The Saving Mothers team is gathering in Santiago Atitlan this week for the graduation of the comadronas from the School of POWHER (Providing Outreach in Women’s Health Education and Resources). The commitment of these 22 women is simply amazing, and we want to give you a sense of not only how hard they have been working, but also the tremendous impact they’ve been making in their community.
Ana taking a patient’s blood pressure.
Today, Saving Mothers President Nichole Young-Lin and Media Director Camille Ricketts joined Concepcion Mendoza, our expert comadrona, and one of the program’s students, Ana, to visit five women in the rural area outside of town. With grace and aplomb, Concepcion trained Ana to take expecting mothers’ vitals, measure their weight and the fundal height of the fetus, listen to the heartbeat, and estimate the gestational age to predict a due date. After over three months of training, Ana handled most of the work herself, assuring patients and working through the steps with a radiant and comforting smile.
Observing firsthand, it was clear that the patients were in good hands and relieved to have the information provided by the Concepcion and her trainee. As part of the visit, they received prenatal vitamins and gained peace of mind, knowing that their pregnancy would be closely followed despite their distance from the hospital and other medical resources.
We followed Concepcion (far right) and our representative from local health initiative PRODESCA (far left) to visit women living in some of the most rural areas outside of Santiago.
Along the way, Concepcion would stop to instruct POWHER student Ana in proper technique while working with patients.
Expecting mothers were happy to get a visit from Concepcion and Ana, ensuring the health and wellbeing of not only their newborns but their existing families.
Saving Mothers uniforms and supply bags give Concepcion and her students a professional identity that local communities have come to recognize.
Both Ana and Concepcion took meticulous notes during the home visits. We share their goal to keep close tabs on patients to make sure healthy pregnancies lead to healthy deliveries.
After thorough instruction and a number of home visits, the graduates will become frontline maternal health providers, ensuring healthier, safer births for the population of 45,000 in Santiago and surrounding areas.
We’re so proud of the women who have invested the time, energy and strength in the Maternal Health School of POWHER program, and we can’t wait to see them graduate. We’ll be keeping you posted all week on their final courses, our observations here in Santiago, and the festivities around graduation. As always, we’re so grateful for your support. Without it, none of this — the home visits, the prenatal vitamins, the maternal look of awe at the first sounds of a tiny heartbeat — wouldn’t be possible.
You can help us make a second class at the School of POWHER possible. Donate to our campaign to teach even more students to become comadronas HERE.