February 2022

This month 11 infants were enrolled in our program, including 6 orphans, 1 set of twin orphans, 2 babies of women admitted to the ICU, and 1 baby whose mother is not producing any breast milk.

Baby Admission Story. Thirty-five-year-old Rachel had two children and was pregnant for the third time.  She attended her prenatal visits and when contractions started, she went to Bwaila District Hospital.  Only after Joshua was born, did Rachel learn that she had been carrying twins.  As the second twin settled into her pelvis he had his arm over his head, unfortunately no one noticed until it was too late. The birth became complicated.  Due to a prolonged period of hypoxia during the birth, Joshua’s twin was distressed at birth and he died several hours later.  Rachel took Joshua home on November 14th. She breastfed Joshua for two weeks but then she developed a significant cardiac arrhythmia and returned to Bwaila.  There she was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia and cardiomyopathy.  Her milk supply diminished as her condition worsened. Rachel needed heart surgery, but there is no place where this is done in Malawi. With nothing more to offer her, clinicians discharged Rachel. She died on January 27th. 

Rachel’s mother works at Bwaila District Hospital where Rachel delivered and where she learned her daughter had a terminal condition.  The office of our local partner, Joyful Motherhood, is located at the same hospital.  Rachel’s mother had escorted other grandmothers carrying their orphan grandchildren to our door.  Her knowledge of the Hospital did not spare her the trauma of losing her own child, but she knew where to seek help for her grandson.

Mother Care. The mother who was enrolled this month, is only 19. Her labor with her first child was hard and long. It ended with a cesarean section and a stillborn. Days later she developed an infection in the wound, which led to a total hysterectomy. Our nurses will visit her at home as she recovers physically and emotionally over the next couple months.

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