Young nurse Kholwa is determined to prove her worth
But what happens when her hard work starts affecting her health?
Thabiso, an HIV positive mother, fears she’ll infect her baby by breastfeeding. Nurse Oratile says impatiently, “Don’t be stupid!” Kholwa, a young nurse at the clinic, is shocked at Oratile’s remark, but keeps quiet.
But Kholwa sees how hurt Thabiso is. Kholwa says, “The chances of infecting your baby while you’re on ARVs is extremely small”.
Oratile asks Thabiso, “Does this mean you haven’t breastfed him?” Thabiso replies, “It hurts. He doesn’t latch”. Oratile says sharply, “But you’ve already had a child.” Thabiso answers, “I just don’t know what I’m doing wrong now”. Oratile shakes her head in disbelief.
Kholwa takes a deep breath, and says, “I’ll take care of her.” Oratile snaps, “Are you telling me what to do?” Kholwa pulls her aside and says, “No, just that… I can see you are becoming upset”. Oratile sarcastically remarks, “Thanks for being so considerate.” Then she leaves.
Thabiso looks at Kholwa. “I feel so dumb,” she says quietly. Kholwa touches her shoulder. “Don’t feel bad. I’m here to help. Show me how you breastfeed.”
Thabiso does but the baby doesn’t latch. Kholwa says, “I see the problem. Bring your nipple closer to his nose. Rub it gently over his upper lip. Keep your fingers further apart and away from the nipple, so it doesn’t get in the way of his mouth. And tilt his head slightly upwards.”
The baby latches successfully.
Thabiso sighs relieved. “Thank you! You are sent from heaven.” Thabiso watches her baby’s eyes close and listens to him suckle. It’s a special moment. She gets tears in her eyes. She knows that exclusive breastfeeding is giving the best for her little one.