Las Comadronas (the midwives)

Here is a snippet of a journal entry from my time in Guatemala, during a visit to a midwife clinic…

Today’s Thoughts: Day 168 (Day 7 in Guatemala)

June 17, 2017

Today we went traveled to the town called Concepcion Chiqirichappa which was about a 30-40 minute drive from Xela. That town also has a rich history surrounding the resistance during the war. They are also known for their potato production, hence the nickname Concepcion Chiquiri-papas (papa is potato in Spanish).

We went to a midwife cooperative that is there. It opened 13 years ago. The midwives there told us about the history of how ACAM came about and a little background on the herbs that they use to assist the women in birth. They are also just starting to use medicine like ibuprofen and antibiotics. But before they only used herbs. There was herbs for everything! Something to help with pain, teeth pain, nausea, expel the placenta, regulating your period, coagulants. Everything. There was also a steam bath that uses a wood fire to heat the water in which the women sit after they have given birth to birth the placenta. Also the women don’t give birth while laying on the bed but the bed is used a means for support.

I had a moment when I realized that I am destined to do birth work. It really rocked me to my core. I feel like this is the kind of work that I want to do. Travel around the word bringing life into the world. They also talked about how becoming a midwife is a dream of water, of life. Kind of like a blessing from God and when you realize that that is what you are meant to do, thats when you become a comadrona and it is passed on through generations.

After visiting the clinic, we went to hear another comadrona speak. She talked about her experience fleeing Guatemala to Mexico during the war. And that she became a comadrona by chance. She said that there were people in the refugee camp who were pregnant and needed someone to help them and she stepped in. And somehow learned about the herbs and such and became a comadrona. She just happened upon this work but felt like she was called to do this work. I feel it too…

Until next time…

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