About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us

Some South Indian Mothers Ignore ‘only Breast Milk’ Advice, Feed Donkey’s Milk

by Gopalan on May 6, 2008 at 2:16 PM
Font : A-A+

Some South Indian Mothers Ignore ‘only Breast Milk’ Advice, Feed Donkey’s Milk

Some south Indian mothers ignore 'only breast milk' advice and feed their newborns donkey's milk.

For instance, at a hospital in Chennai, capital of Tamil Nadu, an 80-year-old grandmother was seen feeding a newborn some liquid she had brought with her.


"This is donkey's milk. You will grow up and have a great voice," she declared triumphantly later, reports Pushpa Narayan in Times of India.

She explained how everyone in the family had a loud voice because of the donkey milk they were given immediately after they were born.

Posters displayed by the hospital authorities advising nursing mothers on exclusive breastfeeding of infants made no sense to her. She said: "It's a bit salty, but does immense good. It's a remedy for cough, liver complaints and exhaustion."

Doctors and nurses frequently warn nursing mothers not to feed the infants anything other than the mother's milk, but the 'grandma's recipe' continues to pose the threat of neo-natal infections in government maternity hospitals and also increase the chances of infants being susceptible to infection.

Paediatricians said donkey milk was not poisonous, but chances of the baby's getting infections through such feeding were high.

Statistics show that 26 million babies are born in the country every year. At least 1.2 million die in the first month and another 1.6 million in the first year, the most common cause being infection. In Tamil Nadu, at least 40,000 infants die within the first one year.

"We teach women good feeding practices during pregnancy. The lactose- based breast milk is a balance of protein, fat, carbohydrate and minerals. When infants are fed with other food, the intake of colostrum (the early milk in mothers' breasts, also called immune milk) goes down," says hospital superintendent Dr N Saraswathy.

"The mother is also taught how to hold and feed the baby before the woman is shifted to her ward. But myths are so strong that we are often unable to convince the mothers about the benefits of mother's milk," she added.

Donkey milk is not the only thing given to infants. Some mothers give their newborns neem oil, some others honey. Saheera Banoo, a mother complained that the hospital authorities don't allow her to give her honey and spices.

The scene in Royapuram hospital is no different. "Until some years ago, we had several donkeys just behind the hospital. The donkey owners had been making a killing," a ward nurse said.

Source: Medindia

News A-Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Health Benefits of Sea Buckthorn
Contraceptive Pills in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) Curtail Type 2 Diabetes Risk
Mushroom May Help Cut Down the Odds of Developing Depression
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Pasteurization of milk Mastitis Types of Milk Why Do We Eat - Nutrition Facts Diet Lifestyle and Heart Disease Breasts - Structures and Types Breast Lumps Breast Lumps-Screening The Magic Feeling of Being A Mother Breast Enhancement Oil 

Recommended Reading
Breast Feeding - Animation
Interactive section of Medindia gives simple tips for Breast Feeding...
Ideal Baby Weight
Calculate the ideal weight of your baby with Medindia's Infant weight calculator....
Breast Enhancement Oil
Breasts contain mammary glands which produce and secrete milk for feeding and nourishing babies. Tho...
Breast Lumps
Most breast lumps are caused by hormonal changes in a woman and may not be cancerous. Common causes ...
Breast Lumps-Screening
Breast lumps must never be neglected but instead be subjected to medical examination to rule out ......
Breasts - Structures and Types
Different stages of breast development in women and an in-depth look at the breast/bust and its ......
Mastitis is a common cause of tenderness, swelling and pain in breast, owing to inflammation in the ...
Pasteurization of Milk
Encyclopedia section of medindia gives a briefs account about Louis Pasteur - The Father Of Microbio...
The Magic Feeling of Being A Mother
Selecting the doctor who will help you in your pregnancy is a very personal decision. ...
Types of Milk
Encyclopedia section of medindia gives a general info about Welcome to the world of milk...
Why Do We Eat - Nutrition Facts
The importance of eating food and the physiological, psychological and social functions of food....

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use