SHOCKER: See Woman Who Breast Feeds 26 Babies

Khanyi Nzama
Photo: CMT
Khanyi Nzama’s baby is no longer bre@stfeeding so Khanyi directs her efforts at persuading other mothers to donate their milk.

Khanyi Nzama estimates that, for an hour a day last year, she was bre@stfeeding 26 babies. Every day, she expressed 260mls of bre@st milk into a bottle and delivered it to the local Human Milk Bank.

“I went to the hospital and I saw how some of these sick babies took 10mls in two hours. So I was not only feeding my own baby, I was also helping to feed another 26 children.”

Khanyi’s baby, Fezile, is now three and no longer bre@stfeeding so Khanyi directs her efforts at persuading other mothers to donate their milk.

Khanyi, 32, lives in Marianhill outside Durban, in a poor community. A quietly spoken mother of two, she is motivated by a desire to help others. “Most of the mothers are unemployed and live on social grants.

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Many are very young and are single parents. Some say they are starving and can’t feed. The kids look malnourished.”

When Fezile was born, the nurses encouraged Khanyi to bre@stfeed. This went against tradition in her community where bre@stfeeding is often stigmatised because it is associated with poverty.

“In our culture,” she says, “You don’t bre@stfeed because you say your husband can afford formula. Or because your mother or mother-in-law wants to feed your baby other things.”

She encountered hostility when she insisted on bre@stfeeding Fezile after rearing her first-born on formula: “I saw how healthy and pretty my baby looked,” says Khanyi, “So I wanted to continue. But they were cross: my mother-in-law used to say: ‘This makoti (daughter-in-law) is so rude. She is not listening to me.’ My mother-in-law wanted to feed the baby tea and water and porridge.

“My mother said: ‘We raised you on formula milk.’ So everybody was against me.”

But Khanyi persisted, exclusively bre@stfeeding her daughter for six months and then combining bre@stfeeding with solids until Fezile was two years and two months old.

While giving birth in hospital, she had heard about the donor bre@st milk programme and, troubled by the suffering around her, she decided to sign up for it. “I had heard about how bre@st milk provided so many nutrients as well as the baby’s first immunization and I realized that I could give it not only to my own baby but also to babies whose mothers are sick. Other people come with toys but if I come with bre@st milk, I am giving them so much more.

“At first I could give only 130mls a day but the more you bre@stfeed, the more milk you produce and later I was giving 260mls a day.

“I see these sick children lying there and I think: this is the future generation and we mothers can save them.

“I want to encourage all mothers to bre@stfeed and to donate milk.”

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