Just as the hedonism of singledom was measured by serial dating and your ability to play the field, the benchmark of motherhood seems to be: How much milk can your breasts produce?
By the time you are barely done gloating over your newly acquired we-don’t-need-no-underwire boobs, there is a whole big lactation war out there waiting to be fought and won. It is an area where advice will come gushing even if sometimes, the milk
Lactation is big business. So are lactation laddoos, special barfis doused in ghee, and dairy-rich food to make you sick. I later found out that all you need is a wholesome diet, and perhaps just enough fluid to quench your thirst – whether it’s juices, soups, water-rich fruit, or herbal teas. It’s quite simple really. The more you feed, the more you make.
But, like many other women, I too was struck by the Methi Police.
It started with an aunt whose daughter had given birth just a few months earlier and she was the current custodian of all things lactation in the family.
‘Ask her to have methi dosas and methi sabzi everyday. Also methi in her dal, soup, maybe salad too.’ She told my mother. My mother told me. I barked.
‘But I am producing enough for the baby, thank you!’
‘What’s the harm with more milk?’
My mother was clearly on a methi mission for the next few days. A suspicious bottle of fenugreek tablets made its appearance. Soon followed methi laddoos, methi parathas, methi dosas, methi kadhi, methi paneer and what have you.
And before I was fenugreeked out of my bones, a screech of caution from a friend arrived. ‘Stop this methi bullshit, else your perspiration and breath will smell of methi and that’s the end of your sex life!’
All methi went out of the window, even though the sex life was nowhere back in sight.
(An excerpt from my book, I’m Pregnant, Not Terminally Ill, You Idiot! Read more about it here.)