Do you know what a premature baby eats?
Let’s take Nthabiseng, one of the new twins who is eating well, as an example. It’s really pretty amazing.
She’s eating about 30 ml of formula every two hours or so. That means she eats about 360 ml of formula a day. That’s more than a third of a liter.
She only weighs 1.5 kg – a little over 3 pounds – and, for reference, is smaller than a regular 2-liter bottle of soda.
Imagine being that size, and drinking that much milk.
Trying to size it up in some comparable way for myself, all I can picture is a big recycling bin full of milk sitting there for me to drink each day. I don’t think I could do it.
Premature babies have to fight constantly to stay alive, and so they need the nutrients of regular meals. Dr. Amy from the Baylor International Pediatric AIDS Initiative came by yesterday to check on all the babies here, and said the twins are right on track with their eating – a great sign.
They were losing weight at home but have stopped since getting to the safe-home. That they are now suckling and eating well with no signs of vomiting or diarrhea should mean they will start growing quickly.
I have high hopes for these two. I know we have to get them nice and strong before they can go home, as they’ll have to contend with 7 older siblings once back, but I think we’ll get them there.
Even though I’ve seen so many babies transform here for the better, I still get excited every time I see the same promise peak out once more. It’s intoxicating.
The TTLF Fellow is a representative of the North American organisation Touching Tiny Lives Foundation. Based for one year in Mokhotlong, Lesotho, the TTLF Fellow serves in an administrative support capacity for the Basotho charity Touching Tiny Lives (TTL).