For midwives at a healthcare centre in a rural area of Ethiopia’s Sidama region, delivering effective natal and postnatal care is not limited to the walls of the centre. The midwives make regular visits to nearby communities, interacting with local women to raise awareness about the centre and share vital information about managing pregnancy and motherhood, as well as giving family planning advice.
In these visits, the midwives have been able to warn expectant mothers about specific risks they may face and direct them to the centre or the closest hospital if necessary. However, their outreach work extends far beyond caring for the safety of mothers and their babies during labour.
Belen Kakabo, who was the head of the centre, particularly emphasizes the importance of educating local women about breastfeeding and family planning. Belen says that many of the mothers in their community need support to learn the most effective ways to breastfeed, so the midwives compassionately guide mothers through the process, helping them to feed more comfortably and ensure that their babies get the most nutritional benefits.
The midwives also provide family planning information and advise women about which contraceptives are most appropriate for them according to their health and family goals. Giving the mothers a choice to space their pregnancies empowers them to improve their own health and those of their children.
Alexia Sverdrup, GreenLamp Guest Writer
You can see rural midwives in action in their communities by watching our 1 minute film below: