The Joys of Breastfeeding my Daughter

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On the occasion of breastfeeding week, Shweta shares her experience and tells us the joys of feeding a baby. A Different Truths exclusive.

I last breastfed my daughter some 15 years back. I breastfed her for two-and-a-half- year. Surprised? I couldn’t wean her out. Didn’t have the heart to. She was kind of addicted. Her comfort food, it was. Her only food, the reason being she was primarily on and only on my milk for more than seven months.

It is true that the more you breastfeed the more you will lactate.

Let me share some precious and beautiful memories with you all.

The first time I held my baby on to my breast and the hungry mouth suckled away greedily gave me the satisfaction that nothing can give, compare and describe, the fulfilment, the joy I never knew is now forever mine. I am sure you all (reading it) will agree.

I became a mother much before those nine months. I became a mother as I held the piece of paper confirming my pregnancy.

But with my baby in my arms, eyes tightly shut, little fingers curled up in fists, legs up in the air, and feeding on me, gave me the status of a nurturer. There…I was with my creation, from my own flesh and blood. A part of me. My very own.

I promised her ‘myself’, above everything. It was the beginning of a bond that will end with me. The umbilical cord is the only cord which is ‘cut’ to ‘bond’.

A mother feeding her baby makes one of the most loving and precious sight and it does not restrict itself to humans. Take any mammal, it arouses in you the same feeling of tenderness. Purest form of love and giving.

I may have compromised on my figure, (I am not bothered) I may have had my share of anxieties, when। couldn’t wean her out ‘on time’ as advised by my friends and doctor, I may have been the butt of many jokes, (with me  excusing myself every now and then to the privacy of feeding my baby, by my more conscious, knowledgeable and shy (read ashamed of) friends. But, what I was rewarded with was, a healthy and a happy baby. Always. 

The inconveniences of boiling the bottles, sterilising those, while a baby wailed in my arms was not/never me, comes a close second. I did not complain. I did, almost wilt under the pressure, I must admit, but her dependency always defeated me. I am thankful that I was defeated…as a mother. While mine was an exception, (not for me, as I have seen many), there are young and new mothers, who choose not to suckle their babies. That is saddening.

I fail to understand why should feeding your baby…breastfeeding to be specific, be advertised? Why?

As an expecting mother one reads various books on parenting, why? Don’t they emphasis on the value and the nutritional facts it holds for the new born? ‌Say about 20 years back, I do not remember hearing about celebrating a ‘breastfeeding week’, I even asked my mother. She was surprised too.

‌How can a mother nursing her baby be a sight to be ashamed of? ‌How can a mother feeding her baby in public, in absence of a nursing cabin, be labelled as uncouth? ‌How can a male derive visual pleasure (read sexual) from this sight?

How can you deny your baby that which is rightfully her/his? Isn’t for him/her that you are lactating? ‌Sorry, I fail to understand. It is disgusting.

‌So, while driving I kept listening to this advertisement, on radio, encouraging women to breast feed their babies and its benefits.

I am sorry to say that women in villages are more conscious and aware than their educated, modern metro and city bred sisters when it comes to this. I have seen women feeding their babies while making rotis, tending in the fields!! Well… we are blessed to have our space and privacy. What stops us then?

‌It is sad if a country has to promote the birth of a girl child and then to promote breastfeeding. What’s next??

I fully sympathise with those mothers, who couldn’t with the best intentions, feed their babies due to various medical reason. One primarily, I get to hear from my doctor friends, is the medications given to the mother before or after the delivery. The case is particularly high with those who have had caesarean section.

The idea of this write up is not to dwell upon the inability to breastfeed, but to choose whether or not to.

Go, experience the joy of feeding your baby – it’s the best and the closest experience of being a mother after creating and nurturing one inside you.

Take pride in it, as you take in being a Mom. Motherhood is incomplete if you choose not to breastfeed your baby.

 

©Shweta Dasgupta (Ghosh)

Photos from the Internet

#BreastfeedingWeek #Breastfeeding #IssueOfBreast  #MotherAndChild #BondingExperience #DifferentTruths

Shweta Dasgupta (Ghosh)  is a freelance writer and has contributed to many leading national dailies. As a poet and short story writer, her stories have been featured in quite a few magazines and dailies. From making documentaries to working as a compere for AIR Patna, she has done it all. With 21 New Beginning, she became a published author. Writing is her passion, her oxygen. Priority wise she is a mother, a daughter and a homemaker, by choice. She is based at Calcutta, where she lives with her teenage daughter, her mother and her four legged son Joe.