Emergency service workers in South Africa rescued a newborn from a pit toilet Sunday after the mother threw away the baby girl, thinking she was dead.
Review Online reports the woman’s family called the Mankweng and Polokwane Emergency Medical Services after learning that she had thrown the baby in the pit toilet.
Robby Masubelele, acting provincial rescue coordinator with Polokwane EMS, said the mother wrapped the baby girl in blankets before dumping her into the toilet.
“When the mother explained to her family she just had a miscarriage, they asked her where the baby was and that is when she told them she threw the baby in the pit toilet. The family discovered the baby in the pit toilet and notified the control room immediately,” he told the local news.
When the emergency service workers arrived, they dug a hole on the side of the pit to allow Masubelele to go down and retrieve the baby, the report states. He said they dug carefully to make sure they did not hurt the baby in any way.
EMS workers took both the baby and mother to the hospital for treatment, according to the report. The report did not provide any details about the baby’s condition.
Here’s more from the report:
The Department of Health Spokesperson, Thabiso Teffo, said this recent spate of newborn babies being dumped was of big concern and he urged families to keep a close eye on expectant mothers as some of them might develop depression during pregnancy or get postpartum depression. …
With regard to mothers who are mentally challenged, Teffo urged the families of these women to approach the Department of Social Development sections at hospitals or healthcare facilities with their problems and they will assist them further.
Department of Social Development Spokesperson, Joel Seabi, said if a parent does not want to keep a child, they should speak to social workers and indicate the ‘burden’ they find themselves in. He added the social workers will advise the people seeking assistance about what they can do to remedy their situation.
Local police said the mother may be charged with attempted murder.
Many countries have services available for new mothers and babies who are struggling. In America, all 50 states have safe haven laws to protect babies from abandonment and infanticide. Save haven laws allow mothers in crisis to leave their newborns in a safe environment, such as a hospital or fire station, without questions or repercussions, as long as there are no signs of abuse.
If you or someone you know would like more information about relinquishing a newborn child, please call 1-866-99BABY1 or go to www.SafeHavenLaw.com.