Social Issues

I Make Milk, What’s Your Superpower?

Taj Mahal is all set to become the first Indian monument to house a breast feeding facility.

If anything the Indian society has stigmatised the whole idea and concept of breastfeeding in public. The taboo that is associated with this rather natural concept is quite interesting because women are expected to breastfeed their children and then shamed when they are forced to do it in public due to the lack of amenities. 

A few disturbing reports surfaced in the recent past where a woman was asked to nurse her baby in a public restroom and when the women called out the management of the mall on social media they reverted back saying “please make sure you do your home chores at home.” Although they did apologise for their insensitive  comments later this really goes on to show the blatant stigma present in the society. 

“I could see it was difficult for her (to feed the child), which is a basic motherhood right,” said Vasant Kumar Swarnkar, an official form the Archeological Society of India, “So I thought, we have to do something.” And this was the thought that inspired the Taj Mahal to open a dedicated breastfeeding room in its premises. On that note, we spoke to three women of three completely different generations and asked what this change meant to them. 

“As a new mother, I know the challenges we face during breastfeeding, ”Oh! Can’t she do this at home?” “Why does she step out when she knows she has a baby to feed” A new mom has all the rights to step out and live her life just like anybody else.  Moreover we are always under pressure, we fret stepping out with our little ones and this change only makes me feel more liberated because as a new mother I would always look out for breastfeeding facilities or spaces when I step out. This is definitely the first step towards creating a comfortable and supportive society for new mothers.” said Husna Naaz, a fashion merchandiser and new mother. 

“For such a progressive society, people only see breasts as a sexual organ and this perspective has to change as breastfeeding is perhaps one of the purest forms of love. And until this particular perspective doesn’t change I think it’s important to have a breastfeeding rooms in public places. And I do think that this is a welcome change and It’s highly appreciated and about time that this happened.” said Uma Sunder, a homemaker. 

“In olden times, a mother nursing her child was a natural action. No one looked or thought amiss of this. In fact no one would’ve spared her a second glance. But nowadays people’s way of thinking and attitude have changed. Now it is seen as “vulgar display of breasts” or “ indecent exposure” and what not. A breast is now considered as a sexual attraction not as the beautiful act of a nursing mother. Though women are now working in a mans world, I still feel a woman should be given the respect she deserves and not seen as a sexual object. Somehow modern and old fashioned ideas should be merged with regards to attitude towards women. Women from different parts of the country and abroad visit the Taj Mahal so this is definitely a welcome change.” said Margret Gomez, a teacher. 

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