When I had my first child, I thought maternity leave would be lovely bonding and lots of walks, snuggly outdoor time. But I spent most of my maternity leave topless, nursing and pumping. I wanted to breastfeed till my baby girl was a year old but by the time I went back to work (4 months later), my fatigue with juggling work life and being a new mum got the better of me. I struggled for the next two months, then decided to switch to full formula feeding when Emma* was 6 months old.

Before I went back to work, I hired a maid through a reputable maid agency and Ayla* was the helper that was recommended to me. She was young (aged 24), from Batam, and had left her 2-year-old son back home with her family to come to Singapore to earn money to build a bigger home for them.

Everyday from work, I would check the camera footage from my smartphone, at intervals, to monitor the activities at home. Mostly it showed Emma playing in her play-pen, and Ayla cleaning, or playing with her. Nothing out of the ordinary.

But one dreadful afternoon, I couldn’t believe what I saw while at my lunch break. Ayla was seen offering her left breast to my child! Emma could be seen sucking for a couple of seconds, then refusing to continue. After a few minutes, she shifts Emma to her right breast. My heart literally stopped for a bit- I was infuriated and disgusted by her actions. Throughout the episode, Emma was moving away, resisting her breasts.

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Article first appeared on The Asian Parent website.

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