by Pamela Gaw in May 2011
I found Silvia’s blog in February and immediately felt called to help. Silvia is an amazing woman, so devoted and full of love.
A couple of things we did:
Medical Interns: We invited the Medical Interns over for dinner and to watch some birth videos. The students were very open-minded and were discussing the freedom of movement and water births.
Workshop: Silvia and I had a great workshop with 7 of the labor & delivery nurses. We spoke on relaxation techniques, positions during labor, massage techniques (which the nurses loved!), the Dar a Luz Honduras project and about doulas. I am so excited to hear that so many doulas are interested in coming to Honduras. I just got back today and can’t wait to return. There is such a great need for help in Honduras.
There are differences in the birth culture from the U.S. For example, husbands/partners are not allowed in the labor rooms, often no freedom of movement past 5 centimeters (moms have to stay in bed laying down).
On my last night, we worked at the hospital with three first time moms. After the births, (which were all within 30 minutes of each other), one doctor said, “Wow I am surprised these moms dilated so fast” to which a nurse replied “It’s because Silvia and the doula were here.” It’s not because of us, but it’s the power of someone present, who by loving and caring for the moms, helps them relax and progress quicker. Studies show 25% shorter birth with the presence of a doula. (Information obtained from studies in Mothering the Mother, Klaus, Kennell, and Klaus (1993).
I am truly blessed by my experience and so inspired by Silvia. She is a pioneer paving the way for volunteers to come into the hospitals in Honduras. Silvia has already gone to several hospitals and has established relationships with nurses, doctors and host families. One of her visions is to have doulas all over Honduras.