UNICEF Kenya receives a generous funding to provide protection of refugee children

Today, 20th June is the World Refugee day. This is the day when the world commemorates the strength, courage and perseverance of millions of refugees. This day also marks a key moment for the public to show support for families forced to flee.

Kenya hosts almost half a million refugees.  Over 20,000 children are unaccompanied or separated from their families or caregivers after they have fled conflict and drought in the region.

Bird's view of dadaab refugee camp

The good news is, UNICEF Kenya and the European Union will work together to provide child protection and education services that will benefit refuge children in Dadaab and Kakuma Refugee Camps.

The European Union has committed €800,000 for UNICEF’s humanitarian response programmes to help refugee children in Kenya. The funding will support humanitarian child protection and education services for children in Kakuma and Dadaab Refugee Camps.

The Representative of UNICEF in Kenya, Werner Schultink said, “We are grateful to the EU for this generous funding that will help strengthen our education and child protection activities in Kakuma and Dadaab Refugee Camps. The support will greatly enrich our work with UNHCR and other partners, in building the much needed resilience and social well-being of every refugee child in the camps”.

Children living in Kakuma and Dadaab Refugee Camps face many challenges.  Insufficient basic services and overcrowding have worsened an already stressful environment for children. Moreover, these children are vulnerable to numerous forms of violence and abuse.  Without education and its support, these children are at risk of further violence and losing hope – undermining their own future and that of their community.

Children attending an outdoor classroom

Through the EU grant, UNICEF plans to reach 25,000 children, half of whom are girls, with education and child protection interventions. Furthermore, the EU humanitarian aid will enable at least 2,000 out of school children, who have recently arrived to enroll in primary and pre-school education.  An additional 16,500 learners will also benefit from the provision of teaching and learning materials, and 420 primary school teachers will receive training on basic teaching skills, with a focus on teaching in situations of crisis.

With this support from the European Commission, UNICEF will continue to strengthen all-inclusive education and child protection services that cater to the immediate needs of refugee children and their communities.

world refugee dayworld refugee day hashtag

Malaria in numbers

Today, 25th April 2017 is World Malaria Day.

 
Did you know…

  • That nearly half of the world’s population is at risk of malaria?
  • That in 2015, there were roughly 212 million malaria cases and an estimated 429000 malaria death?.
  • That Sub-Saharan Africa continues to carry a disproportionately high share of the global malaria burden?
  • That in 2015, Sub-Saharan Africa was home to 90% of malaria cases and 92% of malaria deaths?

I can go on and on with numbers but the bottom line is malaria is dangerous to everyone and even more dangerous to pregnant mothers and children under the age of five. That is why the call for closing malaria gap is salient.

Pamoja tuangamize malaria!!!!!!

 

MALARIA DAY 2

MALARIA DAY 4

MALARIA DAY 3

MALARIA DAY 5

MALARIA DAY 1

Should war on FGM be intensified in the urban areas?

Last Friday, I posted the following on my Facebook timeline:

Every February 6th is the International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation. In Kenya, this year’s national celebrations will be held in Sankuri location, Garissa County.
The theme of the celebrations is “Working Together to End FGM by 2030”.
Ending FGM, My Responsibility.

fgm-photo

 

As I was preparing to go home having finished the day’s work, a male colleague came to my desk and we somehow found ourselves taking about the International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM as I had posted. Being aware of the fact that he comes from a community that largely practices FGM, I asked him if he thinks it is possible to stop the menace- his answer left me with a toothache.

‘This thing will not end soon Lourdes. People are coming up with creative ways of doing FGM every other day. For example doing it at a younger age to reduce public scrutiny while taking advantage of the child’s inability to resist and because there must be a form of celebration, it is done in the disguise of a birthday party and only very close family members are aware of the real celebration’

I looked him straight in the eye and asked, ‘would you allow your daughter to undergo the cut?’

 
His answer left me with a bitter taste in the mouth.

‘We are not talking about me here but again, what would I do? Remember she has a mother and even if I resist, her mother will report me to our family members thus turn me against them. I will look like the bad one here- if she insists, I will just have to corporate for peace sake’

This clearly explained why urban women are more likely to be circumcised at the youngest age range of 5-9 years than rural women.

