Dr. Prachi is a Lactation Professional and a breastfeeding advocate. She took the road from dentistry to lactation and nutrition and is very happy about her change. Besides, Dr.Prachi is the torch-bearer of parenting reminders and gentle parenting.
Q) From being a dentist, you shifted to nutrition and lactation. So what made you take this decision, and why did you make this change?
Dr. Prachi: it’s been a long journey, but I’m proud of myself for being a part of this journey of shifting roles. I did dentistry and worked in a reputable government hospital for seven years; it was a great experience where I learned a lot of things.
But then, after that, when I delivered my baby, I learned about all the challenges of this motherhood phase which is not much talked about. I never knew about these challenges, although I worked in a hospital. Nobody spoke to me about it, and it came as a shock.
Fortunately, I had good support from my husband, and I could work on that journey very easily. But then, as soon as I started working, I saw so many mothers struggling to deal with lactation problems, and then, later on, they were facing a lot of child eating problems. So this motivated me.
Being a parent is a full-time job, so I decided to quit my job and be with my child for some time. I took a break because it was overwhelming at that period. Then I decided to do my certification in lactation and nutrition.
Then I decided to shift my career, and I’m happy doing it. And that’s why I started this initiative on Instagram by the name of My Parenthood, and I’m trying to reach out to many mothers and parents to share my knowledge and experience with them.
Q) What are parenting reminders?
Dr. Prachi: We are moving towards a gentle and non-conscious parenting time. Consciously we are trying to react and act, but I think this was not practiced earlier. If we see past generations, there were certain rules that everybody followed. There was a certain way in which our parents used to react when we made some mistakes.
But still, we carry that baggage in our minds and subconscious minds. We tend to react in a specific manner. We have seen our parents reacting. So we as parents need to unload those things which are dead in our minds. We decide we will not shout at our child at all, but sometimes we get overwhelmed and do it because we have seen that reaction from our parents.
Those parenting reminders are important for all of us because I think it’s easy for every parent of our generation who is trying to become more gentle and conscious while raising a generation. You will make mistakes every day, but these reminders will help us become more conscious and help us to behave in a certain way.
Q) As a parent, what superpower do you think you have?
Dr. Prachi: As parents, we don’t have any superpowers, we all are normal human beings, and we are trying to learn from our mistakes. Parenting is not an easy job, especially in today’s era. There is so much influence of social media and so much information floating everywhere, which gets quite overwhelming.
If we talk about superpowers, we are all superheroes. We are trying to raise our kids a certain way and change ourselves by becoming more conscious. It is not an easy job, and I think being a parent is a superpower. It’s not easy to fight with the society around you; you don’t have to follow these parenting styles. It is not easy, but we are trying our best to do that. So we all are superheroes, and I’m very proud of all the parents because they are trying to bring that change for future generations.
Q) In Effective parenting, do children and parents complement each other’s role, or is any role a cut above the other?
Dr. Prachi: I’m so glad you asked this question because we all need to understand that parenting is not a one-way thing; it’s parents and children together. It’s a two-way relationship, and we must maintain that balance at certain times.
You have to listen to them; at other times, they will listen to you. It’s not that parents are superior, but we have to give that little control to our kids. Only if we give them choices they’ll grow up into independent individuals. If we keep thinking that we are superior, then it will not work.
This was the thing which all our elders used to believe that you are not supposed to answer back. Let’s give that freedom to our kids such that if they feel something is wrong, they should be able to stand up for that. The things which we were suffering from, our kids should not. We have to bring that change. So parents and children must complement each other in this journey to make it easier and more effective.
Q) What do you have to say about bad eating habits in children and teenagers?
Dr. Prachi: There are certain reasons which I would like to point out, the most important being that kids are not given the freedom to explore as babies and toddlers. It’s like sometimes they are forced to feed and not given enough opportunities to develop that positive relationship with food.
Parents think it’s their responsibility to decide how much their kids should eat and whether they should eat. It is a parent’s only responsibility to decide what to give and when to give; the quantity and if they want to have it or not has to be decided by the child; that’s important.
We are not giving them a lot of exposure and not letting them create a mess out of food. We are trying to decide what they should eat and what they should not. And eventually, we are putting a lot of restrictions on them regarding food. This results in kids not having a positive relationship with food.
I think our generation doesn’t have a very good relationship with food. I am sure you would be able to relate to me that sometimes when we are upset, we think of eating. We binge-watch and eventually keep eating. So we are not well aware of acidity levels because we were not given the freedom to look at it and identify it.
I keep telling all the parents in my workshops and through the medium of social media to allow their kids to decide their appetite and let them make decisions for themselves. Trust them and their appetite, and the journey becomes very easy.
Q) Among all the professions you have practiced, which is your favorite and why?
Dr. Prachi: I love helping new moms in their breastfeeding journey, and breastfeeding has a very special space in my heart. I always want to help as many moms as possible, even if I have to do it for free. I have done it for free for so many years, and recently I started the consultations and workshops, so if you see my child, she will be very comfortable with all the breast models because it has become a part of my journey.
I want that every person to be able to breastfeed their child in whatever form. I don’t want any mother to suffer because of a lack of information, awareness, and support because I have seen how it affects a mother mentally if she cannot achieve something.
Breastfeeding is not one person’s responsibility, it’s everyone’s responsibility. And to have a successful breastfeeding journey, we need a lot of awareness, as quoted by the WHO. So that is a very important thing that we need to work on and bring a lot of change.
Dr. Prachi aims to help new mothers ace the practice of breastfeeding. She also urges adults and children to practice good nutrition and stay healthy at all times.
Check out the interesting interview with Dr. Prachi on our YouTube Channel.