Meet Mahasin Mohamed, Culturally Diverse Community Breastfeeding Educator
Mahasin joined the CBE group in 2016. She speaks Arabic and English.
Mahasin, where did you grow up?
I was born and raised in Elfasher, a large city in west Sudan.
How were the children in your family fed? Did you see mothers breastfeeding their babies when you were growing up?
Most of the mothers in my community breastfed their babies. My siblings and I were all breastfed for about 24 months.
When did you move to Lincoln?
I moved to Lincoln from Sudan in 1998 with my husband. I won a visa lottery. We came to Lincoln because one of my husband’s friends was here in Lincoln and he told us that Lincoln was a quiet and calm city.
What was your experience like breastfeeding your own children?
My two children were born in Lincoln. I breastfed both my children for about 20 months. My breastfeeding experiences were very normal. At the beginning it was hard and painful, but then I learned to manage breastfeeding with time. I have very strong feelings regarding the value of breastfeeding. It was very important to me and to my faith and I did not question whether I would breastfeed or not.
What do you like most about helping other mothers to breastfeed?
I really like sharing information and educating mothers about the health benefits for their children. It can be hard for Sudanese moms in the United States because in Sudan we provide a lot of support for new moms. For the first three weeks after a baby is born, several families will cook for a new mom and go to her home and spend time with the new mom and help to clean her house.
Many moms have some breastfeeding difficulties in the beginning, but this can be helped by supporting a mother and providing her with education. It is so much easier to breastfeed than to prepare formula and clean bottles.
It is very important to me that I maintain sensitivity to the experiences, needs, and strengths of diverse populations and cultures.
How can our community better support new mothers?
Mothers and babies benefit so much from breastfeeding. The emotional attachment and the health benefits are so good. We all need to support mothers and provide them support and information.
(Interview July 2022)