Try Asking Your Mother-in-law for Breast Milk Supplements

Published On  July 11, 2016 By

Keen keen keen keen. Why’s the microwave beeping so many times? Have you left something inside it? Keen keen keen keen keen. Open the door. Keen keen. You half open your eyes, grab your alarm and put it on snooze. Ten more minutes.

But the fact is that you don’t have enough time. So you drag yourself out of bed, stumble over your left foot into the bathroom. As the shower hits you, a thin, reedy cry sounds from just outside. Oops. It’s feeding time.

You hurry out, feed him, get dressed and run into the kitchen for breakfast. Your mother-in-law is washing idols in the pooja room and says nothing, but you can sense her disapproving gaze on you while you inhale your cornflakes. A new mother’s place is beside her baby, no matter if your maternity leave is over. Quit your job, stay at home, make sure he gets all the nutrients he needs. He has to grow up to be a tall man like her own son. Why should he be fed Cerelac or Farex? Your breasts exist for his use.

Census data confirms that, over the last decade, the participation of women in the work force declined dramatically. “Latest government statistics suggest that women’s labor participation rate fell from 29.4 percent in 2004-2005 to 22.5 percent in 2011-2012,” says the Asia Foundation. Could breastfeeding have something to do with that? Propaganda around keeping women at home is like a vacuum cleaner – it draws as many reasons as it can into its dirty fold. Consumer Voice’s study titled ‘Infant Formulas: Weaning Babies’ lists the number of health problems that the baby is at a higher risk of developing – middle ear infections, eczema, gastrointestinal infections lower respiratory tract diseases, asthma, type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, childhood leukemia and sudden infant death syndrome. Ouch. No mother wants to put her child through that.

Besides, Jennifer Grayson’s ‘10 Things I Wish I Had Known About Breastfeeding Before I Became A Mom’ lists several benefits of breast milk, most of which are generally embedded into traditional arguments about why breast milk is so important for kids:

  1. Breast milk is not a food, it’s an extremely powerful human tissue—an elixir of complex nutrients, hormones, bioactive molecules, ancient microorganisms, and thousands of other barely understood (or yet to be discovered) compounds. By contrast, commercial infant formulas contain about nine components.
  2. Human milk is still a mystery.
    The entire human genome was sequenced more than 10 years ago, yet we still don’t have a comprehensive library of what’s in breast milk. Recently, a group of researchers used a new type of molecular analysis to examine just one human milk component, proteins, and discovered more than 1,600 distinct types!
  3. The breast isn’t a sexual organ.
    I was surprised to learn the breast isn’t a sexual organ; it’s not directly involved in reproduction (sperm or eggs). It’s not even a secondary sexual organ, like the penis or vagina. Mammary glands are classified as a secondary sex characteristic—their biological purpose is to differentiate males from females and to signal sexual maturity to a potential reproductive partner.
  4. Throughout history, human beings could remember being breastfed.
    …anthropological evidence indicates the biological weaning age for children was probably 2½ to 7 years of age…That length of time is still commonplace in many parts of the world. It raises the questions, are human beings supposed to have memories of breastfeeding? If they don’t, does this affect their emotional development?

Although Jennifer weighs in from an American perspective, which Indian mom hasn’t heard these arguments before? Nursing helps with bowel movements, nursing makes antibodies, not nursing enough will stunt the baby’s growth. Make babies, stay at home to feed them, then stay till they’re old enough to go to school, then make time to help them with homework, pack their dabbas, go for parent-teacher meetings. Give moms-in-law more chances to stare you down, to complain about how you don’t wipe the kitchen counter as well as she does, how her own mother-in-law worked her so much harder than she does you. Where does it end?

It’s sad that breastfeeding has become part of the propaganda to subjugate women because it really does have all those benefits that Jennifer talks about. But while you can’t do anything about what other people say you’re your duties to your kid are, there’s always a way to make sure he’s healthy, even when your life’s mission doesn’t stop at nursing. Continue feeding him while you’re at home, and select supplements that have been proven safe. Based on the comparative tests that Consumer Voice’s study produced, not all baby foods performed badly. Farex, Dexolac, Zerolac and Easum are considered reasonably safe, while Cerelac tops its list. And you always have the option of homemade baby foods like ragi porridge, wheat cereal and oats. Your MIL is sure to know more, so don’t let her slack off. After all, you do need to give her enough work to justify all those complaints about you.

This article was referred from these websites

1. http://consumeraffairs.nic.in/consumer/writereaddata/baby%20food-12.pdf
2. http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-25759/10-things-i-wish-i-had-known-about-breastfeeding-before-i-became-a-mom.html
3. http://asiafoundation.org/2016/03/09/where-are-indias-working-women/