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First Time Mothers in South Sudan

The 17 year old first time mother brought her 1 week old baby to clinic after delivering at His House of Hope. She complained of the baby having a fever. Our nurse had already evaluated her, and the vital signs and labs were normal. She was eating well and didn’t look sick. As I reviewed the case, I looked more closely at the baby, caught a knowing glance and poorly-concealed smile from the nurse, then began explaining to the mom in my broken Arabic that everything seemed normal, and perhaps she should dress her in lighter and less clothing especially during the afternoon—as the baby was wearing a long knit outfit and was wrapped in a heavy knit blanket, and it was at least 100 degrees outside. The young mother smiled and nodded appreciatively.

The day after reopening the hospital, our second labour patient arrived. Sadly, the woman was somewhere between 30-34 weeks in her first pregnancy, and our staff could not find a fetal heartbeat—even using ultrasound. Our missionary nurse and I stood back and talked, sad that this mother's first pregnancy should end in a death.  The nurse on duty easily handled the delivery. As we were conversing, the staff nurse suddenly exclaimed, “The baby is alive!” Sure enough, the tiny baby girl was breathing and even crying a little. Weighing only 1250 grams (2 lbs 12 oz) and appearing to be about 30 weeks gestation (7 months), she did remarkably well. Over the next 16 days, she struggled to maintain her body temperature and gain weight, but was then able to breastfeed and demonstrate she could eat on her own and continue to gain weight. This first time mother surprisingly went home with a healthy, albeit small, baby—when at first it did not seem she would.  We thank God for granting her life.

Last Updated on Sunday, 02 March 2014 19:07

Our Mission:

Share the gospel of Jesus Christ and strengthen His Church through medical care and education, discipleship, and loving the people of South Sudan as a family.

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