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The Love of a Mother (Even if it's someone else's mother)

Looking for The Lactivist? She's retired. But you CAN still find Jen blogging. These days, she's runs A Flexible Life. Join her for life, recipes, projects and the occasional rant.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Lactivist reader "juliefabmom" left this comment on another post and after reading it and taking a bit to compose myself, I realized it needs to be placed as a post in and of itself instead of being left to flounder in the comments.

Pull out your tissues folks and take in the love of a mother.

from The Electric New Paper, Singapore

Here's the story. it made me cry for 1/2 an hour this morning (I'm still breastfeeding my 12 month old so it hit me pretty hard) it was so moving.

The earthquake in China unleashed one of the most powerful forces on earth - love.

Whether it is a mother saving her child, a female cop breastfeeding lost infants or celebrities moved to act, it was there like a comforting blanket amid the pain, grief and heartbreak.

Perhaps one of the most powerful examples of these acts of love is the last desperate act of a dying mother, trapped in the rubble, trying to save her 3-month-old baby.

Knowing the end was near, she nestled her baby to her breast, so that the baby could survive after she was gone.

Dr Gong Pu, a 30-year-old gynaecologist told nddaily.com that rescuers were searching through rubble along a river in Chengdu when they came across a young woman cradling a baby in her bosom.

The mother had lifted up her shirt to breastfeed the baby. By the time they were found, the mother had already stopped breathing.


Said Dr Gong: 'We carried the baby carefully from the mum's arms. The baby started crying after its mouth left the mum's breast.

'It left tears in our eyes.

'From the way she was carrying the baby, we could see that the mum was doing all she can to protect her child.

A mother's instinct to protect even extended to strangers.

In Jiangyou county, policeman Jiang Xiaojuan, 29, was seen breastfeeding a rescued infant.

Mrs Jiang is still lactating as she gave birth six months ago.

However, when she heard about the quake, she left her baby in the care of her parents.

And when she saw hungry infants crying at the rescue centre, her motherly instincts took over.

She is nursing the children of three women who were left homeless by the quake and were too traumatised to give milk, as well as five orphans.

The orphans had been placed in an orphanage which does not have powdered milk.

Mrs Jiang's selfless act prompted netizens to sing praises of her on various online forums.

Some even posted MTV-style videos of her, using just that breastfeeding picture on youku.com, the Chinese equivalent of YouTube.

Nine-day-old baby He Jiahui receiving first aid in Dujiangyan. She and her mother were found trapped under a collapsed house. Said one netizen, called The Mollusc in Dayun River: 'To the most respected policewoman, I offer you the greatest salute.'

Another named Dearest Mum said: 'You have taught us what is the meaning of a mother's love.'

That's the power of compassion and it has spread.

--- isnt that heartwrenching? I love that mother for what she did for her baby.

Absolutely heart breaking folks. But a story that needed to be passed along.


  1. Blogger Brandy | 9:44 AM |  

    Wow. That brought tears to my eyes and definitely makes you think about the important things. Thank you for sharing this.

  2. Blogger Julie | 8:52 PM |  

    Thank you for making this a post. I just think its beautiful to see how when you get down to the heart of it Breastfeeding is really an act of pure Love. To know that youre going to die and you put your helpless infant to your breast to try to save his life. Wow. And where before I use to think that breastfeeding someone elses baby was "weird," I now see it as something truly selfless and amazing. You posting it inspired me to start my blog so that I could blog it myself too and I posted a photo I found of the policewoman breastfeeding one of the orphans. Thank you again - JulieFabMom

  3. Blogger Maria | 6:29 PM |  

    Wow. I'm sitting here just shocked. I could not imagine having to even make that decision for my 3 month old baby (now 17 months).

  4. Blogger Julie | 9:25 AM |  

    I keep reading more articles on Jiang Xiaojuan (the policeofficer woman). Here is a video news report on this story that I just found and I wanted to share with you too. It shows her in action and how she feels about her temporarily leaving her baby with her family while she saves the other babies. Its amazing to see this story is being run around the world.

    Its wonderful to see her actions praised

    from the times of malta.com

    And Jen since youre a Milk Bank advocate, do you know how we could get in contact with a Milk Bank that donates Breastmilk to natural disaster victims? Or do they just try to get formula at a time like that? Just wondering. Thanks


  5. Blogger Julie | 9:48 AM |  

    Here's the same story from CNN also with a video link.


    And i thought it interesting the way CNN reported the Policeofficer Breastfeeding woman with video and everything without showing the breastfeeding at all. Interesting cultural difference.


  6. Blogger Jennifer Laycock | 1:48 PM |  


    Transporting milk around the world for a disaster like this is darn near impossible. Unfortunately, formula includes a whole other set of risks because of the difficulty of finding clean water.

    There are disaster teams that include lactation consultants and specialists though, who try to aid moms in providing their own milk for infants.

    Beyond that, I'm pretty sure RTF formula is the way they go. It doesn't have to be mixed, so there is far less risk involved with it than there would be with powdered formula. Unfortunately, it's crazy expensive.

    One of those situations with no good answers, really.

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