Pregnancy, childbirth and motherhood in the heart of Africa

I would have never imagined that, as doula my steps take me so far.  L as Doulas are women, mostly mothers, accompanying other women on the road during maternity. Its main task is to support both physical and emotional, during and after childbirth.

Our training covers knowledge on physiology of Obgyn, childbirth and postpartum, childcare, breastfeeding , prenatal education, gynecology … plus all the studies that give us knowledge helps mothers.

The experience of a doula in Senegal

African mother

This year I started my career in humanitarian aid worker. I needed to know first hand how they conduct motherhood women of other cultures and wanted to help in any way I can. Thus began the most enrriquecedora experience of my life, in Senegal, my adventure had begun. I arrived in Dakar by plane, but my ultimate destination was entering a route where no road exists, literally disappears. In Touba Merina, people live in a group of circular thatched huts with dirt floors, no water, no light, in a barren land.

In the time I have devoted to mothers, I could find out how they live motherhood. The main purpose of marriage is to have children , among other things, assist in its work to support the family, and when adults are involved in caring for the elderly. They do not usually go to regular checks of pregnancy , 3d ultrasound nyc or family planificción services. These villages are very remote from centers where there is nursing, and his vehicle is a car with a burrito, so it’s not easy to part of a waste of time given the tasks they have to perform in their village. They care for the elderly, children, livestock, house, etc.

Also, there is still some distrust of Western family planning services because it is suspected that in their countries of origin, during the colonial era, these services concealed sterilization campaigns. However, it is common for women to avoid pregnancy during the months of pregnancy, as this would cut the breastfeeding , with the consequent risk to the newborn. In these cases, the most common birth control is abstinence.

Pregnancy is considered as something natural and, therefore, without much control. The visits are continuing specialist symptom of disease, and they are not ill. The problem ofanemia and malnutrition so common in these women by poor diet plays against him, there is a strong morbidity at birth. In the case of anemia, minimal bleeding causes the death of the woman, besides infections and lack of clean water.

Removing these medical problems, they have something that we have lost, meet with their mothers, friends, relatives and live the pregnancy together, comforting, arropándose, telling their fears … they are not alone. They are doulas in the community, helping and supporting at all times. Work together, sing, dance, cook, take care of each other and their children, who are the fruit of the community. Shoulder to shoulder, everything belongs to everyone. That’s what our grandmothers formerly, accompanied.Create a circle of women.

Expressing pain in childbirth is an offense for the family

In childbirth , often they have a very low expression of pain. Both women and children are prepared to endure the pain and I have seen children with deep wounds, which were not the slightest sign of pain cures. If the mother expresses her pain in childbirth is considered an affront to the family.

Within the extended family, the care of children does not depend directly from parents and the nuclear family, and is very common that children take care of her aunts, her sisters, her cousins or grandmothers. Shared child care by all family members including breastfeeding. It is usually considered that the colostrum is not at all beneficial to the child, so that until the mother phase colostrum just tend to nurse the child other female relatives. Also after this phase is common that breastfeeding is shared.

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