Neha Dhupia has reflected on the breastfeeding campaign, which is celebrated across the world between August 1-August 7 every year. The actress has said that while the discourse on breastfeeding has gained momentum, there’s still a long way to go.
For those unaware, Neha Dhupia started a conversation about normalising breastfeeding in 2019, when her daughter was 10 months old. She then formed a community for new mums on Instagram called Freedom to Feed, wherein she talks about the importance of normalisation of breastfeeding and why we still need to talk about it. ALSO READ | World Breastfeeding Week 2022: Neha Dhupia Felt Humiliated When A Big Mall Kept Sofa In Ladies' Toilet To Breastfeed A Baby: ‘Are You Giving Toilet Space To Moms’-EXCLUSIVE
A recent Hindustan Times report quoted her saying, “It takes one voice to spark a chatter. Conversations around breastfeeding are so necessary. One of the reasons why I started it was because this is an isolated experience that one has only when you do. Sexualisation around breastfeeding needs to stop and it will change only if we have conversations about it. I have come across so many women who have said the same thing in their own words. I felt I can’t be cancelling my life because I am a mum or I have decided to breastfeed my child and so I can’t go back to work. I want to do it all. I want to live in a society that’s accepting of me with in whichever shape and form of being a new mum. And if I am an essential food source to my child, why does it still come as a stigma? I remember when I had to feed my daughter in a plush mall, I was asked to go to the bathroom to feed her. So that needs to change.”
She recalled her contemporaries asking her why does she have this community. However, she said, “Once they become mums, they really love the community”.
She added, “We have had support from so many new mums, including Kajal Aggarwal, Faye D’Souza, Soha Ali Khan, Kalki, Surveen Chawla, Gabriella Demetriades, even internationally like Freida Pinto. Moreover. I feel this is probably, one of the places where I feel women in rural India are far more empowered than women who have a lot more options or facilities. Women working in a tea plantation or a construction site or out working or even housewife feels free to feed in say a gathering. They are empowered.”
Neha Dhupia expressed her delight about the community’s efforts for parents and the growth, she insists much more can be done to create awareness about breastfeeding. She said, “Now, we even have experts to help with conversations and queries with chats around lactation and weaning, child health care including dental, nutrition, sleep, well-being and even co-parenting. During the pandemic, I did a number of live chats and we spoke about many topics including something as simple as screen time. For the community, no question is too small.”
Image Source: Instagram