The program I am working through in Honduras puts volunteer doulas in public hospitals.  The idea is that the presence of a doula will begin the process of making changes in the way women are treated.  It is a nice concept, and only time will tell if it will really work.  In the mean time, it does provide some comfort for women who would otherwise be left to manage labor alone. The problem for me is that I now have skills beyond childbirth educator and doula, and the staff of the hospital knows this.  This gives me a bit more freedom with what I canRead More →

My Spanish skills are improving slowly every day, but the gap between myself and the women I am serving in Honduras remains wide. Working cross-culturally isn’t just about being able to use the same language, it is about having an understanding of the different meanings of normal every day existence.  It is about coping with different resources. It is about understanding the principle and not the rule. As an example, one of my duties is to teach a childbirth class to a group of women who are staying in a maternity home. They come to the hospital two or three weeks before their due dateRead More →

In my first semester of attending births in my program I had something devastating happen – I had to send a woman for a cesarean surgery.  It was her first baby, I labored with her at the birth center and we pushed in every position and used every trick I knew to get the baby to move, but that head was stuck. When I spoke to the midwife at the hospital after the surgery she described the oddly swollen head and confirmed what my instinct and exams had told me, that head was stuck in a very bad position. So here is the weird thing,Read More →

I don’t normally have my computer with me during the day and can only access the internet at the few cafes that provide free WiFi for my phone to tap into.  But today I decided to work on my thesis and so here I am able to provide you with an update of the trip. The first two weeks were in La Ceiba, a busy Caribbean city with a diverse population. My days were spent at a public hosptial providing doula care.  I also spent a day providing neonatal resuscitation training to a group of rural midwives and trained two trainers of neonatal resuscitation. It was inRead More →