Mother’s Day special! Amrita Rao: I am disappointed to know that breastfeeding is still taboo | Hindi Movie News

Amrita Rao and husband RJ Anmol welcomed baby boy, Veer, in November last year. This is the actress’s first Mother’s Day as a mother and to mark the occasion, she spoke to ETimes exclusively. During the course of the interview, she opened up about embracing motherhood, how has life taken a complete 360-degree turn post childbirth, and the need to normalise breastfeeding. Excerpts:

It’s your first Mother’s Day as a mother…

It feels really special. I remember how, during last Mother’s Day, the whole family was wishing me and I had my tummy right out there. But it’s really special, now that he is in my arms, it can’t be better.

Veer is now six months old. How has your journey as a mother been so far?

Things have taken a 360-degree turn. We decided to be hands-on parents to him, so we cut out the entourage of nannies and caretakers. Initially, I had never thought of being a hands-on mom but when you really get down to things, you realise what a mother can do. The way she takes care, no one else will; nobody can replace a mother. The minute you see the baby, so many things change. You are ready to feed the baby, come what may, night and day. You might be surprised by yourself.


You have started doing yoga recently. How did you manage to shed the pregnancy weight and get back in shape?

I did put on weight and with the metabolism that I have, it did not shock me. When I looked in the mirror, it was a new Amrita staring back, but of course, in a nice way. There are a lot of adjustments that happen in the body; you have cramps in your lower back and cervical area, your arms hurt with the posture you hold your baby in, your spine hurts while bending. Hence doing yoga was fantastic; it helped stretch away all the cramps. Within just three days, I could see the difference in my body. I thought the pain is going to be with me forever, but now it’s gone.

How have you and Anmol distributed mommy-daddy duties amongst yourself and how does a typical day in your household looks like now?

Since I am feeding the baby, I am awake most nights; I have to feed every 2-3 hours. Then Anmol takes over for a little bit. Every day is a new day, so we try to match our schedules. I try taking a power nap because I have been up most of the night. At that time, he takes care of the baby, gives him a bath and breakfast; Veer is being introduced to some solid food now.

Then I wake up and take over; it’s pretty much like a 50-50 thing. I guess, now that we have stepped into these shoes, I realise that it’s important for a father also to be equally involved. It’s not just the mom’s responsibility.

We saw Anmol’s post of you feeding your baby. How important do you think it is to normalise breastfeeding, which is surprisingly still considered taboo?

I am disappointed to know that breastfeeding is still taboo. But there are many Indias within India. Fortunately, the family that I come from are all very normal about it. We think breastfeeding is the most normal thing. In fact, my in-laws, especially my mother-in-law gets all the credit because she insists I don’t go to the other room to feed my child and instead feel comfortable in the same space as everyone else. This is commendable; if they have had an issue, I would have to go to the other room to feed the baby. I am so glad that Anmol posted that picture. It was not intentional; he just wanted to share a moment from our lives with people who follow us. It will be great if we can normalise it.

Has the lockdown helped by helping you have more time to spend with Veer since none of you are going out for work right now?

Absolutely! It has been more than a year actually. All throughout my pregnancy, I had my husband with me. And now also, after you give birth to a child, a woman really needs her husband more than anything else. I can’t imagine what I would have done if Anmol was not around. Then maybe we would have had a family member pitch in and also would have to hire a helping hand. But I really give credit to Anmol because he tells me, ‘Let’s make the most of this situation. It’s such a special boon in disguise that we have got’. So, he is very happy to bathe Veer, massage him if I am not there, and also play with him.

Given the paparazzi culture, do you plan to keep Veer away from the public eye once things open up again and you step out with him?

Well, we have to strike a balance there just like everything else in life. For me, ensuring Veer’s privacy is important, but at the same time, there are so many expectations to be met with, especially of fans and friends from the media, whom we can’t just cut off; they are family. So, we have to strike a balance and Anmol also believes that. We’ll take our time to decide when we want to reveal Veer to the world. That way, perhaps, we can strike a balance.

When do you plan to get back to work?

I did get a lot of offers for the OTT platform after August last year when things opened up and everybody was in the work mode again. Boney Kapoor ji also called me. But I couldn’t share the news of my pregnancy with him back then because we had kept it really private. But the pandemic really helped me; I told him that my family doesn’t think it’s safe for me to travel right now, but I was actually in the 7th month of my pregnancy. I couldn’t have done that series as there was travelling involved. Even now, offers are coming in and things are happening; I have read some scripts and ticked those that seem interesting. Things will happen very soon. This pandemic shook all of us again but I am hoping that by July-August we can start something.

Any tips for the new moms or expecting mothers?

I would recommend yoga to all mothers. Also, if you can afford to take time off work, which is a luxury, avoid the top feed and breastfeed the baby as much as you can because mother’s milk is the best nutrition for the baby. It really protects your baby a lot.

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