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Today, we shine the light on the maternal wellness & breastfeeding advocate – Ejiro Ogumor!
… is maternal wellness and breastfeeding advocate, wife, mother and Founder of Anaborhi Nigeria.
Anaborhi Nigeria is a 100% Nigerian female-owned maternal and baby company pioneering locally owned products like Breast Pumps, Feeding Bottle, Nipple Shields etc. We do this to support breastfeeding and childcare, so new moms can focus on enjoying motherhood.
We had a chat with Ejiro Ogumor on maternal care, how she started, and what’s next;
What need would you say you’re meeting in your community through Anaborhi Nigeria?
Our primary goal has always been to create tools for breastfeeding and child care. This is done in order to actively contribute to the increase in the percentage of breastfed babies yearly. To take it a step further, we enrich our community of mothers through breastfeeding support and raising conversation about maternal wellness.
Through our “Giving Pumps” initiative, we donate breast pumps for use to public hospitals in Lagos, to support breastfeeding at the most delicate time (the first few days) in a mother’s breastfeeding journey. We also collaborate with NGO’s who work with mothers to do the same for mothers and babies at risk. These babies include those in low-income communities and those prematurely born.
What’s one myth you keep encountering when it comes to maternal care?
The belief that not every woman breastfeeds. That’s false unless there is a medical condition preventing a mother from breastfeeding. Any woman with breasts has the potential to succeed at breastfeeding, irrespective of the size or shape of her breasts. Even women who had their babies through a surrogate or via adoption can breastfeed if they have the right tools, education, and the desire to breastfeed.
I always advise pregnant mothers who I interact with to start planning to breastfeed ahead of delivery in order to increase their chances. The first step is to have a positive mindset and a realistic expectation of the outcome of their breastfeeding journey. Apart from having a medical condition, every woman can breastfeed.
If there’s one piece of vital information you’d like mothers to know it’ll be?
As every woman and her baby is different, so is their breastfeeding and baby milestones. Some mothers & babies will have it easy, while others might struggle to achieve the same results. It doesn’t make anyone less or more, it is just the natural way of things. All babies are different, and everyone’s motherhood experience will be different.
I’d advise mothers to enjoy all the assistance they are offered in the weeks after birth. I also tell them to literally enjoy that three years’ worth of sleep because they won’t be getting much later on.
Who inspires you?
I have been inspired by so many wonderful women, but if I had to pick one, I’d say my mother.
What I admire the most about my mother is her selfless enthusiasm for helping others. I don’t know how she does it, but I think being raised by her, influenced the woman I am today. Because of this, I can hardly hold back from offering solutions to mothers that I cross paths with. This is also why it is important for me that whatever project I’m involved in always has a direct impact on the immediate community.
Tell us an inspiring story that resonates with you?
I recently had a conversation with a mom about her previous breastfeeding experience. She shared that she suffered mastitis while breastfeeding. It is a brutally painful infection of the breast tissue, usually caused by either a blocked milk duct or bacteria entering the breast. In her case, it was a blocked milk duct because her baby was unable to empty the breastmilk from her breasts. A surgical incision had to be made by doctors over the fluid-filled mass to drain it completely.
It breaks my heart that mothers go through breastfeeding issues of that sort when their only concern is nourishing her child. If she had access to our breast pump then, she would have simply used it to empty her breasts and prevented the occurrence of mastitis.
What’s next for you?
We are going to keep developing innovative tools to support breastfeeding across Africa, but we are also focusing on raising awareness about the benefits of breastfeeding for both mothers and babies, to undo the narrative marketers of baby formula have created in recent years.