By Griselda Loya
The Promotoras (health promoters) recently completed a wonderful course, 36 hours in total, which trained us in methods that will equip us to serve as a “Childbirth Companion.” This training covered basic principles of promoting better maternal health, childbirth safety, and assistance and accompaniment.
This course was taught by Border Maternity Midwives-Borderlands Birth and Reproductive Health Service, health and birth workers, and Reproductive Justice Organizers.
During the course we learned many things, including:
massage techniques for the pregnant woman,
- how to distinguish between common symptoms of normal discomfort during pregnancy and significant signs of risk,
- typical feelings and emotions during and after delivery,
- family planning,
- sexually transmitted diseases,
- myths and realities of pregnancy,
- breastfeeding and newborn, and
- how to support the physiological delivery and epidemic of caesarean section.
Maternal Health, Childbirth
Now that we have this training, our goal is to support local families. We especially want to accompany our adolescent mothers through maternity. Our hope is to achieve more prenatal control from the outset, thus reducing maternal death during childbirth.
We are very happy and grateful to receive the opportunity to take this course and above all to have met people who dedicate their time to such valuable work.
Thanks to Borders Partners, Ruth Kauffman and her assistants: Mumu, Marisol, Lina, Carmen, Sandra, Estibalis, and Tania who made this opportunity for us possible.
EDITOR’s NOTE: As a follow up to their most recent training in maternal health and childbirth, the Palomas promotoras (health promoters) will convene two groups of women.
The first group they will assist is women who are presently pregnant. This group will focus on prenatal care, nutrition for the developing fetus and the new moms themselves. They will also teach them appropriate exercise and similar relevant topics.
Another group they will convene will be new moms. This group will focus on nutrition for both the new baby and mothers, breastfeeding, etc.
Certified Professional Midwife Ruth Kauffman (a former UNM labor and delivery nurse) has experience working with women’s health around the world. Since 2008, Ruth has worked with Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières) as a nurse, midwife, project coordinator and medical team leader on 11 missions in eight different countries. In 2014, she returned to the US from two Ebola missions in Sierra Leone.