Soon, medical colleges in Mumbai will have breastfeeding rooms
Major medical colleges across Mumbai will soon have rooms for women to breastfeed their children.
Called ‘Hirkani Kaksh’, the rooms will not only give lactating mothers privacy but will also have the facility to refrigerate milk for later use.
Dr Avinash Supe, the director of medical education and dean at KEM medical college, said in the next few months, the facility would start in as many colleges as possible. “We are in the process of identifying spaces in colleges to start it,” he said.
Dr Jayshree Mondkar, the head of the department of neonatology at Lokmaniya Tilak Municipal General Hospital, Sion, called it an excellent initiative.
“It will give women the privacy to feed the child. Working women can use the space to express milk, store it in the refrigerator and take it home,” she said.
Dr Kamakshi Bate, from the department of social and preventive medicine at KEM Hospital, Parel, said the rooms will be brightly coloured and have comfortable furniture. “The state needs more such facilities. Right now, across Maharashtra, there are only five Hirkani Kakshs,” she said.
The move comes during the World Health Organisation’s World Breast Feeding Week (August 1 to 7).
City neonatologists have reiterated the need to ‘exclusively’ breastfeed children for the first six months and continue it along with other feeding for at least the first two years. “Breast milk is sterile and essential for the baby as it contain antibodies and gives the baby immunity,” said Dr Seema Bansode Gokhe, professor and head of community medicine, LTMG, Sion, said.
“Working women, especially, must empty the breast. If it is not done, it could lead to breast engorgement and breast abscess, which can be very painful,” she added.