First Time Mommies is a group that is run by Maryam Hasham, a graphic designer by qualification, a mom blogger at Luluandyums and the founder of FTM who is a first-time mom herself.
She believes that pregnancy itself is just like an examination. One doesn’t appear in the examination hall unprepared. Similarly, how can we not prepare and educate ourselves before appearing in the labour rooms and appearing for the examination of our life? This has been her aim behind starting FTM so that every woman equips herself with necessary knowledge and information so that she can be a good mother for the child and a healthy individual for herself as well.
We asked Maryam, how did she hit upon the idea of starting FTM?
Maryam: When I got pregnant myself I had plenty of quid in my mind regarding my pregnancy and the difficulties I was facing and the only night from I felt I had where are these Facebook groups where we could post ourselves or anonymously. later when I delivered and went through the postpartum period I realized there was nothing happening in Pakistan for the well-being of Pakistani pregnant woman and that’s when I decided I’m going to make a difference.
I started blogging first and saw how these events are arranged. I tried using all these contacts for sessions by First Time Mommies Pakistan.
I remember I got this illustration assignment from aga khan health services Pakistan And that is when I asked the lady who was dealing with me to guide me in arranging the sessions.
Chalktalk: Brief us about your First Antenatal Session?
Maryam: My first session was comparatively smaller it was held at Aga Khan health centre Boat Basin back in January. I got 30-35 Registrations back then and only 17 pregnant ladies showed up the event was free of cost and was conducted by Leila herself. After the event, I got a lot of appreciation that boosted my dedication towards Ftm.
Chalktalk: You recently conducted a second antenatal session. How did it turn out?
Maryam: the second session had a much better response and I got up to 350 Registrations out of which I had to shortlist since we were short on space and could only accommodate up to 50 attendees. The session took place at Little Darling by Zubaida’s (Tariq road outlet) And I am extremely grateful to them for providing me with their space for our session. This time we had about enough doctors From Aga Khan Health Services Pakistan, as well as they, were offered some medical tests (HB, glucose, cholesterol) at a very nominal price (550/- for all 3) the results were given to the attendees instantly! We had some very qualified doctors of the town including Dr M. N. Laal (paediatrician and consultant child specialist) who spoke over infant care and how important it is to take care of umbilical cord of our newborn as in Pakistan has the 3rd highest rates of newborn deaths. (Our attendees were given free cord clean gels by Zafa Pharmaceuticals and were informed that they have the right to discuss it with their Gynae and make sure that the gel and only gel has been applied right after the cord is cut till it comes out) and Dr. Shazia Naseeb (Gynaecologist & Obstetrician MBBS, FCPS, MCPS who discussed antenatal care and process of labor and delivery.
There was a question-answer session between our audience and experts to clear out all the confusions that our pregnant mommies had and they couldn’t discuss it anywhere with associate professor JPMC
Zarmina Faisal Salman (a yoga instructor and prenatal Exercise specialist). Also conducted a session where she explained the importance of exercise during pregnancy and benefits post pregnancy!
Apart from All Expert advice, our attendees were shown the top 10 best buys by Little Darling for their newborn babies that would help them in their baby shopping!
Working moms and those who struggle with breastfeeding were given a solution by Tommee Tippee by explaining them the mechanism of breast pumping and storing breast milk By using they are close to the natural product range.
Chalktalk: How do you think these sessions are helping expecting moms?
Maryam: Pakistani pregnant women need to educate themselves regarding their pregnancies and stop believing in old school myths and home remedies. By attending these sessions They get to know about the procedure, facts, the procedure of delivering a baby and all the pros and cons included. They can take better decisions in upbringing their child and help themselves in not falling into Postpartum Depression. I hope more and more Pakistani pregnant women educate themselves for their pregnancies to be a better mom for their child and for themselves
This is a very enlightening initiative by Maryam Hasham that is equally the need of the hour in the country when not many people give attention to the initial phase after conceiving. Wishing her all the best for future sessions.