 
According to UNICEF, 9.3 million women and girls, or 27 per cent of all women and girls in Kenya, have undergone genital mutilation, placing Kenya 17th among the 29 countries in Africa that carry out the practice.

fgm
As the world marks the International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM, statistics reveal the war against the practice is far from over, with a trend over time to circumcise girls at increasingly younger ages. In some parts of the country, infant FGM is being practiced on days-old girls. This is because they want to keep it a secret and therefore do it fast enough before the law catches up with them.

 
FGM causes significant health risks including bleeding, infections, and fistula, complications during sexual intercourse and childbirth, and even death.

 
To preserve our next generation, this should be the rallying call: ‘Ending FGM, My Responsibility’

fgm-by-numbersStatistics courtesy of The Daily Nation

The encouraging state of maternal health in Rwanda

Every day, 800 women around the world die for reasons related to pregnancy or childbirth. And some 5.7 million women annually suffer severe disabilities following childbirth.

But there’s another positive side to this story. Maternal mortality has generally decreased by half since 1990 and this includes even in places that are extremely poor. New technologies and health care approaches, better infrastructure, and creative government policies are changing the odds for pregnant women and their families.

Someone dear to me will be traveling to Rwanda soon and that, together with my passion for Maternal, Newborn and Children health ignited me to acquaint myself with the state of maternal and children health in this country of a thousand hills, which my French brothers will call “Pays des Mille Collines”.

I was pleased with the facts  that I got. I know you have an idea of this country, Rwanda, but allow me to refresh your mind a little. Between April and June 1994, an estimated 1 million Rwandans were killed, 2 million displace and health systems destroyed in the space of 100 days.

map-of-rwanda
Despite that, Rwanda’s maternal mortality ratio decreased by 77 percent between 2000 and 2013 and currently stands at 320 deaths per 100,000 live births. Under-5 child mortality also reduced by more than 70 percent making it one of the few African countries to meet goal 4 and 5 of the Millennium Development Goals in 2015.

rwanda-matertal-mortality-ratio

Many factors created this success story:

  • Rwandan government subsidizes a national health insurance scheme, which has led to increased use of family planning, prenatal care and health facilities.
  • Midwives and other clinical officers are trained in emergency obstetric care.
  • Women are fined for giving birth at home, and doctors are financially rewarded for high quality obstetric care.
  • Rwandan clinics have focused on improving their quality. Many strive to keep regular clinic hours, well-staffed and supplied clinics, good hygiene practices and respectful staff.
  • By 2012, there was one doctor per 16,000 people and one nurse per 1,300 people. Before 1997, Rwanda had no trained midwives, but now there are around 1,000. Rwanda established new standards for quality of care, and in 2010, delivery by a skilled provider was at 69 percent, as was delivery in a health facility
  • Rwanda’s government is committed to providing universal health care as part of its Vision 2020 Strategy.

In 1995, most development agencies were ready to give up on Rwanda, then one of the poorest and most vulnerable countries in the world. But now, Rwanda is one of the few countries on track as far as maternal, newborn and children health is concern. Mine is to say kudos Rwanda. Kenya is behind, but i am positive we will get there too…someday!

kenya-maternal-mortality-ratio

‘Why I named my daughter Takisha Matanah’, Bonnie Musambi reveals

There’s no right or wrong way to pick a name for your baby. The most important consideration is to choose the one you love.For that reason, you can choose to name your child Osumbuko, Athola, Mwashetani or Kanyambi, but remember, the name given to a child goes beyond being a mere name because it will be a defining piece of his or her identity for a lifetime.

To a majority of parents that I have talked to, the name they give to their little ones signifies many other things and it is believed that a person becomes what he is called. That is, his or her destiny is determined by the name (this needs more discussion though). To other parents, the name is just that- a name with no particular meaning or destiny tied to it but just to ensure the child is not referred to as ‘weee or wewe’ (wahala!!!)

 

bonnie-and-takisha

Bonnie Musambi is the host of Zinga la Asubuhi show on KBC Radio Taifa. He is not just a presenter but the most celebrated breakfast show host. Exactly 2 months ago, Bonnie Musambi and his wife Betty welcome their 2nd born daughter Takisha Matanah.

