Find Out How Jaipur Milk Bank Changed Lives Of Two Infants Through Donated Breast-Milk
- IWB Post
- August 5, 2015
Hello ladies! Hope you’re following our Masters in Breastfeeding Administration campaign through which we here at JWB are cherishing International Breastfeeding Week!
In the past few days, we have talked about breastfeeding management and a lactating mother who is donating her breast milk, but today, we are attempting to bring to the table, the other side: the recipients.
During one of my visits to the Jeevandhara wing at Rajya Mahila Chikitsalya, I had the good fortune to meet a baby who had come into the world just 4 hours back! Seeing such a small baby in front of your eyes, I think, automatically evokes a sensation of love in your heart and also elicits the reaction “Awww!”
While I was busy adoring this baby from a distance, his grandmother Shanti asked the counselor to give the baby ‘first feed’ as prescribed by the doctor.
Now this was news to me! My curiosity was at work yet again and I went and asked Mamta Mahawar, the counselor, where the mother of the child was. She replied, “The baby was born this morning through a c-section. The mother is still unconscious and not in a state to feed the child. After examining the baby, the doctor has recommended to give it the ‘first feed’ from our stock of breastmilk. You can watch while I make the baby drink milk…”
And of course I was more than happy to observe. This was the breastmilk of some other lactating woman which became the first drops of wellness for this infant right here.
Did you see what happened here, Priya? I thought to myself. And my hidden intelligence answered right away. This new-born received his first intake from a woman he absolutely does not know about. When he grows up and he would be told about this, how happy and grateful he would be hearing that because of some random woman’s noble act of donating breastmilk, he is a healthy and fit person.
I discussed my thoughts with my favorite counselor Rajbala, and she couldn’t agree more! She said that this feeling of gratitude also motivates certain women to donate milk.
She also told me that these women are issued a card just like blood donators are issued certificates. The importance of this card is that if the donating woman ever brings any of her relatives who are in need of breastmilk, they will give them a preference and supply milk to them.
After leaving this room, counselor Rajbala took me to a ward where I met another recipient of breastmilk. The mother of this baby was not able to feed her child as she experienced some pain in her breasts. So, the baby was given ‘first feed’ at Jeevandhara. Gradually, through massage and assistance from the counselor, the mother started feeding the baby by her own.
I sat next to Laxmi Swami, the grandmother of the child, and chatted with her.
How did you feel when your daughter-in-law couldn’t feed the baby?
Bohot dukh hua. Vo bhi dard me thi and bachcha bhi bhookha tha. Phir yahan logo ne madad ki. Ab toh ache se doodh pila pa rahi hai bachche ko.
(I felt very sad. My grandson was hungry and even she was in pain. Then the people here helped us. Now my daughter-in-law is able to feed the child properly.)
Your grandson had to drink the breastmilk of some other woman. Did this bother you?
No. Why would it bother me? Mere pote ko aahaar sahi samay pe mil gaya, isse achi aur kya baat hogi! Bhala ho us aurat ka! (My grandson received nutrition at the right time. What could be better than this! God bless that woman!)
The happiness and confidence, with which she answered, made me want to high-five this granny sitting in front of me. I’d attained a new perspective of looking at “donation of breastmilk” wherein the family members, especially, the mother-in-law, were in favor of the cause. After all, a woman understands the plight of another woman!
I left the place, but the image of those tiny fingers, that red tomato-like face, the ultra fragile skin, did not leave me.
Picture Courtesy: Shashank K Tyagi