There is stigma that surrounds breastfeeding in public. Women are often asked to 'cover up' in public spaces and many public washrooms do not have a feeding room for new mothers. This World Breastfeeding Week (1-7th August), new Bollywood mothers, Neha Dhupia and Sameera Reddy shared the joy of motherhood but focused on the taboo that surrounds breastfeeding.
Neha Dhupia, who gave birth to her daughter Mehr Dhupia Bedi eight months ago, shared the start of her new initiative, Freedom To Feed, through which the actress aims to start a conversation around breastfeeding. The actress, who tied the knot to Angad Bedi on May 10, 2018, has spoken about what breastfeeding implies when it comes to motherhood and the struggle it involves in a beautiful video on Instagram.
Neha Dhupia also shared a picture with her little angel and captioned it, "it’s been 8 months since I embarked on this rollercoaster and there is no better time than now to talk about how truly grateful I am for all the joy that our little one has brought into our lives...motherhood like all else hasn’t been easy."
She went on to talk about the lack of facilities provided for women who are breastfeeding and how women have to constantly apologise for the 'inconvenience'. She spoke about how she breastfed Mehr for 6 months and still continues to do so and it made her realise the importance of a support system. She added that once when she had to breastfeed her daughter on a plane and she went to the washroom to feed her, she kept hoping that the seat belt sign wouldn't turn on. She spoke about how she felt obligated to apologise for using the washroom for so long.
Neha also thanked the people who made this time for her easier, "I'm also super grateful for all the amazing people in my life for making this journey easier but the truth is I know I’m not alone in feeling that there has to be a slight shift in our mentalities, in the fact that we need more facilities for breastfeeding moms with their babies or even their breast pumps."
Several other women are coming forward to tell their story via Neha's initiative, Freedom To Feed, including actress Soha Ali Khan who shared a video retelling her struggles with breastfeeding.
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it’s been 8 months since I embarked on this rollercoaster and there is no better time than now to talk about how truly grateful I am for all the joy that our little one has brought into our lives...motherhood like all else hasn’t been easy... the sleepless nights, the feeling like a food source ,the blues are all a part of this wonderful package. Its amazing how the mommy brain can do so many things at the same time and works on autopilot ...like resting the baby’s head jus right , knowing when she is done with her feed and ofcourse becoming the burping expert of the world . I breastfed 🤱 Mehr exclusively for 6 months and still continue to do so ... It truly made me realise the value of a wonderful support system that I have and sometimes the lack of it and also the lack of facilities . Like once I was on a plane and had to feed her , and I literally had to take her to the washroom and was only hoping that the seat belt sign does nt come on before she is done ...of course I came out n apologised for using the washroom for so long... now here’s the real deal ... I honestly don’t understand the consciousness behind doing something so right n so beautiful. Im also super grateful for all the amazing people in my life for making this journey easier but the truth is I know I’m not alone in feeling that there has to be a slight shift in our mentalities, in the fact that we need more facilities for breast feeding moms with their babies or even their breast pumps ...and the only way this can happen is if we start a conversation... I want to encourage moms like you and me whether breast feeding or not , to share their story ... tag me @nehadhupia and use the hashtag #freedomtofeed 🤱and I promise to share story with my little world. 💕 ... @freedomtofeed
Sameera Reddy too spoke about the issue on her Instagram account. The actress who gave birth to her daughter Nyra in July has been actively speaking about the struggles that come with the joy of giving birth. From postpartum depression to the encouragement a new mother requires, Sameera Reddy has been an inspiration for new moms everywhere by addressing these issues with her hashtag #imperfectlyperfect.
The actress, who also has a 4-year-old son, Hans Varde with her husband of 5 years, Akshai Varde shared a post about the importance of Breastfeeding Week on Instagram with a caption that read, "New dads & loved ones listen up! Its World Breast feeding week and this post is for you to know that you can be the biggest support and encouragement to a new mom! A mother may be depressed, lacking in confidence, worried, or stressed and it affects breastfeeding. These factors do not directly affect her milk production, but can interfere with the way in which she responds to her baby. This can result in the baby taking less milk, and failing to stimulate milk production. So be there for her . ❤️"
Sameera also said that all women require love and understanding at this stage, "Understanding the pressure on her physically and emotionally is the best thing you can do. Nothing like feeling loved at such an overwhelming time. 🙌🏻 ."
We can all collectively work against the taboo that surrounds breastfeeding this week by supporting new moms at our workplace and in our family. We need to work towards providing them with a safe space to be themselves.
Featured Image: Instagram
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