I fell in love with the name Takisha…it is to me, so sweet to the mouth and ear so, I was curious to know the reason behind that beautiful name for a beautiful little girl. Bonnie Musambi was not mean, he told me in black and white the genesis of the name Takisha Matanah. Please read on…

Takisha is an English- Arabic name which means ‘Healthy and alive.’

When my Betty got pregnant with the angel she didn’t know it until 2 months later. So when nausea and such began to manifest, she confused it for stomach ulcers and went ahead to purchase some ‘heavy’ tabs over the counter, which she swallowed for a whole week with no improvement putting the life of the fetus at risk. She could have gone for more tabs had I not intervened and politely suggested a pregnancy test. Betty not only loves me but she considered my suggestions. She bought a home pregnancy test kit and as clear as the moon, the two dark lines where visible- we were expectant again!

betty-expectant-with-takisha

Fast forward, the pregnancy progressed well until 8 months when a scan revealed that the baby was only 1.3kg. That for sure is an underweight baby and with only a month to delivery, Betty was scared and frustrated- so was I.

‘Supu ya mifupa na ndizi’ I found myself thinking about this upon receiving the not so good news. From that day on, bone soup and bananas were the order of the day in my house until the last scan was done days before delivery from which to our surprise and relief, the baby weighed 2.7kgs. Yes! She doubled her weight in only one month and we were now ready and happy to ‘download the new app’ to our family.

Finally on 16th July 2016 at 1.05pm baby Takisha was born through caesarean section at The Nairobi hospital thanks to God who worked through Dr. Kigen Bartilol and believe it or not she weighed 3.3kgs!

betty-and-takisha-in-hosy

When she was born, I and her elder sister Lovelyn had a common cold and cough – that’s normal in the cold month of July. Nevertheless, the newborn was not infected at all never mind a newborn’s low immunity.

Looking at the health risks that the baby endured both in the womb and at birth, it was only appropriate for me to prophesy health and life for her hence the name Takisha.

Oh and this will surprise you more! Betty and I had hoped for a son to ‘balance the equation’ since we already have a daughter but God saw it fit to give us another daughter. Therefore, Takisha was also named Matanah a Hebrew name meaning ‘God’s gift’ for God gave us what we needed and not what we wanted.

lil-takisha

My advice: choose prophetic names for our children for names serve a huge purpose in their lives.

Thank you Bonnie Musambi aka Kijana Mtall for sharing Takisha’s story. Just like her name, may she grow healthy and live long to reach her destiny.

Do you have a story you would love to share? write to me on lourdeswalusala@yahoo.com or inbox me on facebook at Lourdes Akello Walusala.

Remember to click, read and follow lourdesdiary.wordpress.com for inspiring maternal and children health stories.

Enjoy your weekend!

Unneeded or expired medicine in your home is simply poison within reach!

Lourdes Diary

I am a keeper. In fact, I can keep an empty perfume bottle for 5 years – I have a Beyonce Pulse perfume bottle that is older than Jabali (wahala!!!) not for anything but just for optical nutrition…I look at the beautiful bottle and smile!

And even after having Jabali, I extended the keeping madness even in medicines- what a terrible mess! On Sunday, I took Jabali to Nairobi Hospital and was diagnosed with an ear and throat infection. He was given 1001 medicines, which I had nowhere to store them and that is when, like Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden after taking the forbidden fruit, my eyes opened shwaaaaaa! and I thought to myself, ‘what if Jabali, with his mighty strength, managed to open just one bottle of Argumentine, cetamol or even Zyrtec and sip it generously?’ The picture that flashed my mind of what can…

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Unneeded or expired medicine in your home is simply poison within reach!

I am a keeper. In fact, I can keep an empty perfume bottle for 5 years – I have a Beyonce Pulse perfume bottle that is older than Jabali (wahala!!!) not for anything but just for optical nutrition…I look at the beautiful bottle and smile!

Beyonce Pulse

And even after having Jabali, I extended the keeping madness even in medicines- what a terrible mess! On Sunday, I took Jabali to Nairobi Hospital and was diagnosed with an ear and throat infection. He was given 1001 medicines, which I had nowhere to store them and that is when, like Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden after taking the forbidden fruit, my eyes opened shwaaaaaa! and I thought to myself, ‘what if Jabali, with his mighty strength, managed to open just one bottle of Argumentine, cetamol or even Zyrtec and sip it generously?’ The picture that flashed my mind of what can happen made me sweat and shudder!

