I have a suggestion. I apologise in advance if the topic offends anyone. I strongly feel that our Gurdwaras should have dedicated nursing rooms for breastfeeding mothers.
As a first time mom, nearly three years ago, I remember how difficult it was to plan a visit to the Gurdwara because I had to constantly worry about feed timings. And now it’s the same with my second son.
I believe that the Gurdwara Sahib should be a place where we can bring our families, no matter the age, with comfort and ease – without having to worry about where to feed the baby.
Yes, I can use a nursing cover and feed in the Darbar Sahib – but honestly, I’m worried about the reactions I’ll get. Plus it’s a mighty task to handle dupatta, infant and nursing cover at the same time! And not to mention, trying to look as composed as possible the whole while.
I understand that some Gurdwara Sahibs may have rooms that are otherwise used for other activities but if requested, can be used for breastfeeding. That’s great. But its not the best. Firstly, no mom likes to leave home uncertain about where she will feed her baby when it’s time. And secondly, she may not be able to find the right person to open the room door when the need arises. Also, the Gurdwara members themselves may have differing views as to whether a room can be used for such cases or not.
I’m in no way suggesting that it be a luxurious room (although it would be wonderful to have a baby care room with hot/cold water dispensers, a diaper changing station and a power outlet). But, for starters, just a small corner allocated to moms with curtains is enough.
I’m sure other moms out there have had difficulties breastfeeding their babies in Gurdwaras, too. Especially judging by the number of women that choose to breastfeed these days. So, I wanted to put forth this small request for all the moms out there who are like me.
Parveen Kaur is an an accountant by profession and a mother by heart. She lives in Singapore. The idea was initially shared in an online Singapore discussion group.