Monday 24 August 2015

‘I wish I could give breast milk to all the babies who need it”

Donor mom, Lungile Kubheka
Photo: Wendy Khumalo
August 7

Madadeni: Eighteen-year-old Lungile Kubheka’s daughter was born at only 30 weeks but the upside of this, she says, was that it gave her the opportunity to help other needy babies.
Lungile’s baby has been in the Intensive Care Unit at Newcastle Hospital since she was born two weeks ago. “I thank God because if she wasn’t premature, I wouldn’t have been stuck in the hospital and had the chance to donate my breast milk.” Lungile, who comes from a farm in Manzama, KwaZulu Natal, finished matric last year. After giving birth, she was told about the Human Milk Bank at the hospital. She jumped at the chance to donate. “I wanted to help babies that don’t have mothers and the kids whose mothers don’t have milk.” Lungile explains the process: “They tested me for HIV and then they gave me a donor number. I wash my hands and I take the cup and express my milk into it. Then I close the cup and I write my name and my donor number on some tape and put it on the cup. Then I put the cup in the fridge.”
Even though her baby is tiny, “she is doing fine”.
“Every hour and thirty minutes I go and see her. I feed her my expressed milk with a tube. I know how good breast milk so that is why I want every baby to have it.
“The good thing is that the more milk you express, the more you produce. So you don’t have to worry about whether your baby won’t get enough.
“I wish I could give breast milk to all babies who need it.”