Ahmedabad: In a unique initiative in the country, a group of lactating mothers in Ahmedabad have started a movement for donating breast milk to help and save the lives of strangers' babies, who are not in good physical health. These babies are unable to feed with their biological mothers since their mothers are either sick or unable to provide the milk.
It started after a young mother, Rushina Doctor Marfatia (29), decided to donate breast milk after she realised that she was producing more milk than her boy could feed on. It was then that she decided to donate her breast milk to five premature babies who were battling for their lives in the ICU.
Since then, she has donated over 12 litres of milk, which has helped several pre-mature babies in the ICUs. She believes that the children are healthiest when breastfed for a long time. Rushina also urged other lactating mothers to come forward to help the needy babies get the right nutrition.
Inspired by 'supermom' Rushina, an organisation in Ahemdabad - Arpan Newborn Care Center - has started a bank for mother’s own milk (MOM) earlier this year.
Telling more about the initiative, senior neonatologist Dr Ashish Mehta of Arpan Newborn Care Center said, ''Rushina's deed is priceless. Her milk served as a panacea for these fragile babies weighing anywhere between 600 gm and 1.5 kg who are more prone to infections."
Due to her efforts, at least 250 other mothers have now become a part of the Arpan MOM bank. It has got nearly 90 litres of mother’s milk in donations which roughly translates to 600 milk feeds of 150 ml each.
Taking inspiration from Rushina, two more lactating mothers in Tamil Nadu started breast milk donation camps to help the lives of undernourished babies. It may be noted that lactating mothers in Norway and Finland donate their breast milk on a regular basis and the practice needs to be encouraged in India.