- Tell us about yourself Kirthigadevi.
I hail from a small town in the southern part of Tamil Nadu. I have a Masters degree in Engineering and while I was offered an amazing opportunity in my dream project in embedded system technologies, I chose to be a stay-at-home-mom (SAHM) to my two beautiful daughters, aged 2.8 years and 7 months. A decision that was easy to make, and certainly one that I do not regret. I love being around them. There is no time to miss anything else.
- How long have you been nursing your child(ren)?
I nursed my first daughter till she was 20 months old. I got to know I was pregnant with my 2nd child when she was 16 months. Although, I did read that it was alright to nurse even when pregnant, due to certain complications in my pregnancy, I was advised to wean her. It was a slow process because I did not want it to have an adverse effect on her or her psychology. After all she was too small to understand the situation. She was gently weaned through 4 months. Currently, I am nursing my second baby.
- Do you breastfeed your second child in front of your older daughter? How does she take to it?
Yes, of course! Breastfeeding is natural, why should I hide it from her. Initially she wanted to be fed too and I was ready to tandem feed. But I guess somewhere she thought it was the little one’s food and hence would just act as though she was nursing but did not take to it. In fact, now when she hears the little one crying she forces me to nurse her. I love seeing them like this. It is so beautiful.
- Have you ever had to face pressure from family members to wean any of your children?
It is sad to see how there is a lot of wrong information out there because of which a lot of new mothers are forced to wean very early or choose formula. I wish things change for the better. I think I am very lucky. I have been blessed with a very understanding family. I am not even considering weaning my daughter soon. I still feel bad for weaning my older daughter quite early and I want to let my second one decide and choose when to wean. Nothing can replace the comfort the mother and child feels when breastfeeding.
- Tell us about your experience of nursing in public (NIP).
Honestly, I was a little awkward in the beginning and the stares would make me feel uncomfortable. My mom is my pillar of support. She kept telling me that it is normal and I should not let what others think affect me. What matters is the baby and its needs. And I realised, it’s common in our society. From then it has been a breeze. I have nursed in public with confidence – cars, temples, marriage halls, malls, hospitals, hotels – everywhere.
Thank you for taking out time to share with us your beautiful breastfeeding journey. We would like to wish you a wonderful journey ahead. Anything else that you would like to add?
I would tell every new mother to nurse in public with confidence. We need to normalise it. We need to change how people think of and look at breastfeeding mothers.