World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated every year from August 1 to 7 across the globe and aims to raise awareness about breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is a natural process, however, society often shames women for being open about breastfeeding. Years of viewing breasts as sexualised objects and moral policing means that women who do not hide that they breastfeed like it’s a shameful secret are trolled.
The stigma surrounding breastfeeding has resulted in debates about whether women should breastfeed in public and the harassment of mothers who dared to breastfeed in public. Society deemed that it was unacceptable for women to share their experiences with breastfeeding.
These Indian celebrities decided enough was enough and normalised breastfeeding in public spaces.
Indian Celebrities Normalising Breastfeeding
Actor Evelyn Sharma is known for her role in films Yaariyan and Yeh Jaawani Hai Deewani. Earlier this year, she took to social media and shared a photo of herself breastfeeding her daughter. Sharma had previously shared a similar post about breastfeeding. While she was praised for being open about her experiences, other users decided to sexualise her and shame her instead.
Following the trolling, Sharma said, “Such images show vulnerability and strength at the same time. I find it beautiful. Breastfeeding is one of the most natural and healthy things to do.”
Actor Neha Dhupia normalised breastfeeding and created a parenting page on Instagram. After a user commented, “Can you post the breastfeeding video of yours?” on a post, Dhupia shared the comment. She said that the last thing mothers needed was to be “questioned, mocked and worst of all trolled.”
She shared a picture of herself breasting her daughter as well and spoke about how breastfeeding is often sexualised and implored people to normalise breastfeeding instead.
Last year on Breastfeeding week, Mira Kapoor took to social media and spoke about breastfeeding. She shared information about breastfeeding and advised mothers to take care of their health. Kapoor also advised women to not focus on losing weight and to wait until two months after giving birth before attempting to lose weight as calorie restrictions can affect milk supply.
After the actor Shikha Singh was trolled for sharing pictures of herself breastfeeding her baby, she said that she posted the pictures to “normalise breastfeeding”. She added that it was labelled as a nude photo and people began judging her.
Singh said in another social media post, “We live in a society where a mother catches less hell for giving her toddler a coke than she does for giving her toddler Breastmilk.”
Sameera Reddy took to social media and posted about her journey as a mother of two. She spoke about how even though breastfeeding was a natural process, it could be “very stressful”. Reddy also said that mothers take different paths when it comes to breastfeeding and said there should be no shame surrounding breastfeeding and the methods of breastfeeding.