by Mandy Olive
On May 12, 2011, Silvia and Dr. Brooks were featured on the morning News Channel 7 in Honduras. They were asked to speak about the benefits of water births and to address some of the most common concerns surrounding them. This is in response to the upcoming opening of the first water birth center in Honduras in June, 2011. This effort is being led by Dr. Brooks, with the support and advice of Silvia.
On the show, both Silvia and Dr. Brooks addressed common concerns such as, “Won’t the newborn drown?” and “Is it sanitary?”. Silvia also discussed the important part that water can play in enhancing the birthing experience for the woman by allowing her to relax in response to the buoyancy and warmth of the water, decreasing the need for episiotomies and pain relievers. She spoke about various studies that have been done, all of which have shown the safety of water births. There were many viewers calling in to ask questions, but this first segment was cut short by an overbooked morning show. However, because of the high level of interest, they were asked to return the following day to continue their education and address the questions of various callers from the public audience.
On the second day, May 13, 2011, Silvia was able to go further into her discussion of the importance of letting a woman be very mobile during labor. She showed the audience various positions that can be helpful, including the use of an exercise ball. Dr. Brooks also used Silvia’s doll, “Felix Emilio” and the anatomical pelvis to explain to some of the women callers what various fetal positions were, and whether or not they were normal.
He also confessed to the viewers that while having a woman labor on her back is convenient for the OB/GYN, it is not the best position for the mother as she is working against the force of gravity. He explained that he hopes to provide the women in his clinic with various options for maintaining mobility and comfort during labor. Before the segment ended, Silvia showed the viewers a news broadcast that had been done in Spain, which displayed a beautiful new water birth center and the comfort, security and autonomy it offered to the women there.
By the end of the show, all of the amazing benefits of water births had been discussed and the common concerns were addressed. Silvia had spoken about her willingness to offer prenatal classes, and Dr. Brooks had promoted the newest birthing option that will be offered soon in La Ceiba. Within days after the segments aired on TV, Silvia even received a request from a woman in the capital to be the first woman to participate in a water birth. Clearly, the opening of this water birth center will be a significant moment that has the capacity to change the history of labor and delivery here in Honduras.