So my friend Bekah sent me a box of cute little baby hats and socks. I’ve started to give them away. Last weekend we had 8 or 9 deliveries and somehow the women actually stayed hospitalized. Usually maternity is treated like a drive-through, pop a baby out and go on. However last weekend there were a lot of primiparas (1st deliveries), so somehow I convinced them to stay a little longer.
Staying longer encourages them to breastfeed and not give their babies water. It helps me to talk to the mother in laws to at least have them hear one time that giving water to babies is bad. Just because the mother in law did it and her mother in law and her mother in law.....does not make it okay! Why are so many 2 month old babies malnourished?! It’s because of WATER giving! The poison of babies here!
So anyways...I sort of like my new moms to not give water. Today I had a 2 month old baby come in who looks like death. She’s 3 kilos and her arms are like toothpicks. I’m sure no one ever told the mom to not give water....she wasn’t trying to be a bad mom. She delivered at home....probably with her mother in law!
Okay...not all mother in laws are bad. Mine is actually quite good! (she posts these blogs so she can change this to say whatever she wants!) But here in Tchad, the mother-in-law controls you. I’m slowly learning that. So I have to get on their side to change things little by little.
I loooooved giving out the cute little hats and socks. I took a picture of 6 of the women after rounds last week. I showed the picture to Simeon and he told me that word will get out. It will encourage people to deliver at the hospital. Husbands don’t give their wives money here. Women don’t have any money to buy clothes for their babies here. But they are women! They think clothes are cute just as much as those of us that have money do. So if they hear that they can get a cute hat and some socks...they will come!
I was very encouraged by this and think that our new bribe is a great plan to try to save some lives of moms and babies.
It’s time I dive into the culture and start bribing too. Everybody does it. Literally. But we won’t get into that now.