Mamaspeak is our weekly spotlight on an exceptional mama. We’ll meet her baby, get to know her favorite parts of motherhood, and perhaps hear some words of wisdom — or at least commiseration!
Supriya is a tiny dynamo, with a hearty cackle and such a goofy, easy-going spirit that she could be your perfect wingwoman — just ask. A consummate globe-trotter, she has lived and worked in Singapore, Frankfurt, Chicago and New York City, where she now calls home. Armed with an MBA from Northwestern, she’s worked in finance, strategy consulting, sales and marketing and had her son Arin three months ago. You can often find her strolling along the East River in Brooklyn Bridge Park with Arin, her husband Vijay, and her dog Misty.
Here, she let us in on some of the finer details of motherhood.
Past occupation: VP of Marketing and Strategy for a healthcare startup
Best mama moment so far: One morning a few weeks ago, I heard Arin giggle for the first time when I was changing his diaper. I mean a real hearty giggle!
I feel beautiful when: I wear my pre-pregnancy jeans.
My efforts to help the earth: My husband Vijay and I only shop organic for produce, meat, eggs and dairy. We are part of a CSA (Community-Supported Agriculture) in which we pay to be a member to support local farms and receive a delivery of their harvest each week. Whatever we don’t get from the CSA, we head to Whole Foods to supplement the rest.
My favorite piece of clothing: My Brooklyn Industries sweatshirt. It’s perfect for nursing — just unzip! Also, Arin spits up a lot, so I’m going to have to get a Mamachic scarf when you come out with it!
My best piece of advice for new mamas: It’s tough! Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Sleep deprivation — or sleep debt as I now call it — is hard and breastfeeding was harder, but I found it got a lot easier for me around 6 weeks. I now love it and am sad to think about the day I stop!
What was so hard about your breastfeeding experience? Nursing was really painful and when it wasn’t working at first, I was so worried that I would never be able to nurse Arin. And honestly, I felt like I was failing him as a mom every time I thought of giving up. It was a tough time. Arin was tongue-tied when he was born, which meant he didn’t know how to feed well — but a nurse in the hospital only realized this four days after his birth, and by that time he had lost too much weight, so we had to supplement with formula. Once we fixed the tongue-tie issue, he started getting better, but his weight gain was still too low, so we had him on formula for about 3 weeks in addition to breastmilk. It was so hard for me because I wasn’t sure at that point if I would ever be exclusively nurse him, which was my hope. In the meantime, I was in incredible pain! We got a lactation consultant and both Arin and I were treated for thrush (yeast) and I was treated for mastitis. It took nearly six weeks to correct what was wrong. Anyhow, once that cleared up, nursing became pretty awesome. It’s the most amazing bonding experience, and I just love the way Arin looks up at me when he’s feeding!
Ah, the ubiquitous career vs. motherhood debate: I think what I’m trying to figure out is how to be successful at my career and at being the mama I want to be. So, jobs that require travel to be successful are ruled out, but there are other ones I can do well and still hopefully come home every night and see Arin. I’ve realized through this crazy time of maternity leave, going back to work, getting laid off, and now independent consulting, that for me working and especially having a career (vs. a ‘job’) makes me feel like much more of a whole person. I know this is different for every mama. In my home, I’m sure Arin feels my energy when I am feeling more whole because of my career.
I swear by: Earth Mama Angel Baby Bottom Balm
My beauty routine is incomplete without: First Aid Beauty (FAB) face wash
Like mother, like son: Arin’s like me in a lot of ways, but the most noticeable thing is that he talks a lot, like me! And, he is really an extrovert — he loves having people around to talk to.
The thing that surprised me most about motherhood was: how much I loved Arin from the second I saw him. I had no idea I would feel that way.
Fun fact: Supriya’s last name “Laknidhi” is completely original! It is actually a mashup of her maiden name (Srinidhi) and her husband Vijay’s last name (Lakshminarayanan). And if you’re wondering, Vijay changed his last name to Laknidhi too.
Photo credit: Julia Newman Photography, Supriya Laknidhi