An amazing story of survival in a third world country.

A Nigerian grandmother kept her starving grandchild alive by breastfeeding while on the run from deadly insurgents.

Aisha Modu’s daughter died a few months ago when her baby was just 40 days old.

Aisha, thought to be in her 50s, faced months of hell after her grandchild’s father was abducted by insurgents, forcing her to flee on foot with the baby in her arms.

Aisha, who is now at a Save the Children clinic in north-east Nigeria, said: ‘I was sleeping at the time but a neighbor woke me and told me to take what I could and run, reports Daily Mail.

‘The bullets were the size of my finger and they were firing them everywhere.

‘I am old so I tried to run with a group of men but we were captured by the insurgents. They slaughtered one of the men in front of me.’

Aisha had no food or money, so did the only thing she could to keep the little girl alive, and breastfed her.

No milk was produced straight away as it is decades since Aisha had a child, and the baby’s weight plummeted to about 4lbs (1.9kg).

Eventually Aisha managed to get to charity staff with her three-month-old and was referred to a clinic where she is being helped by Dr Isaac Bot.

Dr Bot said: ‘Aisha came in with her granddaughter and was very anxious about where she was. Being from such a remote part of the country she was not familiar with hospitals.

‘She was jittery about the environment and was confused and apprehensive.

‘I asked if she was getting support from anywhere else and she said she had nobody. She broke down and cried when she told us this. It was very emotional.’

Staff helped her to cope and managed to help her breastfeed the infant.

Dr Bot added: ‘The milk was just beginning to flow but it was not sufficient.

‘We started a process called Supplementary Suckling Technique where we put a little tube into the baby’s mouth beside the nipple and so when the baby suckles it is rewarded with milk. This suckling also sends a message to Aisha’s brain to stimulate milk production.’

Save the Children says there are many women in remote villages in Nigeria who breastfeed other women’s babies because of the high numbers of mothers who die.

The doctor said: ‘Maternal mortality is quite high so we often see sisters suckling the children of their deceased sisters.

‘These support systems are very important. Any woman can breastfeed even if she has never had a child or hasn’t breastfed in many years as long as she regularly puts the baby to the breast. It’s free and anyone can do it.’

According to Save the Children, breastfeeding is the single most effective intervention to save children’s lives and could prevent 13 per cent of all under-five deaths if practiced properly.

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  • What an amazing grandmother xxx


  • Amazing, yet very sad story


  • So amazing! I really enjoyed this article I love that breastfeeding can save lives and if I was in the same situation I’d definitely feed someone elses child this women is amazing bringing in milk wouldn’t be an easy task I imagine, it isn’t easy for some even after birthing just wow amazing.


  • wow that is incredible and i never knew that could happen. i thought that you needed the hormones releasing etc


  • That is amazing! To be able to stimulate breast milk decades after last producing it. The human body is a medical marvel, it never ceases to amaze me with what it can do


  • Yes I ‘ve heard it’s possible to induce lactation eventhough you never were pregnant. It has be done by quite some adoptive mothers all over the world.
    It’s amazing how the body can work to provide for the little ones, even in frightening situations like war !
    Glad this Nigerian woman could escape with her grandchild, bless them !


  • I have know of adoptee’s mums being able to BF but never thought of it being used this way. To the baby at the beginning it would had the suckling urge but lucky the grand mother was able to help to continue breast feeding.


  • Such a wonderful lady. May that little girl grow up to know how much she is loved


  • I have to admit I never knew this was possible …now makes me wonder why there are so many staving children in the world.


  • Having no knowledge of this method or not being successful would be one reason why infant death is so prevalent in third world countries

    • You are quite right – there needs to be more knowledge of being able to feed babies via this method.


  • This story brings tears to my eyes and the horror that some people in this world have to endure is just not right. All praise to this brave grandmother for feeding her grandchild and every sympathy in the world to her and this poor little bub. It just makes you realise how fortunate we are to live in a country free of this type of violence and to lobby and also support people in these countries to be free of this sort of violence.


  • You may think you have it hard at times but after reading this we have it so very easy!


  • amazing what love can achieve!


  • This s quite astonishing. I didn’t know you could do that without drugs.


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