For Abhilasha Arup Das Adhikari, it was just a regular shopping day at the mall when she went to South City, Kolkata with her newborn. Little did she know that the mall authorities would be extremely insensitive when it came to her breastfeeding her baby. First, there was no special zone for moms who are nursing their little ones and to add insult to injury, DasAdhikari was told to head to the toilet if she wanted to breastfeed. This is shameful and degrading as breastfeeding is a newborn's basic physiological need & the mall by denying a mom her basic responsibility and right to feed her child, effectively denied a newborn baby his/her right to food!
The South City Mall made things worse when Abhilasha wrote about her horrendous experience on Facebook. Instead of apologizing, they stated that she should have fed her kid at home as it is just another chore. Check out their full comment below.
A lot of moms have come out in support of Abhilasha and two of them our our very own Momstars. Satrupa B Kaur, in particular, tweeted to BabyChakra about this, which helped spread the word.
Rebecca Prakash, too, has put up a post on this issue and is encouraging fellow moms to help in #normalisingbreastfeeding.
BabyChakra has always stood for Breast Feeding & initiated #Breasfeedfriendly - a campaign to get corporate offices, public places, shopping malls etc to pledge to be breastfeeding friendly places. It is essential that we as a nation support moms who wish to breastfeed their child, ensure the child’s nutrition & health. This year, BabyChakra started the #BreastfeedingIndia Photostories initiative while in 2017, we held a Breast is Best event.
In most countries, breastfeeding in public is legal and widespread. In fact, in New Zealand, moms are encouraged to breastfeed their baby, and the ones who use feeding bottles are at times made to feel a bit uncomfortable. When it comes to the Philippines, employers have to give breaks to lactating employees to breastfeed. Hopefully, someday, moms in India too won't be shamed when they want to breastfeed their baby at a public space.