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Photos from Honduras

I know planning for the next trip has started, but I wanted to share a few things from the Honduras trip.

One of my jobs in Honduras was the training of traditional birth attendants in neonatal resuscitation.  An interesting and useful fact about fresh babies is that 9 out of 10 times when a baby doesn’t initiate breathing on its own, breathing can be stimulated with positive pressure ventilation.  What is that?  Forcing a little air in the babies lungs.

In the hospital this is done with ambu-bags – those masks with the big bulb someone squeezes. I took some special ambu-bags with me on this trip to be distributed to traditional birth attendants.  Why special?  They were sized perfectly for newborns and were able to be sterilized in boiling water.  This makes them a practical tool for birth attendants who live in remote areas.

Unfortunately, the materials were held up in customs and were not released before I was scheduled to teach the birth attendants.  No problem, I taught them another completely reusable way – use your own mouth and the air in your cheeks.

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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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