Our One to One Midiwife Training in the Mountains

The rainy season is coming soon. In the mountains close to la Ceiba, there are a lot of small communities, which often will be cut off from the next hospital during the rainy season, as the rivers can raise so high and, as there is no bridge, there is no way to cross it.

 

 

For this reason often pregnant women close to their due date, or women in labor, get trapped in the mountains, which caused in the last years maternal and newborn death, as the local traditional midwives have become very old, and are often not any longer able to assist with their life long experience. Besides of this they often has not been prepared for emergency situations, as a baby which does not breath after birth or a sudden upcoming hemorrhage of a women.

Midwives ‘parteras’ in Honduras do often not get any formal training.
The tradition of passing the knowledge down to the next generation is almost dying out. Continue reading

Compassion and Respect

by Virginia Mccabe

I have been working as a doula/ birth companion for the birthing mothers. My responsibilities are to comfort and support the women throughout their labor. The job is very rewarding! The women are not allowed to have family members in the labor ward so having someone to talk to, hold their hand and comfort is very appreciated by the women.

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Lottery at the Childbirth education Class

During my time here I have been a part of a great hands-on birthing class, hosted by Silva. We had a wide range of experienced to new mothers, even a nurse joined us. I thought the information was very informative, the women gained very useful knowledge on birth and were all very grateful.

Working for Dar a Luz is very flexible. You can take a few days off in order to enjoy the beautiful islands around Honduras. Or you can work in different areas.

For me, my time and experience here has been invaluable. I came here wanting to help these women because they don’t have the same birthing luxuries as in my country but deserve the same compassion and respect. Although we speak a different language love and kindness transcends any language barrier. Coming away from this I now know that birth is what I want to study, to become a midwife.

El Parto Respetado/ Respected Birth

cake parto respetado television crewsLast month we were also able to start and support a Respecting Birth Campaign in the public hospital of La Ceiba: the influence  of the enviroment during childbirth, avoid episitomies, stop kristeller (fundul pressure) and YES to protect the perineum! Many key members of staff of the hospital attended the presentation this morning given Silvia and the highly respected ginecologist Dr. Diaz Solano. Silvia spoke over respected birth and Dr. Diaz gave a presentation to stop Kristeller (fundul pressure), how to avoid episiotmoy and perineal reperation. Televsion crews turned up, and we were happy to offer everyone a slice of the beautiful Respecting Birth Cake.

Thanks to Emily and Christianna!

Christianna and Emliy

Christianna,Doula and Nurse Midwife from the United States, and Emily, Doula from England.

Out of my heart a big thanks to you Christianna and Emliy! You came both at the same time! You did an amazing job!  It has been amazing to have you here! And I am looking forward to see you again! Thank you for supporting so many women in the hospital for participating in the childbirth educationc and supporting the seminar for respectful birth! Thanks for all your good ideas and deep understanding of the aims of the project!

Thanks to you Christanna for doing placenta models, preparing and holding an RCP for newborn workshop, for all the donations you brought along with you and you organized! Thanks to you Emily for supporting office work, and your wonderful initiative and ideas to support breastfeeding  in the hospital!

All the best wishes from Honduras!

 

Moskito Protection for Women and Newborn Babies

Last month we also have been able to put moskito protection on all the windows in the postpartum ward at the hospital Atlantida!

Now all the women and their newborn babies will be protected from dangerous moskito bytes.

A big thanks goes out to Christianna, which organized a donation to make this happen, and to Alberto, which donated his time to put up the moskito protection.

Thank you Christianna!

 

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.

Lots of Babies

Christianna and Emliy

Midwife Chrsitianna and Doula Emily

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.