In an effort to make the metro transportation system more sensitive to the needs of nursing mothers, the Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) has installed a breastfeeding pod in one of its stations. A compact 4x4 feet pod has been installed at Aluva metro station, one of the busiest stations, to offer privacy to mothers travelling with newborn babies.
Built using fibre-reinforced plastic, the pod is equipped with a bench seat, privacy locks, a fan, lighting and charging points for mobile phones. The pod offers basic necessities needed for a breastfeeding mother. It is also attached with an alert mechanism which will pass messages to officers at the metro station in case of any emergency.
A P M Mohammed Hanish, managing director of KMRL, inaugurated the breastfeeding pod on Friday at Aluva metro station.
âKMRL is a women-friendly organisation with around 700 female employees working with us. We are happy to introduce one more friendly facility for them by introducing private breastfeeding spaces at our metro stations,â said Mohammed Hanish while talking to media after the inauguration.
According to officials of KMRL, this was first time such a facility has been installed in a metro station in the country. Guidelines about proper ways of breastfeeding along with its importance have also been printed inside the pod for the mothers to see.
âBabyâs head and body should be in a straight line. Babyâs body should also be turned towards the mother while giving milk,â reads some of the pointers regarding positioning the baby while nursing.
KMRL has planned to install more breastfeeding pods in various stations in the following days. Metro stations at M G Road, Lissie junction and Edapally will be the next places where breastfeeding pods will be kept. âIf there is a good response, we will expand it to all metro stations,â added Mohammed.
âI Love 9 Monthsâ, a maternity wellness start-up has designed the breastfeeding pod, which costs about Rs 1.5 lakhs and has been sponsored by CIMAR hospital in Kochi. CIMAR hospital will also sponsor the similar facilities that will be soon installed in other three metro stations.
The women led start-up âI Love 9 Monthsâ, incubated by Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM), had set up a more advanced lactation pod at Technopark in Trivandrum last year.