We live in the 21st century. There are infrastructural changes in cities, cyberspaces are coming up everywhere, and towns and villages are getting digitized. Still, when it comes to breastfeeding, which is the right of every baby, we have objections and absurd words for it, especially when women need to do this outside their homes!
I have witnessed a large number of arguments and discussions regarding breastfeeding, and I feel terrible when these stupid statements come from real people. Very
often, there is a woman who throws such unwelcome statements! I would like to discuss some of these here:
1. Breastfeed your baby in the washroom
Really? I would like to ask such people to kindly take their meal in the washroom and sit there and have it. Honestly, is it hygienic or even nice for a small baby to be punished by serving his his meal in the washroom? Is it cool? NO! I would definitely never do this for my baby and think it's a thoroughly disgusting suggestion.
2. When you are going to the mall or a public building, breastfeed your baby in the car
Why? Just because XYZ mall or public building never expected that mothers of small babies may need to visit such places for work purpose? Neither my baby nor his mom is comfortable nursing in the car. It may be time for these places to revise their policies instead!
3. You had better cover up nicely!
Let me first understand what you mean by covering up while breastfeeding and why it is important. Why should I suffocate my baby with a thick cover? Let's understand this better like this: do you have your lunch while covering yourself and your food with a thick blanket? No, right, then why should our babies be subjected to this?
4. We need to leave by 1 PM. Feed your baby before we leave as it would be difficult to feed outside later - or stay back at home
I feed my child every 2 hours. I am a work from home mom and staying at home is my choice to raise my kids like I want to. But I am a human being and do feel like going out sometimes! Does being a mom mean I don’t have any freedom? Plus, what if my baby doesn't wish to have the feed now? Babies are mostly unpredictable and I want to tell such people that they don’t come with on and off buttons!
5. "She breastfeeds to show off..."
I have only one thing to say to these people: either you are not a mom or you are an insensitive person. I have many other ways I can use if I wish to show off. Right now I only think about the most important person in my life and that’s my baby.
6. You are planning to go out? Better pump your milk and bring the bottle along
I understand that these people probably mean well. But what they probably do not know is how many pieces there are to clean in a breast pump! So, if I sit for pumping will you clean my house or help me for dishes? Pumping takes time and can be painful. And above all, what if my baby doesn't take the bottle at all?
7. I get that breastfeeding is baby's right and a natural thing to do. So will you pee in public as well because that is natural too?
How dumb of you comparing breastfeeding with peeing in the first place! Secondly, for peeing, every public place or building has washrooms as a mandatory requirement. So wouldn't it be far more sensible to realize how breastfeeding rooms are not always present in public places?
8. Please do not feed in the park or school premises. Kids ask questions and we don’t want them to learn such nuisance so early
OMG! If this is a 'nuisance' then this nuisance has happened to you too or you have done to your kids too! So, if kids see a mother nursing her child you must educate them that it's natural. It's important to educate your students or daughters that this happens with all babies. Tomorrow they will also nurse their kids when they become mothers.
Likewise, teach your boys that the breast is not a sexual object - it's for feeding babies. Teach your kids to respect the human body and understand the importance of each organ. This will help them understand well and become a better human being.
9. Don't feed your baby here. There are many adult males and they all will see your bare breast.
So? It is their problem, not mine. Each responsible male adult should understand that it's my priority to feed my baby. Instead of just looking at me and taking sexual pleasure, they should respect the situation. We are educated adults, aren't we?
10. You behave like illiterate beggars who sit on a roadside and feed their babies
Again, all I want to say is that I appreciate those illiterate women who always think and keep their baby's needs as the priority. It’s the right of a baby to have breast milk and there is nothing shameful about it.
I know what you must be thinking - why do we even have to answer these absurdities? Well, we need to answer back to make others understand that breastfeeding is the right of my baby and that they should keep their unwelcome suggestions away. Some people really need to understand the real meaning and importance of a woman's breasts - their biological function instead of just treating and seeing them as a mere sexual object.
As a society, let's be more sensitive and encouraging toward nursing mothers and give them the courage to breastfeed in public or in private. That day in the mall, Astha preferred to take a comfortable and peaceful corner for feeding. It was there that she fed her baby, and not in the washroom. She chose what she felt was right for her baby as that was her priority.
This, I think, is what we all need to remember: our baby is priority. Enjoy being a Mom!
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