got it got sorted now and then she would again like for a week, she wouldn't message and she will be in that track. And then there will be some other symptoms that would have been added any new behavior, which is noticing of a baby, maybe the baby's not sleeping well or something she has eaten that has cost the baby not to sleep well or having a reflux. So when I have gone through an issue, she would have wanted the same issue. It's like the how the how the establishing of the milk supply happens. So in that case, it was like for a stretch
of three months I was in consultation with her and and finally, she was actually also she started formula feeding in between. So she went off from the formula feeding as
And when I was consulting also Alhamdulillah, within like a week, she
took off the formula and mentally exclusively breastfeeding. Because she just didn't have any knowledge about it. And she was getting stressed. He wasn't getting the sleep. And then finally when I kept her to and fro helping her out, so she was able to completely exclusively breastfeed a baby within a week.
Yeah, and those those days are like golden aren't they like, even though at the time it feels very demanding? Later on, like, my, all my kids are adults now, you know? Well, most of them
have one child.
And the three of them are adults.
And I actually really miss those days. You know, I actually miss those days of, in my mind, they're like, the blissful days, you know, in my life. SubhanAllah. But obviously, at the time, it didn't feel like that. Right? Sometimes it doesn't feel like that at the time. But it's only afterwards with the benefit of hindsight that you realize how precious those those years were. True. Yeah, that's great.
Any other anything else you would like to share with our viewers or listeners or any other stories?
The stories is like, whoever have consulted Alhamdulillah they were my name is to help them Veena from the formula if they can breastfeed. If it's just a normal concern that the baby is not sleeping, the baby is not latching well. So I just help them out and just remove the formula. So, so that even if it's a C section, they do face some issues in the beginning. So if they understand that pattern of their own body, and then the baby, they will be able to breastfeed exclusively. So it's just that that that is the biggest achievement that they will get if they're exclusively invested in the baby, and they are understanding how their milk supply is behaving. Because it does take some
time, let's say first three months is a struggle.
So after that, three months, when your baby's starting to interact with you, moving their heads, and rolling, that is when you know that everything is going fine. And as long as it's like one thumb rule. If the wet and the poopy diapers are there every single day, everything is fine. They will have
any question? Anyone who was me that question like, this is
like, how was the urine and poopy diapers. And they're like, Okay, this was me that was wet. And there is a poop once in a day, at least that is after three months, but till three months, there should be little number of more number of poopy diapers. But after that three months, it's like, even then they just have to keep track only this is the golden rule if they don't have any knowledge also about what to do. But if this is fine, they don't have to worry about anything. Whether the baby's crying, whether the baby's not sleeping, it's just the transformation, the behavior change, it means that things are working great. Yes. Because the baby is showing it. And then you are
whatever the intake is the the outcome is there. So you just don't have to worry. And that was one thing, which I didn't know for my first child. And that was like when we went to hospital for the first four days.
That time they were just coming in and checking her sugar levels, and they were telling me Are you gonna kill your baby? Or the baby is not gaining weight? What are they doing? They will not want to discharge us also, because of this. It was like, first of all, I didn't know how to proceed her at that point of time. And then she was and with that on a doctors coming in telling me that you know, you're gonna kill her what happened to teach her brain, the sugar, low sugar, and what are you doing with your baby go give the formula. And if she wasn't even written the formula properly, and everything was a mess. Then when we went to even the pediatrician was also that time was very
worried about this thing. And when we went for the five, the one week checkup, then the pediatrician says, you just need to check her urine. If everything is going fine. And that's where I'm caught it. Like this is the code word for everything. As soon as you give birth. Also, if you haven't done then call us then you can just move out and go home and start feeding the baby. So that's
just thinking like sisters who might be listening and they're like young, they might think, oh my god, like you know, but actually, once you become a parent, it's quite normal to talk about nappies and you know, you're in and then all sorts of things. It just becomes a part of your life. That's the main thing.
The main thing you're gonna be discussing when your husband comes back from
A good news and bad news. Yeah. What about, like, any spiritual means, because I really found that time.
Like, I, I've breastfed all of my kids, four of them for two, two years, each
one of them I think was a bit less than two years.
But that was because he lost interest, actually.
during that time is very intense about I do feel that
it forced me to become to be closer to Allah, you know, because there were things happening during that time.
