By Durga Chakravarty
Actor-model Lisa Haydon was harassed with abusive and sexually coloured comments for sharing a photograph of herself as she breastfed her son Zack last year. She says there were many times she faced "uncomfortable" questions and comments, but she still stands by the fact that it is healthy for mothers to breastfeed their babies.
New mothers across the globe have been shamed for breastfeeding their babies in public.
Lisa, who gave birth to Zack last year, told IANS, "I certainly felt uncomfortable at times when I was asked if I was still breastfeeding my baby and it had only been four months. Some people told me I am not a cow, my baby should not feed off me and there were many things that made me feel uncomfortable to do it, not so much ashamed.”
The Aisha and Queen actor said that for her, it was "not necessarily a responsibility or duty", but it's something that came naturally.
"I know that a lot of people struggle to breastfeed for various different reasons," she added.
Lisa (32) says she thought if she had the ability and the time where she didn't have to go to work immediately, she had a choice to stay home.
"I know that a lot of mothers don't, but I did. I felt very fortunate and blessed to be able to breastfeed my kid for as long as I did. I would definitely encourage every mother to do so and it is something I definitely stand by," she added.
Lisa says she couldn't breastfeed her baby for one year "but I would definitely always aspire to do the best that I can and I recommend other mothers to do so".
Describing it as an "incredibly bonding", Lisa also said "it is very healthy".
Asked what has changed for her on the professional front after becoming a mother, she said, "I had to learn how to pick and choose more than what I would usually do because I had the time to do it." So, she is juggling and picking the best of what is offered.
Now, she says, it's all about "giving 100% when you are at work, and then of course when you go home and you're being a mom, you really focus on being the best mother you possibly can."
Lisa was here as the showstopper for the label Mishru on the last day of Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2018.
On her showstopper garment, which was a silver innovative bridal lehenga with a touch of modernism and vintage feel, Lisa said she felt beautiful.
Asked what does she enjoy more -- walking the ramp or working in films, Lisa said, "The more films you work on, the more you get to walk the runway these days as showstoppers seem to be quite a craze. I always enjoyed my modelling days but it was a natural sort of evolution after about eight to ten years of walking the runway. To want to experiment, do films and making films is my passion."
(Durga Chakravarty is in Mumbai at the invitation of the Lakme Fashion Week organisers. She can be contacted at email@example.com)