Mom leaves baby with dummy in drop-off box

2015-10-07 07:15
(Picture: Helderberg Baby Saver)

(Picture: Helderberg Baby Saver)

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Cape Town - Rather than dump him in a field or bin, a desperate Cape Town mother chose to leave her baby boy in a secure drop-off box in the wall of a Helderberg clinic.

The boy, placed in the 'Helderberg Baby Saver' at Choices Crisis Pregnancy Counselling Centre on Monday afternoon, was the first arrival since the project was set up last year.

About a month old, the little one was wearing a babygrow and had a blanket with him, project founder Sandy Immelman told News24 on Tuesday.

His mother had also put a dummy in his mouth.

"It was very clear that his mother loved and looked after him. Rather than throwing him away, she put the baby in the Saver."


The weight of the baby triggered the pressure-sensitive plate in the safe and activated the alarm.

A high priority alert was sent to a security company and everyone sprang into action.

This was the moment they had been preparing for.

"All were there within minutes of the alert coming through. Everything worked absolutely smoothly," she said, adding that it had triggered quite an adrenaline rush.

"We are really relieved that what has been put in place has saved a life."

Immelman set up the project with fellow Somerset West Neighbourhood Watch member Judith Cross towards the end of last year, in response to babies being dumped in the area.

Cross was the first to respond to a radio alert of a newborn baby girl abandoned next to a river in Somerset West last February.

Baby Amber was named after the ambulance that took her to hospital.

She survived and was subsequently adopted.

The latest arrival did not have a name yet.

'When people are desperate, there are options'

A social worker was overseeing his case and he was being kept at a nearby hospital.

"If the mother doesn’t come forward, the next step will be putting him up for fostering or the adoption process."

She hoped his mother would make use of counselling or other forms of assistance at the clinic.

The drop-off facility in Schapenberg Road was located near a main road, the minibus taxi ranks and the train station.

Immelman said she had handed out a lot of informative posters and gone to various clinics to let people know about the Saver.

She hoped women in similar situations would use it or approach their local hospital, clinic or police station.

"When people are desperate, there are options," she stressed.

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