Saturday, April 25, 2009

Only 1.6 kg...

On Monday I saw a beautiful girl who was only 6 days old. Her mother was only 7 months pregnant when she went into labor. This little one was tiny, weighing only 1.6 kg. Surprisingly she had no problems at delivery; and few problems now. But she had one major problem; she was not breastfeeding. The only way this child was being fed was by squeezing breast milk into her mouth. She was also being given water which is unfortunately given to most newborns here. This was not good enough for this premature baby. We would need to do better.

Observing her mother trying to breastfeed confirmed that she really was not sucking. We had the mother express milk; 30 ml. And then tried feeding the child with a syringe; she would not drink it. There was not much more we could do except refer the child to the Children's Hospital. And hope that with a nasogastric tube, she would be able to get the nutrients she needed so that in due time she would gain strength and be drinking on her own.

This is what we discussed with her mother and father. Both were obviously concerned. Their first child needed to go to a big hospital. We explained as best as we could and comforted as much as we were able. Soon they were on their way to the hospital in downtown Freetown. But unfortunately 3 days later I received news that this little one died; sad. The good part of this story was that both her mother and her father cared. They were sensible to come to the clinic with her and took our advice to go to the hospital. Despite their efforts though, they have lost their precious little baby. I am sad for them.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So tiny - unbelievable and I thing Faye is tiny ....

~ Act Justly. Love Mercy. Walk Humbly. micah 6:8 ~