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Copy of the Report Filed with The Ministry of Health

Report to the Ministry of Health, RDC

From the Training of Midwives, Birthing Naturally

Wednesday, August 8, 2008

We have conducted an eight day intensive training for 52 women from the villages of Nangezi, Uvira, Bukavu, Mwenga and Shabunda. Also at the training were representatives from Burundi and Rwanda.

The women have been instructed in:

  • Prenatal Nutrition
  • Basic Pre-natal Health Assessment
  • Identification of Danger Signs in Pregnancy
  • Emergency Transport Planning
  • Providing Comfort to Mothers During Labor
  • Signs of Danger During Labor
  • Labor Assistance in Health Centers
  • Emergency Labor Procedures
  • Care of Mothers in the Post-Partum
  • Identifying Problems in the Post-Partum
  • Breastfeeding Assistance
  • Natural Family Planning Techniques

After having tested the women, we find them to be competent at the preliminary training level. We feel the women will be an asset to their communities through educating families, providing labor assistance and support in health clinics and providing post-partum education and support.

As this training was an introduction to pregnancy, birth and postpartum without practical experience, we recommend the women not be required to provide labor assistance without supervision until such time as both the medical staff and the midwife feel confident in the midwife’s ability.

Because the communities of Mwenga and Shabunda have limited access to health centers, we recommend the midwives from these regions be offered additional training as per the World Health Organization standards for Skilled Birth Attendants in remote areas.

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Jennifer Vanderlaan CNM MPH is the author of the BirthingNaturally.net website. She has been working with expectant families since 2000, training doulas, childbirth educators, and midwives. She has worked with midwives in Central America and Sub-Saharan Africa. Her interest in public health grew in 2010, and she is now a PhD student learning to become a producer of knowledge.

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