RCP Neonatal Workshop

by Emily Houseman

Last month we have been able to provide a RCP neonatal presentation and workshop to some of the intern doctors at the hospital of La Ceiba.

We were really grateful for this opportunity to get everyone up to date and practicing their skills. The interns got to work on the special “Neonathalie”baby, with her built-in variable heart and breathing rates, creating life-like scenarios to practice on.

The information was very well received, and the staff even found themselves doing compressions and breaths in time to the Bee Gees “uh uh uh uh staying alive, staying alive”, making it an unforgettable workshop!

We look forward to having Christianna back and are grateful to all she put in to get make this presentation a success. Silvia used the change to present some excellent videos to educate the staff about some aspects of childbirth less widely known in Honduras, including benefits of waterbirth and birthing in upright positions.

Donated Fetoscopes

At the moment we have three regular rural midwife groups that we are working with. One aim, besides many others, is to improve prenatal care and teach our rural midwives to recognize problems. For this reason we gave them “heart beat counters”, ….. .

At the moment, the midwives try to detect the babies’ heartbeats with toilet paper rolls. Although this does work, it would be ideal to provide each of them with a good fetoscope.

We were very happy when a donation from Krista and her community in Canada arrived. She brought 6 fetoscopes with her. Because of this donation, we will provide six midwives with a good fetoscopes. Each midwife will be  able to give better prenatal care in their very remote, rural areas. They are able to detect problems earlier and faster, and therefore send women to a health care center or hospital to receive help. Although these are often located far away, it means that they can go and receive the support they need, often saving lives of  mothers and babies.

The Room Divider

In one of the pictures above you can see how women have to give birth in one of the puplic hospitals in their labor and delivery unit. The birth chairs you can see are called “burras” – donkeys. Women don’t have a protected, private space to give birth, and there are often three women in the room at the same time giving birth who can all see each other.

If you were to give birth here, you might see another women giving birth across the room from you. Or she may be getting stitched after her birth, or may be having a stillbirth. There may be many people around watching you. You’d feel so uncomfortable your contractions would almost stop. In this culture, there is a lot of shame, where nobody except perhaps your mother has seen your vagina. Sometimes the student nurse groups involve up to 20 people in the delivery room. They are watching you push, waiting for your baby to be born. A lot of people are watching, the lights are very bright and your legs are wide open.

For this reason we are so happy that now have a homemade divider for the hospital delivery rooms, which provides some separation and protection for the mothers as they give birth. This was possible due to a donation from doula Krista and her community in Canada. We are very grateful to them, to the two wonderful man, Alberto and Edwin, who donated their time to construct it, and to Dar a Luz funds which enabled the completion of this project.

Thanks to everybody involved! Thanks also  to the hospital for accepting this divider, and for wanting to use  it each day.

Now, if you were to give birth here, there is the option to wheel the divider in between to provide some protection. You would have some privacy from the lady next to you, and from other people watching you.

Thanks to Stephanie and Kristi!

Volunteer Doula Stephanie White Giving out heart beat counters.

Volunteer Doula Stephanie White Giving out heart beat counters.


by Ashleigh Menzies

Kristi Macaulay, Thank you Kristi!

Kristi Macaulay, Thank you Kristi!

Dar a Luz would like to say thank you to  Stephanie White from the United States and Kristi Macaulay  from Canada.  Both of these lovely doulas volunteered at the hostpial in La Ceiba supporting women in labor. Jennifer volunteered with  us from January to March, and while she was here, she met Kristi, who was traveling through Honduras. After hearing Jennifer’s experience in the hospital, Kristi was compelled to volunteer with Dar a Luz as well.  She spent 2 weeks working tirelessly in the hospital, without speaking any Spanish. Kristi is still supporting our project by doing editing and public relations. She also sent down several donations. We appreciate all yo ur hard work, Stephanie and Kristi!

A huge THANK YOU to GynZone!

by Ashleigh Menzies

Dar a Luz would to extend a huge thank you to GynZone for their donation of educational materials to our organization!  GynZone is a company based in Denmark that produces learning modules regarding the diagnosis and repair of perineal lacerations after birth.  GynZone is lead by a team that includes gynecologists, a midwife, and a physiotherapist who have used their wealth of knowledge to create these materials.  We have started implementing lectures on the protection of the perineum, as there is a high occurrence of perineal lacerations in public hospitals, such as this case http://darlaluzhonduras.wordpress.com/2013/08/29/the-sad-reality-about-perineal-laceration/ .  Thanks to the generosity of GynZone, we hope to be able to better educate the interns in the public hospitals about the correct way to repair these serious injuries.  To learn more about this http://www.gynzone.net/home .

Installing and donating Curtains for more privacy, Hospital Tela

Installing curtain rails and donating curtains to the birth ward of the public hospital of Tela. With Christine, Jennifer, Aaron and Alberto- an amazing volunteer group. While there Christinne and Jennifer has been able to support a women, Maria Elena, in labor and get her to use the birth ball, which aswell has been donated by Dar a Luz to the unit.

It looks so beautiful now, and women get more privacy!


 by Kristi Macaulay

San Ignacio is a 3 hour drive from the closest hospital and for those who live in the surrounding towns the distance can be upwards of six hours.  In 2012 Amanda Rizik, a former volunteer with Dar a Luz, visited the remote area of San Ignacio to explore for the first time the struggles, and the wisdom, of the local midwives. Traditional midwifes in Honduras, unlike other parts of the world, do not receive any formal training. Although they possess wisdom at working with their intuition, midwives in remotes areas like San Ignacio often lack the skill and knowledge to work with an emergency situation.

In January 2014 it seemed like the right time to finally address these issues. Silvia started to organize a seminar to provide the midwives in San Ignacio with essential  training. Together with Rhonda Lee Grantham, a midwife with extensive international experience, they created a 5 day workshop. They would soon facilitate training with the full support of San Ignacio, which opened the Town Hall to hold the event.  With the attendance of the regional head nurse, Belleza Andinio, the seminar began.  Other participants included the local doctor, nurses and community workers.

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Midwife Support. Thanks to Rhonda Lee Grantham!


Rhonda teaching in San Ignacio

by Kristi Macaulay

A warm thank you goes out to Rhonda Lee Grantham.
Rhonda is an experienced homebirth and hospital midwife and doula in Olympia, Washington. (Wild Rose Midwifery).

Having a lot of international experience, she deeply understands the role of a doula and midwife in a country like Honduras.

During her stay in Honduras, Rhonda volunteered as a Doula in 3 different hospitals throughout the country. Her midwife skills were put to use in San Ignacio during a 5 day doula and midwife training seminar, where together with Silvia, Rhonda prepared the curriculim. This was the first ever intense training seminar facilitated by Dar a Luz. Rhonda also hold a one day midwife seminar in the mountains of La Ceiba. Her talents also extended into the office, where she was a great help with administration and public relations for Dar a Luz.

Rhonda is an open minded midwife. Her empathy, compassion and intuition was invaluable.

Donations from Canada. Thank you Carmen!


Carmen and Silvia


Beautiful and much needed Donations

by Kristi Macaulay

Dar a Luz would like to extend a big thank you to Carmen Wiebe.
During her stay in Honduras, Carmen volunteered in two different hospitals supporting women in labour and delivery.  She also kindly helped with public relations and administration. Her assistance also extend prior to her stay in Honduras with the help and support of her community in Canada, where Carmen collected and donated  much needed items for use of Dar a Luz initiatives, including Canadian handmade and store bought baby clothes, as well as sewing kits for the Breast Feeding Pillow Project.