No matter where they are — the mall, a restaurant, on an airplane — breastfeeding mums are constantly being asked to cover up. Even though they are just trying to feed their kids, it seems like some people are always going to be uncomfortable around exposed breasts. In a society where breasts are constantly sexualized and exploited to help sell everything from bathing suits to cars, it seems ironic as well as ridiculous that mothers are being shamed for using their breasts to feed their children. Breastfeeding should be accepted by everyone instead of being frowned upon and targeted.
Should Mothers Cover Up While Breastfeeding?
And while most people may think it is okay to confine a woman in the four walls of a room after childbirth, it only makes them more prone to suffer from post-natal depression. And why should anyone stop leading normal life fearing the backlash of society?
In India, there is a tendency of mums covering their breasts with dupattas or the pallu of the saree while nursing. It certainly makes them more acceptable in a country where moral policing and cultural vigilantism have run amok but it also causes a lot of discomfort to the child. Try putting yourself in the baby's shoes, what would it be like to eat all covered up in a blanket? If you think logically, even the nursing covers can be uncomfortable.
What About Nursing Rooms In India?
With breastfeeding considered brass-necked, the concept of nursing rooms for mums in public places like malls or parks continues to be a dream. How many places in India have you spotted nursing rooms apart from airports and a few malls? And how many of those were actually operational? The stigma attached to feeding anywhere outside the home has demoralised women to an extent that they fear to appeal for the lack of facilities. For a civilised society of the 21st century, shaming mums who feed in public seems to be overdoing of things. Breastfeeding Benefits: Why Breast Milk Is The Best Food Mothers Can Give Their Babies.
Should Mothers Settle For Formula-Feed In Public Places?
It is no secret that breastfeeding has a plethora of benefits for children. But several studies have suggested that children who are exclusively breastfed, have slightly higher IQs than children who are formula-fed. Further, breastfeeding burns calories and helps shrink the uterus so nursing mothers may be able to return to their pre-pregnancy shape and weight quicker. Also, studies conclude that breastfeeding helps lower the risk of breast cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease and may also help decrease the risk of uterine and ovarian cancer. So why would anyone lose out on all these benefits for the sake of the society? World Breastfeeding Week 2019: 5 Breastfeeding Problems and Their Solutions Every Nursing Mother Should Know of (Watch Video)
Do your bit and encourage women to breastfeed in public. Make the spouses of your mommy friends understand the importance of natural feed as they will be more likely to continue with their husband's support. And finally, don't forget to give a pat to women who breastfeed in public.