Shalom (Peace) was born on February 2 this year at home in Mozambique (just across the border from Malawi). She was her mother’s fifth child. Her mother had had four normal births without complication but after Shalom was born the placenta, which usually follows within minutes was retained. (The longer the placenta stays inside after delivery, the higher the risk of hemorrhage. A woman can lose up to 500ml of blood per minute after delivery when the uterus is unable to contact as it should.) Shalom’s mother started bleeding profusely. Shalom’s father quickly started mobilizing everyone to get mother and baby to the hospital but within minutes, Shalom’s mother died. Shalom’s father initially tried to manage with the baby and children in Mozambique but, devastated by the loss of his wife and overwhelmed by the responsibility of caring for four children and a newborn, he soon brought all five children to Malawi to live with their maternal grandmother. She opened her home with sorrow and joy and is doing her best to care for them all. Through word of mouth they found Joyful Motherhood. They are a family living on the edge but taking some small steps forward with the help our. Our nurses have visited Shalom three times. She is four months old and now weighs just over 10lbs.
Memory was born by c-section, she was small but healthy. After the surgery, her mother had severe anemia, she receive a single unit of blood but her body struggled to recover from the stress of the delivery. Her condition deteriorated and within a few weeks she died. Memory is now being raised by her grandmother in the village. She is pictured here in the arms of her older brother.