New Image

Keeping medicines after they are no longer needed creates an unnecessary health risk in the home, especially if there are children present. It goes without saying that very young children explore their world with their mouths. And being young, they do not know which items are safe to eat and that means one thing: they are vulnerable to being poisoned. It only takes a few seconds for a child to swallow a dangerous amount of poisonous product and the rest becomes a painful history.

 

POISON 1

 

Part of the poison in my house

 

 

Accidental exposure to medicine in the home is a major source of unintentional poisonings as it provides an opportunity for a child or pet to accidentally take the medicine. Medicines can result in fatality if they are accidentally taken by children. Some of the possible harmful effects include breathing difficulties or heart problems, which can lead to death.

Child proofing your home in a nutshell:

  • Never leave vitamin bottles or other medications on kitchen tables, countertops, bedside tables, or dresser tops. Small children may decide to try to copy adults and help themselves.
  • Never tell a child that medicine tastes like sweets…this will motivate them to try and eat the sweets even when you are not around.
  • Store all medications — prescription and nonprescription — out of sight and out of reach of children, preferably in a locked cabinet. Even items that seem harmless, such as mouthwash, can be extremely dangerous if ingested in large quantities by children. Just because cabinets are high doesn’t mean kids can’t get their hands on what’s in them — they’ll climb up to get to items in the medicine cabinet
  • Close your medicine caps tightly after every use. Choose child-resistant caps for medicine bottles, if you’re able to.
  • Clean out your medicine cabinet by getting rid of unused or expired medicine. Safely dispose of unneeded medicine in the household trash or flush the medicines down the sink or toilet to remove this risk from your home. Before throwing out your empty medicine packaging, remember to scratch out all personal information on the prescription label to make it unreadable.

For records, I packed all the ‘poison’ in my house and disposed of them. I encourage you to do the same.

Have a safe weekend and a safer home!!!!!

 

PACKED POISON

 

my packed poison ready for disposal

 

 

Early bird: The highs and lows of parenting a premature baby

It is every mother’s prayer and dream to give birth to a fully baked baby- at least 37 weeks because, generally, the earlier a baby is born, the higher the risk of complications. Although the miracle of birth might be overshadowed by concern about your preemie’s health, the ups and downs, triumphs and setbacks are always present.

 

PRETTY AZ

Pretty Azalea

Christine Wachira gave birth to her daughter Azalea at 34 weeks. I still remember her message popping up on the chat ‘believe it or not, I gave birth to baby Azalea Grace Njeri last night’ Wahala!! I checked my calendar to ensure it was not April fools day. And since by then I lived a stone throw away from the hospital where she was admitted, I dragged my 70 something kg pregnant self to Uhai Neema and behold the preemie princess was indeed born. Christine Wachira has shared her experience parenting her preemie princess…please enjoy the read.

 

 

Christine and AZ

Christine and her daughter Azalea

 

When I first found out I was pregnant I didn’t know what to feel!

 
I was both elated and out of mind excited! But was also a little nervous.
I mean yes getting pregnant was something I’d always dreamt about and the thought of a little girl that was a mini me was just a dream! I didn’t waste a minute informing my mother and siblings and they were all excited too.

 
I broke the news to her father who also joined us in celebrating.
After 4 months as we headed for our routine prenatal clinics a nurse advised me to get a scan because I’d shown interest in knowing the baby’s gender. Excited, we went to the radiologist’s office and lying there happy and waiting for the news he had a concerned look on his face.

 
“Uum everything is fine with the baby, healthy weight…viable heartbeat…as far as I can tell SHE is a healthy baby!” OMG I was going to have a daughter, a true little version of her Mama. Amidst all the excitement couldn’t help but notice there was more to it. He went ahead to tell me, that he could clearly see that my cervix was dilating quite early. My cervix dilating 5months early couldn’t be good.

