Posted by: Admin | April 16, 2011

Weekend Blog – Breastfeeding in movies Part 4 – Can we be changed by the love of a child?


One movie that really touched me is the 2005 South African film Tsotsi, directed by Gavin Hood. It covers 6 days in the life of a young Johannesburg street gang leader named Tsotsi (played by Prestley Chweneyagae). This movie also gives us a glimpse of what life in the slums of South Africa is really like.

Tsotsi is a tough cookie and has a mean streak in him. He is portrayed as a hoodlum without a conscience, a sociopath. One day, he steals a car to get away from some mischief, and while he is speeding away he hears a cry from the back seat. When he turns his head he catches glimpse of an infant in a car seat. Tsotsi is surprised and, for the first time, we feel he is afraid of the consequences of his action. Tsotsi finds he is incapable of hurting the baby and decides to take him to his ghetto home.

Here is a strange but funny scene of him changing a diaper and trying to feed the baby.


When food is scarse, any food seems good, even if it is harmful. In this story, Tsotsi feeds the baby a milk no babies should be fed with. When he realizes the baby is not doing well on sweetened condensed milk, the type we use to cook sweets with, he decides to bring the baby to a young woman he knows is breastfeeding. He hires her to breastfeed and take care of the baby. As she is already lactating, she simply puts the baby to the breast and the baby thrives. In my post on Thursday April 14th, I mentioned that artificial baby milk or formula is considered a ‘third choice’ behind breastmilk, which is the first choice, and milk from a milk bank, which is second. I did not mention that breastmilk from another woman also falls into the ‘second choice’ category. In places where there is no clean water, if a mother cannot breastfeed her baby, breastmilk from another woman can make the difference between life and death for the baby.

As the movie progresses, we see the humanity behind the young criminal. We see him being transformed by the love of a child. This movie made me realize the importance a new baby can have in a family and how we can use this strength to help families deal with important substance abuse or social problems.

Were you changed by the love of a child? I know I was! 🙂

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Responses

  1. Dear LC,

    Because my left breast produces more milk, my son prefers it. However, after 6 months of exclusive breastfeeding, my left breast is bigger than my right breast. Is it going to stay like this? ; ) For now, my husband and I are laughing about it but I am not sure I want to stay like that for the rest of my life. Should I try to breastfeed more often with my right breast?

    • Ahhhh, what an interesting question! As it does not difference whatsoever to your baby’s health, I guess I should answer that it is a “personal choice” 🙂

      I cannot promise your left breast will be exactly the same size as the right (after) as the left side of our body is usually larger than the right! If you would like to balance things a little, I would suggest you insist that he breastfeeds a little longer on the right side, but if this causes a lot of tension in your relationship…?

      This happens to more women than you think!!! You are not alone… Blog owner included!!! 🙂


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