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Hands On Training

We knew we couldn’t just lecture to these women, so we were prepared with all manner of hands on activities for them.

We stuffed the birth kits into plastic bags full of air and placed them under a pair of pants to have them learn about finding the baby’s position.

Later in the week we put the pants on and actually gave birth through the hole we had cut. I can’t believe we have no pictures of that, it worked so well.

One of the nurses helped explain some of the things in Swahili which really helped. We loved Hortense, she was patient and a good teacher. She didn’t have a stethoscope of her own so we gave her one when we left.

We used models for everything, it really helped to let the women touch them and try things on their own.

We even had them make a bracelet that tracked the fertile days of their cycle when we talked about family planning methods.

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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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