Miguel is a seven-month-old baby from Guatemala. He is the fifth child in his family. His mother works at home to take care of their family, and his father is a day laborer.
Miguel’s mother experiences lactation failure, which means that she cannot produce breast milk. This causes Miguel and his twin brother Eduardo to be underweight and small for their age. Because of this, Miguel often cries from hunger, and his mother uses the only substance she can afford––warm sugar water––to soothe him. This limited diet is insufficient and has dangerous implications for Miguel’s health.
Lactation failure can lead to starvation and dehydration. It can also provoke electrolyte imbalances that cause seizures. Brain development occurring during this delicate time is compromised, and Miguel is at risk of long-term damage. To stabilize his condition, Miguel was given a preliminary supply of formula, which will last until our medical partner’s nutritionist can create a nutrition plan and formally begin treatment.
Although lactation failure is dangerous, it is thankfully easy to treat. On February 14, our medical partner, Wuqu’ Kawoq, will begin supplying Miguel’s mother with formula and health education so that Miguel will receive the calories he needs to grow and thrive. Wuqu’ Kawoq is requesting $1,107 for the treatment.
One-on-one education with Miguel’s mother will teach her how to provide a nutritious, inexpensive diet for her son. She will also learn to check for signs of malnutrition and other illness. Miguel’s immune system will strengthen, and he will grow up to be a healthy, energetic baby.
Miguel’s mother says, “I am very worried for my son because he is not growing. I dream for my son to grow up well, study, and one day become a teacher.”