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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.

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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 »

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Traditional Midwife Maria is demonstrating how she is welcoming and “grounding” a baby after 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.

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!

 

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.

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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

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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.

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