Dia Mirza, who became a mother recently, opened up about the challenges of breastfeeding in public. The actor noted that there is a ‘lack of safe spaces’ for new mothers to breastfeed their children, and added that public feeding ‘triggers shame and judgment.’
The actor and her husband Vaibhav Rekhi welcomed their first child, a baby boy they named Avyaan, in May. Dia Mirza revealed that he was born prematurely ‘via an emergency C-section.’
Speaking with Mid-Day, on the occasion of World Breastfeeding Week, Dia said, “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?”
”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 so much shame and judgment when done in public,” she added. Dia also noted that the World Health Organisation advises breastfeeding infants only for the first six months. Those not breastfed are ‘six to 10 times more likely to die in the [early months].’ “It should worry us that India continues to have one of the highest rates of malnutrition and infant mortality,” she added.
In July, Dia revealed that she and Vaibhav had become parents. Taking to Instagram, Dia shared a picture of the baby’s hand and wrote, “A sudden appendectomy during my pregnancy and a subsequent and very severe bacterial infection could have led to sepsis and proven to be life threatening. Thankfully, the timely care and intervention by our doctor ensured the safe birth of our baby via an emergency C-section.”