Saturday 25 November 2017

Breast milk couriers help working mothers in Indonesia

Ian MacKinnon

NURSING mothers in the Indonesian capital who have to return to work but want to keep feeding their babies have a novel service they can turn to for help – a breast-milk courier.

Motorbike couriers, bottles of expressed breast milk pumped in the office and stored in cool bags slung over their shoulders, battle their way through Jakarta's choked streets with their precious cargo.

Grandmothers waiting at home caring for the infants can then feed the babies with the freshest mother's milk, rather than resort to powdered milk that many feel is inferior and less healthy.

The service – which charges just €2.60 - €3.50 for each delivery – was set up in 2010 by Fikri Nauval, 40, who runs a cargo and document shipping business. He was inspired by his own wife who used his couriers to send her breast milk when she had to return to work.

On Jakarta's notoriously clogged roads Mr Nauval's couriers can take up to an hour to make a delivery. But he keeps the journey time as short as possible using computerised maps and GPS trackers to monitor traffic trouble spots.

"I would like to help this nation build a better generation by helping working mothers deliver breast milk to their babies at home," said Mr Nauval.

Febby Kemala Dewi, 29, is one of the growing band of young mothers who grasped the opportunity to use Mr Nauval's service.

The IT consultant found it difficult to pump enough milk for the whole day before she left for work in the mornings after she had to return to her central Jakarta office when her three months' maternity was up.

Now she can pump the milk and send it home at lunchtime, which her mother uses to feed eight-month-old Ashalina Putri when the courier makes his delivery.

"I have to work, but at the same time I can feed my baby," said Mrs Dewi.

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