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Hadassah nurse breastfeeds infant after mother seriously hurt in car crash

4-month-old baby did not accept bottle and wailed loudly for hours; nurse Yael Cohen offered to help: ‘As a mother it broke me to see her suffering’

Nurse Yael Cohen with the infant daughter of an East Jerusalem woman who was seriously injured in a car accident, March 10, 2021 (Courtesy Hadassah Medical Center)
Nurse Yael Cohen with the infant daughter of an East Jerusalem woman who was seriously injured in a car accident, March 10, 2021 (Courtesy Hadassah Medical Center)

A nurse at Jerusalem’s Hadassah Medical Center won the gratitude of a family from East Jerusalem after breastfeeding the infant daughter of a woman who was seriously injured in a car accident Saturday.

The family of five were all hurt in the car’s collision with a truck in the Hebron area.

The four-month-old baby did not accept a bottle and was wailing loudly for hours. Staff was considering feeding her intravenously, but when nurse Yael Cohen arrived, she offered to feed her herself.

“It wasn’t odd for me at all to offer it, even though I’ve never breastfed another person’s baby,” said Cohen, a mother of two from the settlement of Nokdim.

“I asked the aunt taking care of her if it was okay for me to breastfeed, I wanted to hear that it’s fine by her. She was immediately enthusiastic and thanked me happily,” Cohen recounted. “She was helpless, she didn’t know what to do.

“As a mother it broke me to see [the baby] suffering. She was hungry, her mother wasn’t by her side and the only thing that could calm her was unavailable,” she said.

“I sat down, took her to me, calmed her and fed her. And suddenly it got quiet, she calmed down and ate hungrily.”

Cohen said she was very touched by the family’s warm response to her.

“I could understand so much. I have two girls who were bottle refuseniks and only breastfed and it was so clear to me that when you need to breastfeed, you don’t think of anything, just of the baby crying of hunger.”

An uncle of the infant said: “It’s not something every woman would have done. It’s not easy to do for a baby that’s not yours… It saved her after a long time of being hungry and refusing to feed on anything else.”

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