Last Wednesday I visited the Special Care Nursery at Port Moresby General Hospital to drop off some lovely donated goods. My sister, Bianca, and her friends from her Christian Mother’s Group made over 50 little outfits for the tiny babies. Their designs were fantastic as they enable the babies to be dressed in a warm dress without having their IV lines disturbed. They even took into account the possibility of getting pressure sores from the ties and so made the dresses in a way that ensured they would not lie on any.
I also received some donated milk formula from a Mum at my playgroup who is ‘go pinis’ (leaving PNG to return home to Australia) this weekend. Her daughter is on a prescription formula and they had too much of it so I offered to take it in for her. The babies will definitely benefit from the extra nutrition particularly those that are abandoned (a regular occurrence) or whose mother is unable to breastfeed.
When I arrived with my boxes of goodies, the nurses were very intrigued. The outfits were a source of excitement for them as they have no outfits for their babies other than knitted woollen booties and some jackets which they cannot always put on the babies due to their IV lines.
I asked if they could put one of the outfits on a baby for me so that I could take a photograph. They brought me to their smallest baby who was born on 1st May weighing only 500 grams! When I visited, she had lost weight and was only 450 grams. Considering it was more than 2 weeks after she had been born, I am wondering if she will survive because I would have liked her to have put on more weight than that. Hopefully the extra warmth and possibly the formula will help her put on that weight. The warmth will certainly help her body spend less time burning the much needed calories to stay warm and instead allow her to store those calories away.
Here is the photo of baby Emma… please be warned that I think it may be quite confronting for some people as she clearly looks unwell. In the photo, she is wearing the smallest outfit donated which I am sure that my sister and her friends thought would NEVER fit anyone!