There are usually 500-600 moms at any one time that RHFH helps that are breastfeeding their children. They understand the benefits and advantages that breastfeeding has for them and their child. Whenever possible, we encourage breastfeeding and help new moms through this process. Of the 514 newborns that were born this past year, 504 moms decided and could breastfeed – 98.1%. We even have some moms and at-risk babies live here with us for a week as we encourage, teach, and show them.
This our first choice and the staff believes and expects that most moms will breastfeed their children. If they don’t, we always investigate their reasoning. The nurses try to bring truth to confusing situations and wrong information. Sometimes, the mom needs someone to rally her to make this decision or talk her through something that is abnormal. The nurses are incredible about holding moms accountable to breastfeeding and don’t easily let them get out of this responsibility.
The need comes when a mother dies or is extremely ill. Currently there are 36 infants on the formula program. Some of the inpatient babies came to us in a malnourished state and were too young to put on the Medika Mamba program. Formula is easy for their tummies to tolerate and helps them gain weight and grow. There are 20 inpatients (62 cans/month) and 16 outpatients (36 cans/month) on formula. When an orphaned baby comes to the clinic, the nurses talk through with the family to come up with the best long-term plan for the family. Often, an aunt or grandmother can care for the baby and we can simply provide the formula. These outpatient cases are required to come at least once a month for a free check-up where we make sure they are gaining weight and staying healthy. We treat infections & illness, answer questions, and educate. When there is no family to care for the baby, we admit the baby and get them through the critical first year of life. During these months, the father/family work out a plan for the child to make sure that there is someone to care for them when discharged. When the child is healthy and thriving and the family is ready, the child goes home and continues to follow up in the outpatient clinic. This is a long process that is not easy for anyone, but it helps offer an alternative to an orphanage or adoption.
We receive donated cans of powdered formula throughout the year from volunteers that carry it down in their luggage or ship it on the supply semi that comes down. These donations are always appreciated and always used, but they can’t meet all the need. We have found that the cheapest and best option for these infants is to buy formula here in Haiti. This helps fill in the gaps when there is no donated formula available, is easy to purchase, helps the Haitian economy, and helps avoids tummy upset from changing types of formulas frequently since it is all the same brand. Currently, a large 32oz can of infant formula is $13.00 and will make about 207oz of liquid formula (around 26 8oz bottles).
We are inviting you to donate towards providing formula for these 36 babies to grow healthy and strong. Not only that, but we promise to educate and encourage one mom to breastfeed for every can of formula donated.
It’s a 1-for-1 agreement for life and growth.
$13 will provide 1 can of formula
$26 will provide formula for a newborn on the outpatient program for one month
$43 will provide formula for all 36 kids for one day
If any of these options sound possible for you, please use the paypal button below or send a check to RHFH, 15215 Endeavor Drive, Noblesville, IN 46060. Thank you so very much!
UPDATE: As May comes to a close, we thank those 27 donors who gave $2179 to the FORMULA FUND. This will purchase 167 containers of formula! THANK YOU!!!