BY AASTHA NIRMAL
Why aren’t mothers able to provide milk to their babies whenever they need it? Women have negative experiences of being chastised in public. Breasts are seen as a sexual part. In this case, breasts are more than a sexual part. They provide food, warmth, and comfort to babies.
Babies drink milk for a variety of reasons. It could be for warmth, peace, or simply because they want to feel protected. Women come across comments such as “Why didn’t you feed the baby at home?”. Here’s an answer to them. “You pretty much have to go by the baby’s schedule and not the mother’s. Babies want to get fed when they’re hungry.”
Look Away, It’s Not For You !
People don’t want to see women’s bodies as both maternal and sexual. It all depends on what people are comfortable with. And what they want to see you as VERSUS your ability to perhaps be both. As women, we should not isolate breastfeeders into closets.
Freedom to Feed, by Neha Dhupia, is an initiative that talks about freedom for mums to feed their babies in public without judgement. “Breast milk is a liquid gold”, she says.
Lisa Hayden made a bold move four years ago by posting a video of breastfeeding her son. Through this video, she wanted to spread awareness about the benefits of breastfeeding. She said the experience was unspeakable as it strengthens the bond between a mother and her baby. Recently she posted another picture on her social media. In the picture, she is feeding her third child Lara, in public. This picture was in honour of World Breastfeed Week.
Another diva from Bollywood, Diya Mirza in an interview talked about the lack of spaces for mothers to feed their babies in public. She also said
“In India, we need to bring about a systematic shift in societal attitude. Feeding a child should be considered a natural act, but it triggers so much shame and judgement when done in public”
BREASTFEED LIKE A BOSS !
Keep these things in mind while breastfeeding in public-
- Keep a hand free to adjust your clothes in case the baby pops off.
- A big NO to breastfeed in restrooms, it’s unsanitary. Incase someone directs you to a restroom, tell them “You don’t eat where you shit!”
- Try to find a quiet and peaceful place so the baby can focus.
- Lean back, it helps overactive letdowns.
- Choose your clothes wisely before leaving the house. Go for the Two-Shirt method. It’s easy and comfortable.
- Always think positive while feeding your baby. It’s your right! WE NORMALISE IT BY DOING IT.
“Human milk is like ice cream, penicillin, and the drug ecstasy all wrapped up in two pretty packages.”
― Florence Williams