by Leila Counihan
On June 9th, Silvia and I took a trip to the public hospital in Tela where we had planned to give a lecture on relaxation techniques during labor. We brought many different supplies with us, such as a birthing ball, a demonstration pelvis and baby, body massage tools as well as handouts on safe techniques to help with labor pain.
The hospital in Tela is an amazing facility. When you enter, you are greeted by warm, welcoming nurses and staff. The labor and delivery nurses are incredibly enthusiastic about learning better relaxation techniques to support the moms that deliver in their hospital. They were open-minded and wanted to hear about birthing practices all over the world.
Silvia did a great job of explaining how massage, pressure points and different positions during birth can help to alleviate pain for the mom, as well as to progress labor. We demonstrated counter pressure on the lower back and the hip squeeze. We also demonstrated massage to the hands, back and swollen ankles. The nurses enjoyed
practicing the techniques on each other and commented on how good it felt!
Silvia emphasized the importance of creating an environment with little interruption, where the birthing moms feel protected and safe and can freely express their emotions. She showed a few videos on birthing in other Spanish-speaking countries. The nurses enjoyed them and we talked about ways they could incorporate these techniques into their hospital setting.
Before we left, I gave them a bottle of massage oil made from essential oils as a gift to the labor and delivery department of the hospital. What a great day!