We were watching Discovery Channel the other day and there was this story about off springs needing a mother to survive particularly newborns. Out of the blues came the story of a baby cow which had lost its mother three days after it was born and therefore was bereft of breast milk from her mother. As the pictures rolled by, a woman who definitely must have a baby she was nursing decided to offer milk from her flowing breast to this baby calf. Before you say how sweet, hear me out. At first it was her fingers i saw caressing the mouth of the baby cow, the next thing i knew was that the her nipples were surrounded by the mouth of the baby cow. Link to original video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGoEuGKqfN8
irk…disgusted I opened my mouth in shock. But alas it was not a mistake; this woman intentionally gave her breast to the cow. Her explanation for this action was that the baby cow needed a mother to breastfeed her and she was willing to do it. In the Indian culture where this woman was from, cows were sacred. She believed that helping to nurse this calf with her human milk will earn her a reward from the gods. Yes the baby cow owed her survival to this generous human mother and it is an emotionally moving act but seriously i do not subscribe to the method of allowing a cow to suck directly from her breast for a number of reasons. What if the cow bites off her nipple or breast? Another concern is the issue of hygiene; this woman from that Indian village is also feeding her own baby with the same breast! Infection and diseases can set in for both mother and baby. Heaven forbid an occurrence of mad cow disease!
A few lessons to take away from this story:
Breastfeeding is very important to the survival of babies. Newborns whose mother’s die at birth can be breastfed by surrogate mothers instead of just giving them Formula Food.
In the period of breastfeeding, hygiene is very important. A nursing mother must endeavor to maintain cleanliness at all times. Health workers at antenatal sessions have advised mothers to bath at least twice a day and wash up the nipple area before breastfeeding their baby. This is intended to get rid of sweat and dirt that might have accumulated in the course of carrying out other activities.
While looking for a photo on-line that best portrays this post i was shocked by the number of images of other women who had at one time breastfed animals. I don’t understand it at all. I mean what is the catch?! If you must help an animal with your human milk, please use a breast pump to express your breast milk and then give the “baby animal”. And if it is a village where a breast pump is not available such women should be advised to use their hands to express their breast milk into a cup or bowl. This is definitely more healthy and safer!
Photo Credit: www.pinterest.com Feeding a Cow: Breast Feeding, Breastf Animal, Indiana Che, Funny Pictures. ( Thanks for sharing this photo)