Dear all our past and future volunteers and supporters! We’d just like to say thank you for being interested in our work, for coming to volunteer here in Honduras and/or for supporting and donating from afar. Sylvia Bahr
Sylvia was recently awarded the inaugural Human Rights in Childbirth Champion’s Award in recognition of her 12 years of work in Honduras for Respectful Maternity Care and raising awareness of Human Rights for the mother and the new-born during pregnancy and birth. Sylvia will be one of five Ambassadors for Human Rights in Childbirth for 2019, and joins a network of like-minded and passionate individuals working to improve conditions for mothers and babies around the world.
Check out the HRiC website here.
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Recently we took a trip to visit one of our rural midwife groups. We brought some donations of medical supplies for the midwives and the local health centre, and held a meeting to hear about some of the midwives’ recent birth experiences. This group have already received a number of trainings, and we were happy to here about their management of prenatal control and guiding women to the hospitals if they recognized complications with the birth. We also discussed the challenges of delivering a baby in rural, remote conditions—. There is often no running water or electricity available, and sometimes no transport to the nearest town or hospital, especially at night. For these reasons it is so important to support these rural communities.
In February, Dar a Luz Honduras held a week-long training workshop on upright birth with a group of resident doctors, intern doctors, nurses and teaching doctors, as a part of a long-term training goal for the hospital. During the workshop, participants learned about the benefits of upright birth positions, how to protect the perineum and how to support the mother and new-born in an upright birth. Theses workshop will be repeated to train as many staff as possible to know how to attend upright births. Excitingly, on our last day of the workshop the hospital saw its first birth in the squatting position using our new multi-position chairs.
With funding from the German Embassy, new chairs have been developed to support different birth positions. ‘Lucia’ is an adjustable vertical birth chair that can support various birth positions (half-sitting, squatting, hands and knees). It was made completely in Honduras and comes with a metal bar and adjustable footrests for support. There are now two installed in Hospital Escuela Universitario, and a third is in production. These chairs will offer the moms options during birth and help reduce complications such as tearing.
Here are some of our new educational posters on various topics, such as the right to drink water during labor, what constitutes obstetric violence and how to support a woman during birth. Four of the posters are also designed to go in hospital waiting rooms to help educate women about birth, including advice on how to make the birth experience better. After a two-year collaboration process, the posters have all been approved by the Secretary of Health and will be sent to every public hospital in Honduras.
by Amy Nguyen
It is the beginning of my third week with Dar a Luz Honduras and the rainy season has officially begun. I have started work in a another hospital in the capital and will be attending one of the workshops that Silvia teaches there later this week. This one in particular will be a workshop on teenage pregnancy.
Over the past couple months, Dar a Luz Honduras has been progressed in several different projects. As mentioned in a previous post, Silvia has been working on an eductaional video for Respectful Maternity Care and Human Rights in Childbirth with the approval of the Health Department of Honduras and has now begun the editing process with the studio. They are also nearing the final review of educational material (such as brochures and posters), to be distributed throughout all the labor and delivery wards of Honduras for expectant mothers and healthcare personnel.
Furthermore, due to the efforts of Dar a Luz, the curriculum for sixth year medical students now includes Continue reading
by Amy Nguyen
Being able to work as a doula with Dar a Luz Honduras has been an incredibly rewarding and eye-opening experience. I have been working at one of the hospitals for the past three days and already have seen how modeling compassionate and respectful care has had a large impact on the maternity ward. As a doula here, this can be through holding hands, giving massages, verbal reassurance, or giving the mothers reminders or suggestions on how to manage the pain, which is especially helpful since no family members are allowed into the unit. Much of the staff is supportive of the doulas and there are many student doctors here, who can be the ones to bring more compassionate care to all of Honduras.
Dar a Luz is currently producing a video to address human rights during childbirth, respectful maternity care, and obstetric violence. The contents have been approved by the Health Department of Honduras and the video will be distributed to hospitals and health education centers around the country to aid in providing consistency of care.As a doula in a foreign country, I have found that the advice Dar a Luz gives rings true: what is most important is to bring a compassionate and open heart.
– Amy, writing from Santa Lucía, Honduras
by Madison Herel
I am writing from Tegucigalpa, where I have been working as a doula for the past couple of weeks in one of the city’s public hospitals. As a doula with Dar a Luz, my job is to be with women, offering suggestions to manage pain, reminders to relax, and encouragement: sí, sí puede (yes, yes you can).
Thus far, my experience has been incredible; every day I am able to witness the power and strength of these mamas and the endless love they have for their babies. Continue reading