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Story of The Week: Vicky Reynell
My volunteer work with LLL South Africa takes me twice a week to the maternity ward of my local government hospital. The hospital has been working towards Baby Friendly accreditation for several years, and was proud to be accredited this year.

Of the 24 beds available on the ward, four are reserved for mothers with premature babies. It is not unusual for all four beds to be occupied. I remember particularly a mom who gave birth to tiny twin girls, whom she named Faith and Hope. The babies had an unmedicated delivery, but they came into the world very, very early, each weighing no more than 650 g.

These babies may have been small, but they were strong. Mom hand expressed from the first day, and as soon as the girls were stable they received her milk, initially by nasogastric tube, then by cup and finally they were able to breastfeed.
The early introduction of round-the-clock kangaroo mother care was an important factor in the babies' development, and satisfied the emotional and physical needs of babies and mom.

Mom and babes stayed together in the hospital for many weeks, until at last the girls reached discharge weight, 1.800 g, and the little family went home. Mom brought the girls back to the maternity ward for a visit when they were nine months old: two bright little miracles, sustained by mother's love and mother's milk.

Vicky Reynell, LLL Leader from Knysna, South Africa
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