 
I was sent back to my gynaecologist to further explain this to me. Due to the cervix dilation, it meant that I couldn’t exert more pressure on myself as it would make the baby move further down and this would mean a premature birth. I was given total bed rest for the remaining months, no leaving the house or doing house chores. No physical exertion of any kind. This was the hardest part or so I thought at that moment. All that time on my own meant more time for worrying about everything that could go wrong with my baby, what if I did something wrong and I lost her?
Dr Ouko at Uhai Neema Hospital was one of my biggest supports during the remaining months.

 
During those months in between cramps and leaking amniotic fluid it became an even more challenging pregnancy as taking stairs was banned at all costs. The more recent scan showed that the fluid had reduced immensely because every time I went for a short call I would feel lots of it leak afterwards.
I would speak to my little girl and ask her to hang on, at 32 weeks were almost there.

 
At 34weeks on a Thursday morning, I went for my routine scan and was told so far so good. Lots of rest was doing us good. I left for home and decided to nap on the couch, but little nagging cramps that were so distant kept me awake. By evening they were more intense, and as I was home at Mums’ she quickly advised a hospital check up at 11pm. The drive there seemed really long and at the hospital reception I couldn’t wait any longer and walked myself to the maternity wards to find my gynaecologist as that was his night shift.

 
It was clear for everyone except me that I was going into labour. As I was getting a V.E done I was informed to my shock and horror that I was 8cm dilated and my water had broke. In half an hour I was in serious labour and before I could blink thrice my baby Azalea Grace Njeri was born at 2am 11th April, at 34weeks weighing 2kgs.

 

AZ same outfit months apart

Azalea: Same outfit, months apart

Usually, Mums spend on average 2nights maximum in the hospital and leave with their babies.With a premature baby, breathing difficulties are common in the beginning even though I had prior received 2 steroid injections to boost the maturity of her lungs as a premature birth was expected 

 

Nights in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) proved the most difficult week of my life as it was characterised byswollen feet, sleepless nights as the baby would wake up randomly and want a feed, unable to breastfeed we had to express and cup feed. I remember several of us mothers in the nursery at 2am, our babies chest to chest in kangaroo therapy, praying for our extremely delicate angels, praying to get out of there healthy and alive.

You would change and feed your baby and slowly creep back to bed to catch even 10minutes of sleep and just when you shut your eyes, someone’s baby crying would wake you up or someone would wake you up to tell you yours was awake. It would be accurate to say we slept and lived up and down the corridors with huge feet that didn’t fit in slippers any more Lol sounds funny now.

 
On the fourth night, I was given my baby for the first time to sleep with in the ward ready to be discharged the next day. I remember not sleeping and just sitting up staring at her afraid to squash her in my sleep!

 
In preparation to leave, after I’d packed ready to leave for home, the paediatrician realised Azalea was jaundiced and she had to be admitted back for photo therapy for 2days! I was crushed, crying and refusing to let go because it felt like they were stealing her AGAIN. A certain Lady who was being discharged stood with me at the glass window, where I was weeping, watching my child in just a diaper and blindfold alone under the blue photo therapy light, she hugged me as I cried and spoke encouraging words to me. “The God that gave you this baby, will hold your hand through it all. You and your baby will leave here victorious”
True to that after 2 days we were discharged.

CHRISTINE AND AZ2
The stay at home was easier because I had people around me who were always there to help me. Today my princess is a happy healthy baby and I’m forever grateful to God for this blessing.

Has your baby arrived earlier than expected? Hang in there he or she will make it out of hospital healthy and stronger.

Thanks very much Christine Wachira for sharing. May Azalea grow heathier and continue being a source of joy to you and all the people around her.

Breastfeeding twins: Does double feeding means double trouble?

When I was expecting Jabali, I needed a support group. A friend recommended Pregnant Mom Support Group then one day as I was going through the posts; I stumbled into a post asking all those whose EDD is May/June 2015 to drop their numbers so that they can be added into a Whatup group.

‘Brilliant’ I thought to myself. And without wasting more time, 0720 97…3 was dropped.

‘Welcome Lourdes, how many weeks are you? When is your EDD?’ said the ever warm admin called Tancredi (Tan) whose words became the group’s signature welcoming statement.

A slasher here and a tarimbo there left the group with 37 awesome diamonds. Close knit friends who were brought together by social media and equalized by pregnancy and motherhood. We fight, we resolve, we laugh together, cry together and give each other both virtual and real hugsT…it is such a beautiful story that needs to be told in a separate post I promise I will.

