"it triggers too much shame and judgement"
Dia Mirza has opened up about the challenges that come with breastfeeding in public.
Mirza gave birth to her son Avyaan Azaad Rekhi on May 14, 2021.
Avyaan was born premature and had to stay in hospital after his birth. Now, he is home with Dia Mirza and her husband Vaibhav Rekhi.
Mirza has revealed she is constantly facing challenges while raising her newborn, particularly surrounding breastfeeding.
Speaking to Mid-Day, Dia Mirza revealed that she plans to create more awareness around breastfeeding due to her own first-hand experiences.
“I have become more acutely aware of the lack of safe spaces for new mothers, especially if they are socially and economically marginalised.
“Why have we never (highlighted) how hard it is for underserved mothers to feed their babies on construction sites, farms and roadside stalls without any privacy?”
Dia Mirza continued to talk about the stigma surrounding breastfeeding in India, compared to other parts of the world.
“In Belgium, breastfeeding in public is protected by law, but in India, we need to bring about a systematic shift in societal attitude.
“Feeding a child should be considered a natural act, but it triggers too much shame and judgement when done in public.”
World Breastfeeding Week takes place between August 1, 2021, and August 7, 2021.
During this time, Dia Mirza is keen to create awareness around the judgement surrounding breastfeeding.
She also wants to highlight the lack of support new mothers receive, particularly in rural parts of India.
Speaking of this, Mirza said:
“The World Health Organisation recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months as infants who are not breastfed are six to ten times more likely to die in the (early months).
“Rural mothers may not have this critical piece of information.
“It should worry us that India continues to have one of the highest rates of malnutrition and infant mortality.”
Dia Mirza welcomed her first child Avyaan into the world on May 14, 2021, by emergency C-section.
However, she did not announce her son’s birth to the public until July 14, 2021.
Mirza announced his arrival on Twitter and Instagram.
Sharing a picture of her newborn’s tiny hand, she said:
“To paraphrase Elizabeth Stone, ‘To have a child is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body’.
“These words perfectly exemplify Vaibhav and my feelings right now.
“Our heartbeat, our son Avyaan Azaad Rekhi was born on May 14th.”