Yahoo! News China has this photo of a police officer in an emergency shelter breastfeeding an orphaned baby. Heartbreaking, but somehow hopeful as well. So many babies must have no one there at all; this baby is lucky, in one tiny way, at least for this captured moment.
The Google-translated text reads:
Naima disaster areas orphans of police May 16, Sichuan Jiangyou County Public Security Bureau police Jiang Xiaojuan women in shelters for the earthquake victims in an earthquake orphans breastfeeding. Jiang Xiaojuan obligations for some much-needed nursing earthquake orphans breastfeeding, but “Henxin” themselves before 6 months, breast-feeding children also need to parental care.
If anyone can manage a better translation of the text here at Yahoo! China, I’d appreciate it.
If you’re offering donations to rescue services in China and Burma, please consider taking a moment to find out whether your money will be going toward organisations that indiscriminately provide artificial baby milk instead of facilitating lactation, relactation, milk donation, and wet-nursing.
Artificial feeding is particularly dangerous in emergency situations where clean water and washing facilities are not available, and where bottles are provided rather than clean cups (with accompanying training). The provision of infant formula in disasters as a routine, without lactation support services, undermines both maternal breastfeeding and wet-nursing, which are much safer for infants. Artificially fed babies in disaster situations are at risk of serious bacterial infections and outbreaks of dysentery; and mothers’ milk supply, unprotected, dwindles, leaving families dependent on expensive and less-safe breastmilk substitutes.
Often donations of artificial milk are in the form of expired or near-expired milk, without instructions in the local language and without training in safely mixing and administering it.
Edited to add another photo from the Straits Times:
Edited 21 May 2008 to add a link to video footage from SBS World News. This hero is briefly interviewed from around three-quarters of the way through.
[link via Parent-L]