by Emily Housman
Being in Honduras is a wonderful thing to do. There’s loads of fresh fruit, smiling la Ceiba faces, happy honking taxis, gorgeous islands and stunning mountains that look awesome when the clouds at the top light up with the golden light. There are also many people without much money, random power-cuts, plastic bags in the streets, mangos falling from trees, and lots and lots of babies being born.
It’s been so wonderful to spend my days here being with women who go to the local hospital to be cared for as they bring their kid into this world. About 20 expectants mums find themselves there each day. They are incredible. Having a baby can be really difficult when conditions aren’t conducive. There’s a real humbling feeling that settles in when I’m with them, and be there with them through it all. Some of them are really quite young, in their teens. I usually only go home when I’m out of energy, because I would prefer just to be there with them. They all have such big hearts.
I’ve been really delighted that all the women I’ve asked have wanted to breastfeed their babies. The truth is that lots don’t, despite their hopes, especially when there’s a long time to wait for their baby after the birth. I encourage them that they truly do have enough milk, at first they aren’t so sure. It’s heartwarming when I show pictures of the babies to the families waiting outside.
I feel so grateful to be here for this time to share with the women and support them in having a more loving birth experience.
Today was awesome because a campaign began here at the hospital all about Respecting Birth. Presentations by Silvia and a well-respected local gynecologist covered issues from benefits of delayed cord clamping and skin to skin, to why not to do so many episiotomies and Kristeller maneuvers. Let’s protect the perineum. Posters have gone up in the delivery room and ward. It’s another step towards a better experience for each laboring mum.
Next week I‘ll be spending some time on a island not too far from here where there are beautiful underwater reefs and fish, and I’m sure lots of coconut trees. There are also fancy hotels where people come from all over the world to enjoy cocktails and the ocean views, and around the corners are lots of shanty homes, busy streets, and meandering tourists. There is also a hospital, and lots of babies being born.