OkaZHI: Okanagan-Zambia Health Initiative

Babies, babies, babies!!!

Congratulations to all the beautiful Zambian mothers who have given birth to little bundles of joy this week! What a wonderful experience it has been working on the maternity ward at Lewanika General and with the fantastic midwifery staff. It is such a joy to welcome the new babes into the world and a great learning opportunity working alongside the midwives. The birthing process here is so amazing…no pain medication, no screaming and hollering, the mothers have to walk back to their beds immediately after birth and if no complications arise they can go home within a few hours!! Easy peasy right!? They make it look so simple, but I can only imagine what they have endured throughout the process. I am thrilled to be a part of it and to be able to help deliver the babes, clamp and cut the cords, weigh them and carry out baby assessments. One of my favourite things during a birth was when the midwives were encouraging the mother to keep pushing through by saying “happy, happy, happy” as the baby was on its way. I also have really enjoyed carrying the babes over to the post natal ward to be discharged and all the women outside in the corridors chuckle away as we carry them with big smiles on our faces 😀 It is such a different atmosphere on the maternity ward and a much happier environment compared to other areas of the hospital that are medical/surgical. I love the sense of community that the mothers here have not only on the maternity floor, but most places we go in Mongu. When one mom leaves her baby unattended it may look as though she has temporarily abandoned the child at the bedside, but the other mothers seem to always be there looking out for one another and their babes. It is a wonderful sight to see, and I had a very joyful week! 
 
-SB

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