Two days ago, while sipping on my morning coffee, an alarming headline made my stomach turn: Newborn Baby Found in Drain. A mother (we are assuming it’s the mother) abandoned her 3 hour old baby girl, in a sealed sewer pipe. Baby was found naked but was still alive. It was heartbreaking and left me in an emotional state for the remainder of the day. Social media, of corse, was ablaze with furious onlookers who had a gazillion opinions: Who on earth would leave their newborn baby in a drain?! How can someone be that inhumane and cruel?! I mean, lady, how could you do that?! There is no reason why a mother would leave her newborn in a drain. Surely you had options, lady?! I mean, there are places of safety to take your little one to. There are other alternatives – seriously? You didn’t have to stow away your freshly born baby girl into a disgusting, ant infested drain pipe. How could you?!
Okay, so let’s talk about that for a minute. Let’s talk about why a mother would leave her newborn in a drain. Can we talk about rape and sexual abuse for a hot minute, too? Can we talk about the sexual promiscuity our children are being exposed to every single day on social media, advertisements and in the series you allow them watch? Oh, we definitely need to talk about the music they listen to and how we allow them to wear bum shorts and then wonder where the over-sexualised behavior comes from when we “don’t act that way at home”.
And while we are at it, let’s start discussions around poverty and women empowerment. Let’s dissect the education system and how some of our children lack their very basic right to learn. Let’s talk about how our young girls, in poverty stricken homes, choose to give up their education in order to clean your house or sell fruit at the taxi stop. How our young men feel as if doing things the wrong way is the right way to live, because this is the only way they know to survive.
I mean, while we’re having our debates about the lady who dropped her baby into a sewer pipe, can we also maybe talk about depression and post natal depression. Maybe we can share resources and information on it… I mean, while we’re debating about the mother who abandoned her baby. Perhaps we could use the space to also talk about how thousands of new moms feel overwhelmed, exposed, ill-equipt and not ready to be a mother, even after giving birth. Oh, we definitely need to talk about teenage pregnancy too. Can we talk about how our children are having children? Where are we going wrong?
I don’t know this mother, nor do I know the baby. Heck, I wasn’t even in the area when baby girl was found. Was it wrong, heartbreaking, cruel to leave a 3 hour old baby in a drain pipe? Yep. Is it completely inhumane to have a little life start like that? Definitely – I wouldn’t wish it on anyone! Were there other options available for the mother? Yes. But I reckon that, if we’re going to use our voices to say something about the topic on social media, perhaps it will make more sense to offer solutions rather than opinions. Your opinion will not prevent another baby from ending up in a drain.