Updated: May 25, 2018
My little mop-head is a 18months old now. What. A. Journey.
Since having her, it’s opened a whole new world of conversations with other mums – experienced mums of 3, new mums, pregnant mums and more… a lot of them being Indian and I began to realise ‘ If I’ve been having the same conversation with all these mums, how many other Indian women out there feel the same?’
Our generation is a bit better about talking about things openly and part of my mission to making mums feel more confident in themselves with make-up is about opening up and talking about experiences. There are a LOAD of blogs and books out there, but I’m yet to come across one who delves into the life of an Indian mum.
Definition: Indian Mum: Just your ordinary mum, losing her shit whilst trying to roll a round roti.
Today let’s talk about Breastfeeding
Why is it every Indian aunty feels the need to ask you if you’re breastfeeding when you’re blatantly bottle feeding your baby…
My experience went something like this:
Aunty: “Apna dudh beta?” (your own dudh darling?) Me: “Nai aunty, bottle – I fed her my milk for three months but she never settled or poo’d”
- there’s me, trying to think of a reason on the spot to as to why I’m bottle feeding my 6 months old over breastfeeding feeling the need to compensate. I steered clear of going into how anxious and unsettled I was as the MOTHER from breastfeeding.
Now I totally get it – different generation, different experiences and the pressure they had on them would have been so different to ours now days but it was hard to resist the urge to ask them to sit down, eat their paneer sabji and pick someone else to judge today.
To Cover or Not to cover?
Let’s take it back to the 3 months I did breastfeed.
Looking back on it now, I probably could’ve relaxed more. I’d sit in the family room holding Reyaana like a football as she guzzled away, googling how to heal a sore vagina in need of ice-packs – stopping to think for a second if the phone radiations will impact my baby and then continuing on to scroll through my Insta at other mums of newborns who were out and about.
I made sure to feed her in the main living areas despite living in an Indian extended family with 3 generations in one house – because I’d rather others leave if they’re uncomfortable being in the presence of a baby being fed… *rolls eyes*.
I stuck by my mum and mother-in-laws rule of staying inside for 40 days, which was fine and then it was off to Dubai for a few weeks where the real fun began!
Now I’m ALL for breastfeeding in public – because in all honesty – It doesn’t seem much fun drinking cocktails with a sheet over my head or in a toilet – so it’s pretty unfair of me to expect Reyaana to have her meals covered up or in a toilet.
Breastfeeding was convenient in the sense that – all I needed to pack was nappies and a closet full of clothes for my reflux child…
(Her dad said she must’ve gotten that from me in my early twenties…. I pretended to ignore him and then she ‘accidentally’ refluxed on his crutch…. Again).
My only hesitation was being out and about in Dubai – being a more conservative society, I reached out to Natasha from NatsAndJun who is a Dubai based breastfeeding wear designer who actively encourages and promotes women feeling comfortable to breastfeed in public. And believe it or not, it was her attitude and my sisters encouragement to feed wherever I was – and I fed the shit out of Dubai and it felt amazing.
I was lucky enough to be gifted one of her stunning pieces – keep an eye out for my review up on our social media pages and YouTube coming soon (when I find a nice enough occasion to rock the frock!)
So my advice for Indian mums who may be surrounded by judgment, conservative opinions, comparisons or breast feeding anxiety – when you relax, overcome the fear of feeding in public, find a light weight feeding cape you’re comfortable with if you must, but feed your baby and keep living your life. If you switch to formula – it’s OKAY.
I’d love to hear your breastfeeding experiences. Did you break out in breastfeeding spots? I did! Did you get back ache from hunching over and feeding in the wee hours of the morning? Or perhaps you accidentally squirted your husband in the face with milk when he came to burb and change bubba – LOL I totally did.
Over and out… the Mumma still struggling to roll a round roti.