A couple of weeks back, I noticed a lot of frenzy on social media about breastfeeding. A lot was being talked about encouraging breastfeeding and recognizing the dignity of mothers breastfeeding their babies in public. Further, I observed all the photographs circulated on social media were from countries other than India.
A thought struck my mind. If this is all about the breastfeeding week,then do we at all need this in our country? (Please excuse my ignorance at this juncture.) As far as I know from my experience and otherwise, Indian women and society, per se, has always has laid tremendous emphasis on breastfeeding and the Indian women never had any problem or for that matter never thought twice about feeding their babies in public with the humble saari pallu to take care of their modesty.
And then I realised, yes, the previous generations primarily stayed at home in the comfy of their homes.
So it has to be more than what I had been opining about.
I hopped on to worldbreastfeedingweek.org to read more about it.
World breastfeeding week is celebrated every year in the first week of August 1 – 7 August.
The World Breastfeeding Week calls for concerted global action to support women to combine breastfeeding and work. Whether a woman is working in the formal, non-formal or home setting, it is necessary that she is empowered in claiming her and her baby’s right to breastfeed.
This effort speaks about hope for millions of women, who now constitute a major chunk in the workforce, in making their lives somewhat easier by allowing them to continue breastfeeding, if they choose to, along with their employment.
I have a personal breastfeeding story.
I joined back work when my son turned 4 months old. I was breastfeeding him exclusively until then. Getting back to work, I had to add 2 bottles of infant formula to his daily routine while I was away at work. At my work place, I had the facility (or rather luxury on comparing it with many working women) that I could pump my breastmilk whenever I felt the need to and could store it in the refrigerator common to the work floor.
The only inconvenience if I think about it today was I had to sit in the lavatory (which was though clean) to express the breastmilk. It would have been a lot more hygienic and relieving if there would have been a small room provided by the organisation exclusive to the lactating mothers to use. I was also not aware in this direction that this could be my right and I could approach the Human Resource department of my organisation to support.
What did I do with the bottles of expressed breastmilk that I collected during the 8 hours in office?
Since I lived at a distance of 1 and a half hours from office, it used to become unfit for feeding during the long commute in the hot and humid summer and I had to use it to water the plants at home, with a very heavy heart.
Originally published on World of Moms