Taking a sensitive step towards lactating mothers King Edward Memorial (KEM) Hospital, in Mumbai will soon be having a separate Hirkani Kaksh (breastfeeding room) in the hospital premises. It would provide a private space to the female hospital staff members and hospital visitors who want to breast feed their babies.
The dean of KEM Hospital, Dr Avinash Supe made this announcement at an inaugural function of International Breastfeeding Week (Aug 1 to Aug 7) organised by Mumbai Breastfeeding Promotion Committee (MBPC) at the KEM Hospital campus.
“There should be sensitisation regarding breastfeeding which is a natural and important process for providing nutrition and nourishment to a baby. I will take it up as a mission. We will create a Hirkani Kaksh in the hospital to provide a private place to lactating mothers,” Dr Supe said. He also emphasised on the need of including the subject of lactation consultation in the medical syllabus.
While speaking to My Medical Mantra, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), Additional Municipal Commissioner, Idzes Kundan highlighted the importance of creating awareness about breastfeeding in pregnant women. While responding to a question regarding the availability of the breastfeeding rooms in public places in Mumbai she said, “Yes we have breastfeeding spaces. Its nomenclature is different in the city. In rural areas, the term Hirkani Kaksh is used.
Earlier, Union Minister for Women and Child Welfare, Maneka Gandhi had written a letter to Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu asking him to set up breastfeeding room at railway stations. She had written, “When women passengers wait on the stations for long hours, they cannot breastfeed their baby. They have no facilities to change their clothes as well. And this is due to the lack of infrastructure at the railway stations.” In Maharashtra, Hirkani Kaksh has been created at the state transport (ST) bus stops. The first Hirkani Kaksh was created at a bus top in Pandharpur.
At the function, Sneha Deo, Research Officer at Yashwantrao Chavan Academy of Development Administration (YASHADA) was felicitated by the Dr N.B. Kumta Award for her work on spreading awareness about breastfeeding and making efficient use of Anganwadis. Also, Dr Sunita Shridhar Shanbhag was felicitated with a lifetime achievement award at the event.