CELEBRATING THE INTERNATIONAL WEEK FOR RESPECTFUL MATERNITY CARE

by Tanya Penna

In late May, for THE INTERNATIONAL WEEK FOR RESPECTFUL MATERNITY CARE , Dar a Luz held two events in Tegucigalpa.

One event was attended by approximately 30 doctors in their internship year.  The purpose of the event was to raise consciousness and sensitivity on the importance of adopting respectful maternity care. Silvia reminded participants that many practices that align with respectful birth principles already exist in the national guidelines for birth.

The other event was attended by 20 nurses including head nurses, nurses from labour and delivery, neonatology, and obstetric emergency. Silvia covered the same topics with the nurses that she explored with the intern doctors but also included a component on the importance of applying comfort measures to laboring mothers, the effects of the use of oxytocin on labour and birth, and how the environment influences birth outcomes.

Both events included interactive exercises and roll playing to help increase consciousness, sensitivity while providing participants with practical skills and techniques they can in turn use with their patients. In addition Dar a Luz provided participants with brochures promoting the elimination of harmful and unnecessary practices such as fundal pressure and avoiding episiotomy.

These seminars are powerful and have lasting effects on the staff.  The doctors were very appreciative of the event and it is worth noting that one intern doctor cried in the end, and thanked us for providing them with the opportunity to reflect on how their practices impact the women they care for. Similarly, the nurses were also very appreciative and afterwards engaged in a discussion about how to include the different techniques they learned into their work with laboring and birthing mothers.

Refreshments, cake, snacks, and bananas were provided thanks to donations received from a Canadian community. Thank you!

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