 

MUMS AND BABIES

 

Awesome Diamonds

 

 

Long story short, I came to learn that Sandy is also the admin of the group. Sandy is our big sister. She will answer your distress call at 2am. She cools the temperature when emotions and hormones speedometer is reading ‘very high’. She is a special and strong mother of Twins- Zuri and Zuriel (say aaaw!) Please hold you glasses of champagne and let’s toss as Sandy shares her experience breastfeeding twins. Please enjoy the read!

From the time I found out I was pregnant for the third time, I instinctively tuned my mind to breastfeed exclusively for six months as I had done before with my older children and continue thereafter until when they were at least 2 yrs old. Being a third time mum this sounded easy because I had done it 2 times before. Uncle Google & all the support groups on social media were also a click away.

Come the day for my first ultrasound scan at 8 weeks ahem!!! The sonographer first asked me how many children I had and I said 2. Then she said it casually more of a joke “mama prepare for twins” and I asked her my eyes popping “really?” she answered “we aren’t even started yet.” She asked me again “What would you do if you found out you are carrying more than one baby?” I told her jokingly “who am I to do anything if God saw it fit to double or triple bless me?” She looked at me as this strong & courageous woman, not minding raising more than three children; I wish she knew how inside I was busy telling God to please let it be a singleton lol.

 

Zuriel and Zuri

 

Zuriel and Zuri at one

 

 

God must have been looking at me smiling saying “huyu mama yuko na jokes” as one of my friends would say. She then dropped the bomb on me this time for real “then prepare for 2 more because I can see two heartbeats” I didn’t know how to react, I just stared at her with mixed emotions our earlier conversation playing in my head. When I found words I asked her if she was sure and she turned the monitoring screen towards me carefully monitoring my facial reactions & voice to try & pick what I was thinking. From the moment I saw the tiny movements of heartbeats on the ultrasound screen I fell even more in love with my soon to be bundles of joy. I finally felt so strong & told myself “with God on my side I can do this” I swore to do anything within my capability to take good care of the pregnancy & soon babies. It took my husband a few days to wrap his head around this and accept that God had indeed given us a double blessing.

Sandy

Funny thing I had never been anywhere near newborn multiples. I had to learn about raising multiples from scratch. I was lucky to find a group by the name ‘Multiple Blessings’ and the ‘Multiples to Multiples Society’ both founded by the awesome Dr. Elizabeth Wala, who herself is a mother of triplets. Here I found parents and guardians of multiples from twins to quadruples, you name it.

I drew a lot of strength from this group, knowing that I wasn’t alone in this walk. It was the only place where I could get answers to questions only a parent of multiples understood. It is here where I learnt it is possible to exclusively breastfeed multiples for the first six months just as you’d do singletons but with increased dedication and extra work.

I became more determined than ever to exclusively breastfeed because I believed it was doable. The preparations began, I bought almost all the necessary accessories for breastfeeding, from a breast pump to feeding bottles, twin breastfeeding pillow to nursing bras you name it! I also watched, read & asked questions in tandem with nursing on YouTube, web pages & social media support groups for multiple parents.

 

Young Zuri and Zuriel

 

Zuriel and Zuri at birth

 

 

The day finally came I finally met my munchkins at 38 weeks. They were tiny and delicate, weighing 2.2kgs and 2.4kgs respectively. That weight to multiple parents is a big blessing because the babies will not need to be in the neonatal intensive care unit not unless there are other complications and this also means shortened hospital stay.

I knew breastfeeding was the first sure way to boost their immunity & help them gain weight. I was lucky I had milk trickling within few hours of giving birth. As soon as I was fully awake and completely recovered from anesthesia since I had a cesarean section, my babies were brought for our first meeting. Aaaaaw it felt so beautiful bonding for the first time outside the womb, and what more could we cement the bond with other than breast milk?

At first I found it difficult latching both of them together and maintain a good posture owing to pain on the CS incision. I developed sore nipples but luckily the obstetrician /gynecologist & pediatrician I was under came to my aid. They were both so determined to see me breastfeed and did everything they could to make sure I nursed correctly.

