‘There was no reading that I did’: Neha Dhupia on raising daughter Mehr and trusting her instincts

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On the occasion of National Safe Motherhood Day on April 11, actor Neha Dhupia was joined by Dr Sonal Saste, a paediatrician, on Freedom To Feed, her breastfeeding and parenting initiative, wherein they discussed many parenting fears and queries.

When asked what it is that parents need to know before taking their newborn to their first doctor’s appointment, Dr Saste said it is important for parents to “trust their instincts”. That since nowadays parents are bombarded with a lot of information — which may not be a bad thing — but they will ideally need to trust themselves, and do things per their instincts while raising their babies, while also leaning on others (doctors) for support.

Dhupia revealed during the Instagram live that Dr Saste also happens to be her daughter Mehr’s paediatrician. Mehr was born in 2018, to Dhupia and her husband Angad Bedi.

While the doctor said parents tend to “learn on their job” and “there’s no manual for it”, the actor said that when her daughter was born, she did not read up things on the internet. “I did not do that at all. There was no reading that I did. It makes me sound bad, but it was an intentional move. I just felt that if I am dealing with experts that one has faith in, then you just really need to depend on that one voice, apart from your mums, or family,” she said.

The two talked about everything — from establishing a routine to how much to feed a baby, and pacifying a crying infant.

“Refer to your paediatrician. Refer to your specialist. Refer to your own benchmarks that you have… All kids have a certain magic, they are all fighters, they are all survivors. The fact that we have all made it this far, is awesome,” Dhupia said.

She also added that while a parenting journey is unique for everyone, she shares the worries of other parents. “As soon as [my daughter] finishes her meal, I feel like doing this big victory thing and giving myself a medal… But everybody has these struggles, I would imagine.

“I try and engage her in a book or an activity, and then try and give her food. I look at alternative ways of feeding her greens. My mom told me if you are giving her dosas, make it colourful, like beetroot and spinach dosas and then make those star and teddy bear shapes… Just get your creative hat on.”

You can watch the full live here:

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