Friends and Family,
Breast feeding is part of the Mayan culture. Babies are carried on the mothers back, usually in a Mayan weaving, from the time of birth until they are walking about alone. Psychologists claim this contributes to the reality that mental illness and psychological issues are decreased in the population.
Why then is there such a need for infant formula? The reality is that malnutrition in women is very prevalent. Mothers are anemic and malnourished when they give birth, mostly with traditional midwives in their mountain villages. Their maternal milk is limited, sometimes non existant! Few receive prenatal care, although it is encouraged. The mountain village project, which is funded by the European Union, and initiated and part of the Clinica Maxeña for five years, has an excellent maternal health project but this includes only 22 mountain villages in our area and there are now more than 90! The Ministry of Health is also focusing on Maternal infant care as maternal deaths for Mayan women in Guatemala are high. Resources are limited and the Ministry of Health does not follow up or offer any infant supplement. Consequently the mothers and infants come to our clinic with their need to provide milk for the babies. Today parents, carrying twins in their arms, arrived at our door. One infant was born at home with a midwife the other for complication in the National Hospital. They are 22 days old with an average weight now of 4 pounds. The mom has an impediment in ambulating since birth. They were give little support for these premature infants. The mother spent seven days in the hospital and now she has no breast milk as she was given no support to maintain the breast milk. The twins are now enrolled in our Nutrition project, and their care and weights will be followed by our doctor. They are instructed on nutrition needs and when and what foods can be given to the infant to supplement the formula gifted. We were happy to welcome them to our Nutrition Project¡
Infant formula cost fifteen dollars for two pounds. We also have to be concerned for contamination of the water used and the condition of the baby bottle and nipples. It is not a solution but a need! We know the baby should be getting breast milk. Poverty and unemployment have brought about increased hunger and malnutrition to our area. We ask for your prayers and donations! We know the economic crisis in the world is affecting generosity of our benefactors; we dare to ask, to beg for your support! Blessings! Sheila
Send donations on line to http://www.helenadiocese.org Note for the Clinica Maxeña!
Attatched the young parents of premature twins. The mother has no milk, is very poor and disabled. She will attend the Nutrition program and the Clinic will provide formula. THANK YOU for your donation¡