This week Haiti is celebrating Karnaval, so we have a week off school. On Tuesday I went with my good pal John Ackerman to visit Heartline, an awesome ministry to moms and babies.
Heartline had about fifty Haitian women in their prenatal program. They come every Thursday for a checkup, a protein-intensive meal, and an educational lesson. There are another several dozen women in the post-natal program. Until their babies are six months old, they come every Tuesday for a similar program of a special protein meal and education. The babies are weighed, mothers' blood pressure is checked, and they all have a chance to see Dokte John if they feel their baby is ill.
Tete selma! (Only breast!)
There are a lot of cultural beliefs here that discourage exclusive breastfeeding. Many women believe that healthy babies need breastmilk plus juice, that breastfeeding attracts snakes, or that if your baby gets sick while breastfeeding then you must have bad breastmilk.
hydrocephalus and his head is visible swollen with water. He may need a surgery to put in a shunt. But how to accomplish that, in this already-complicated situation? So many obstacles. Heartline deals with that sort of difficult situation all the time.
It was an awesome day. I love learning about women's health. I love this program, and how lovingly and practically it meets a dire need for maternal health in a country where, in some areas, infant mortality is 50%. I love watching John and Tara and Melissa and Beth love on these ladies.
I wish every Haitian baby got to be a Heartline baby.
P.S. Want to learn more about Heartline? Go here.
Want to buy a purse that support this ministry? Go here.
P.S.S. I recently knew someone who had a baby shower and asked for donations to Heartline. Such a beautiful idea- blessing other babies while you prepare for your own. Want to donate? Go here.