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Breastfeeding Taboo-Breaking the Stereotype
As he came in my lap for the very first time, it was the most wonderful moment of my life. There was already a connection between him and me. My husband helped me to get up as I was recovering from a cesarean. Being a mother of a six-year boy, I very well knew the benefits of colostrum (first milk). The nurse gave me a pillow to support my sutures, I knew it was my moment. I cuddled him and to my surprise, he was already rooting. He latched properly and fell asleep at once. I decided that very day to exclusively breastfeed my baby irrespective of taboos of feeding your baby in public. My elder son was deprived of the breast milk at public places because of the stereotypes. We opted for formula. But this time I was headstrong, Now my baby is six months old. I am very happy with my decision. I breastfed him in trains, cars, malls, and flight. He has always been very cheerful and happy. My elder son had a lot of problems due to bottle feedings like crankiness and gastric problems. I got a full support of my husband. We were very clear that we want the best for our child. Now, I don't care whoever sees or criticizes. I have online bought a nursing cover for public places feedings.
The mothers are embarrassed and looked disdainfully for breastfeeding their baby in public. Our society plays a major role why a mother always look for a hidden corner or nursing room to satiate her baby's hunger.We live in a society where movies can have dialogues like "Maa ka dudh piya hai to saamne aa." (Come and fight, If you have drunk mother's milk), but a mother does not have a right to feed her baby in front of anyone.
Elder women suggest them to give bottle feed while being outside. Some babies totally shun mother's feed once they get used to formula feeding. Some don't hold a bottle at all. Such things are really difficult for a new mom who is already fighting with sleep deprivation, extra cravings due to lactation and postpartum depression. A mother understands the cues of her baby who wants to be soothed and breastfed. She knows it is not right time and place for feeding her baby. But the baby does not wait it starts crying and becomes very cranky as if it is angry with its mother for delaying. She takes the permission of family if she can take her baby somewhere in isolation. Her family members give her a very disapproving look. She cannot see her baby crying bitterly.
Benefits of Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding - Right of a Baby
We all is very much aware breastfeeding our little ones assures the best nutrition for them. Pediatricians highly recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of the life of a baby. It is equally good for the mother as well. You can burn around 500 to 800 calories a day, simply by feeding your child. It helps you to feel more connective and close to your child. Researchers have already proclaimed that mothers who breastfeed their kids exclusively are less prone to breast cancer. Breast milk has all required nutrients and taste as per your baby's need. It has a tendency to fight against many infections like child jaundice, diarrhoea and stomach aches.
Our family and society have to understand and be supportive. There is nothing to hide and deprive your baby off right nutrition. It's a very natural and pious activity. Shame should be on people who find it vulgar. A mother should be left alone with all the best options to bring her child up. A new brigade of confident mothers is coming up who don't care about social stigma and taboos. Even, the government should make it mandatory to have a nursing room in all public places. A counseling session and awareness programs should be provided by the governments' healthcare department to support breastfeeding. A maximum number of people should be reached as for such taboos generally prevail in rural sections of the society. We should openly discuss and support such issues.
I had options but I choose to break stereotypes. People came to me with oodles of advice, It was my discretion whether to take it or not. Today also I come across many women who are shy to feed their babies. A supportive environment and like minded people would encourage mothers to choose best out of their dilemmas. I only suggest new mothers to go for it, hold your babies tight and feed them the nectar of life.