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Friday, February 20, 2009

"I Caught My First Baby!" - Guest post from Emily

I received an email today from a very good friend of minea medical student, in Malawi, Africa, and she has a blog called 'Around the world in 70 days or so.' The following story was posted on her blog found by clicking here -

Love for the people,

-T. Love
black man fluff

The big event: Today, at 11:02am I helped to deliver a beautiful baby boy. He weighed 2.5kg, the average weight for Malawian new borns. All ready for the delivery, and noticing that the baby's head was crowning, I called for the midwife. She came over, but did not put on any gloves. This left me and a Malawian medical student in his second week in the hospital to catch the baby. The midwife talked me through it, and I did everything. It was awesome! Mother and baby both are doing great. It was her first baby(she had had 2 miscarriages) and she pushed him out in 7 minutes. She was incredible. The baby was almost immediately placed on the mother's stomach and she was breastfeeding within 30 min.

More about births in Malawi: Here, women often refuse any pain medication as they believe it will prolong labor. In my 3 days here, I have seen it given 1 time. Most women deliver their baby's with very little screaming. Resources are definitely lacking, and nothing is wasted. Today they had to decide who should get operated on first, as only one operating room was available; a women with an ectopic pregnancy that was about to rupture, endangering her life, or a woman that had a fetus in destress with a head too large to deliver vaginally. It seems that about half of the woman that deliver here are HIV positive. Thankfully, the baby that I caught today has an HIV negative mother.

Other stuff: I'm slowly learning the local language (Chichewa). So far I know how to greet someone, say my name is, and see you tomorrow. The Malawians are very kind despite my poor accent and get a kick out of my attempts. My life

Funny T-shirt of the day: A very skinny man wearing an over-sized T-shirt saying, "Wide Load." (sorry, no pictures of this. I usually see them in passing and it would be strange to walk around with my camera out, but if I get a chance...)

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