btw...Sorry if there are Spelling/Grammer/Mistakes. I usually dont have time to read/edit everything I put on the internet. Thanks for understanding!
A good amount of the work I will be doing as a Community Health Promoter in Nicaragua will involve Casa Maternas. This is essentially a place where expecting moms can wait until they are ready to give birth. Although the Nicaraguan Ministry of Health (MINSA) promotes the use of Casa Maternas they often aren't funded by the government. Depending upon the funds available these women are given a place to sleep, food to eat, and some form of entertainment (often in the form of enthusiastic Peace Corps Volunteers). The logical behind this fantastic invention is that if pregnant women are near a medical facility when they go into labor they can receive emergency medical attention if necessary. This helps to reduce deaths of women and children during labor- A major goal for MINSA.
To clarify, the women don't actually give birth in these facilities. Often they arrive when they are 7-8 1/2 months pregnant and wait at the Casa until they go into labor. Then they are taken to a hospital or medical facility for the birth. Sometimes women must travel 8 or 9 days from their home to a city or central location in order to reach a Casa Materna since some women live very, very far in the country.
The use of Casa Maternas has helped to reduce Maternal and Child mortality. However, many women still do not know about the benefits of Casa Maternas, or in some cases, decline to use the Casa Materna. Usually, women decline because they have an anxious husband and children at home and do not want to (or can't) leave their family at home for weeks to go wait in some unknown town with a bunch of other pregnant women until they give birth. They would rather take the risk of having a pregnancy at home. Another reason women don't use the Casa Maternas is because they cant afford the trip to the Casa Materna. If a pregnant women needs to travel 9 days by foot, bus, horse, boat and whatever else- its a pain. Add on the fact that travel can cost A LOT and could also be extra stress for a 8 month pregnant women and it becomes close to impossible to convince women to even attempt making the trip.
I'm looking forward to working in the Casa Materna. Essentially, I'll help with giving charlas on topics of interest to the women, getting to know them by chatting and interacting with them, and just generally trying to entertain the women until they go into labor, which could be days, weeks, or even a little more than a month.