Or challenges, especially in the early days,
that I felt like nobody really understood except ALLAH, you know, nobody could really empathize with me. In the same way, nobody was experiencing what I was experiencing, except and only Allah Subhana Allah could
could know, you know?
Isn't it time when sisters can really
tap into that kind of natural connection that we as women have with Subhanallah, this natural cycle, right, this natural thing that's happening to us?
We're almost like everyday seeing it seeing a miracle happen, right?
Isn't it an opportunity to connect spiritually?
Yeah, and you realize that like, one small embryo in your body is just turning back into a Baby Alive, being who is talking to you. So that's the biggest miracle. It's like, four out of nowhere, you're carrying this baby in your hand. And that's the biggest miracle pay see her smile at her when she's feeding. So that's where the connection is found. Because that's the miracle of Allah.
were we born with our own,
you can say she's a part because we have, we have had her in her inner anatomy for so many months. And then she's here She's looking at us and that bonding is there. And it's like, you know, you literally see that, you know, milky baby, you can see, it's like to your breast milk, the baby's growing, you're not giving them anything apart from that. So everything is made of milk.
Just like an affair, and sister if do you have any last message you'd like to give our viewers and listeners on this topic?
Main thing is to seek knowledge and not to take it for granted that you know, your baby's fine, and it's okay formula is okay. And then you're having some pressure around you. You just need to try and gain some knowledge and talk it out with your spouse, and your family members. If they don't have the knowledge, just tell them explain them about these things and how important they are just like how every other degree is important. Like how you learn maths and science and engineering, it's the same way that this field is not to be taken so lightly. You don't have to be a breastfeeding counsellor for anything. But you just need to know the important
points where you can actually Equip yourself to deal with those challenges, rather than just because you might actually hear some myths being told to you right? When the child and people use fear in a way to, to talk you out of breastfeeding. Yes.
And if you have the knowledge, and you understand how the brain works, and how the body works in tandem,
and you end up
having a fever, then she shouldn't be feeding the baby.
So that's the main main misconception is where the mom is having the fever, and the baby should not be feeling.
And that's not what people say.
Yes. And even in the beginning of COVID, it was said that the motion defeating the baby if the mom has COVID, but then later on, there was research that you know, that doesn't pass on to the baby. And if it even if it does, it's in a mild form. And the mom can take precautionary measures while feeding the baby. And after feeding the baby, she can have those precautions done where the baby is because even if the mom is having COVID or fever or any of that sort that the antibodies are automatically produced in the breast.
And they're being passed on to the baby right so we're
sorry, this does not happen. formula milk. Yeah, exactly. The baby's more protected.
Just like an affair and sister show. Really appreciate your time. Thank you for introducing us to your work. Where can people find out more about your work? Is it your website? Yes, they
You can contact me through I hidden motherhood.com or directly on my whatsapp number also. So that was an island motherhood. Yeah. Yes.
Okay, does it look, Erin, I'm going to let you go now Salam Alaikum
to exactly. Fatima.
So brothers and sisters and Hamdulillah that was a an enlightening session about a topic that we don't really usually talk about. But I think it's really important because it's literally about how we start off the lives of our children, right of the future generation. And I think it's really important not just for sisters to know about this, but also for brothers, because, you know, oftentimes, when there's a new mother, she's having to make really difficult decisions. And it's really hard to make those decisions if you don't have a partner or spouse, and family members who are not also supporting you, right, and who also don't know much about the topic. So I would
encourage everyone to empower themselves with knowledge as Sister He said, read some books, you know, about breastfeeding about what to expect when you have a new baby, etcetera, read books about, you know, how to make sure you can continue with breastfeeding.
And understand that it's way more than just food, you know, it's about the growth of the baby's brain. It's about the, the healthy development of the of the baby in multiple ways. And it's actually Islamically. You know, if a mother can and there's no, you know, major impediment, it's the right of the child.
So, it does not come along here. And although I must say, I do wish that we we still had witnesses, you know, there were times when I wished that we still had witnesses.
But we don't really have that system anymore. So,
clearing Charla does I call up Aaron, and until next time, assalamu Alikum warahmatu rahmatullah wa barakato Subhanak Allah humo Behanding a shadow Allah, Allah, Allah and a stone Federica were to be like,