Never in my life had I seen any man teach someone how to nurse because naturally, nursing is a female affair but ah ah! Dr.Odawa did it so well God bless him; Dr. Mirriam Karanja was of great help too. On our second day in hospital the twins were found to have jaundice. They were put under phototherapy treatment and I was encouraged by the pediatrician to breastfeed them more, to increase their bowel movement which helps secrete the buildup of bilirubin. I did this diligently amidst fatigue.

We got discharged from hospital after 7 days and now it was time to face the real world. During the first few days, the babies were constantly hungry and it seemed like all we did all day was breastfeeding and pumping. I couldn’t keep a nursing schedule and this became very frustrating, I was almost going into depression but I am grateful for my husband’s support. I learnt to stop having unrealistic expectations of things because there is no guarantee that whatever I read or experiences shared with me must match 100%. I learnt to eat right and keep myself hydrated, accept whatever amount of help from relatives and friends which in turn allowed me to have more physical and mental rest which is crucial in milk production and live each day at a time.

 

Sandy and the Twns having a good time

 

Sandy and the twins having a good time

 

 

Though I did not manage to exclusively breastfeed for six months because of health issues we still breastfeed even after weaning. We are 16 months old now and breastfeed on demand.

Double feeding does not necessarily mean double feeding trouble. With the right attitude, determination and sacrifice I believe exclusive breastfeeding of multiples is manageable and achievable.

 

Sandy's children

 

Sandy’s Children: Nicole, Zuriel, Jaeda and Zuri

 

 

Thanks Sandy for sharing your story.

7 Golden Truths about Breast Milk

 

MILK STORAGE 2

Frozen breast Milk- an intelligent idea!

 

The term ‘liquid gold’ is very common to breastfeeding mums. I guess most mums especially those active on social media have used that term at some point…I used it a lot when Jabali was younger and when I was so determined to exclusively breastfeed him. I jealously guarded my liquid gold that I didn’t want even a drop to go to waste. Blackouts literary gave me malaria especially thinking that my liquid gold will thwart and therefore rubbish all my pumping effort. There was, this time, I had said should the blackout go for more than five hours, I would carry Jabali and go cry at the KPLC’s boss office- those were postpartum hormones talking hahaha!

So in my reading escapades yesterday, I came across a blog post by World Vision and that term was used. Nostalgia is an understatement- I guess I am already missing breastfeeding a newborn- anyway, let Jabali have his field day until 24 months then I will see how it goes (Wahala!!).

Back to the blog post by World Vision, the headline was the same as that on this post ‘7 Golden Truths about Breast Milk’ and the information therein was simple yet mind blowing. I have copy pasted the post as it was please have a read:

World Breastfeeding Week is August 1-7, 2016. It’s designed by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA), a global network of individuals and organisations concerned with the protection, promotion and support of breastfeeding worldwide. 

As global citizens, we want to applaud mums who breastfeed. They are paving a way for healthy futures.

Did you know breast milk is considered liquid gold for babies? Exclusive breastfeeding provides all the water, nutrition and immunology a baby needs. Not only is breastfeeding good for the baby, but it’s good for mum too! In honour of Breastfeeding week, ready learn more about breastfeeding? Here are 7 Golden Truths about Breast Milk:

  1. Breast milk is free and universally available, even in very resource-constrained settings.
  2. Milk changes its nutritional profile as baby grows (milk made for a 3-month-old is different than for a 9-month-old).  Milk can even change day to day—for example, water content may increase during times of hot weather and baby-sickness to provide extra hydration.
  3. Breast milk contains endorphins which soothe and calm babies during times of stress.
  4. Breastfed children have at least six times greater chance of survival in the early months than non-breastfed children.
  5. Breast milk is filled with disease fighting bacteria that keep baby’s digestive systems functioning properly.
  6. It is safer, easier and less expensive to give the mother more food than to expose the baby to risks associated with breast milk substitutes.
  7. In the long term, breastfeeding reduces type 2 diabetes and cancers like breast, uterine and ovarian for the mother.

Mind blowing, right? It’s no wonder why this Liquid Goal is crucial for a child’s nutritional development in the first 1,000 Days of life and is key in making a #HungerFree world possible.

MILK STORAGE

I hope you enjoyed these golden truths as much as I did.

#BreastfeedForHealthyFuture

#Worldbreasfeedingweek

 

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