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Snapshot of HOPE

Dominican Republic, January 13, 2017
By: Yaqueline Aquino

Yaqueline Aquino, supports Project HOPE as a data entry/statistics specialist with the Order of Malta Clinic in Santo Domingo. She is also a university student, studying systems engineering. Her Snapshot of HOPE photo essay, HOPE for New Parents, captures the love and pride parents feel for their newborns and the challenges they will endure to make sure their babies receive proper health care to ensure a healthy start to life.

The clinic is a place where mothers take pride in caring for their babies. This story touched my heart, because I have interacted with this mom over the course of her pregnancy. Personally, I have been able to see how proud she is of her baby. She is an older mom, and some have criticized her for becoming pregnant at an older age. Some even think she is the baby’s grandmother. But I admire her. She is very brave, and embraced her pregnancy, even though she knew it would be high risk. She is very close to her baby, attends every medical appointment, and is up to date on all the baby’s vaccinations and check-ups. She is a woman with little resources, but the clinic allows her to keep her baby and herself as healthy as possible and provides hope for the future.

Mother with baby in a Dominican Republic waiting room

The clinic is a place where mothers are encouraged to bond for and care for their babies. Breastfeeding is a part of the healthy baby program endorsed by the clinic staff.  While waiting for her newborn vaccination appointment, her baby became hungry and this woman, like most of the moms at the clinic, felt free and comfortable to suckle her baby in the openness of the clinic waiting room. It was a moment of great emotion knowing that the clinic provides mothers with the support and the healthy environment where they feel free to nurse their babies on demand. 

Dominican Republic mother breastfeeds her baby.

The clinic encourages both mothers and fathers to participate in the health care of their children, and often you see entire families enjoying each other and spending precious time together while waiting for health care visits.

Dominican Republican families await health care

At the clinic, an emphasis is placed on the health of moms and moms-to be to ensure healthy babies. This pregnant mom is getting up to date on her own vaccinations, so that she and her baby are in perfect health.

Pregnant mother in Dominican Republic receives vaccinations

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