Doula Melyssa Robertson comforting a client in labour at a home birth with midwives. Photo by Shelby Story Photo Film

Doula Melyssa Robertson comforting a client in labour at a home birth with midwives. Photo by Shelby Story Photo Film

Members of Red Deer Doula Association heading to Honduras to help out

The two hospitals deliver around 50 babies a day

Members of the Red Deer Doula Association will be going on a humanitarian trip to Honduras come June.

There will be nine women, who are trained and certified as birth doulas serving in local communities in Central Alberta, working under the direction of Sylvia Bahr through Dar a Luz Honduras, a non-profit association focused on respectful and compassionate maternity care for women throughout Honduras.

The idea for their trip started back in October. They had a doula who had done a bit of mission work before who said she would look into it, so they got in touch with the organization in Honduras.

A doula’s job is to provide emotional and physical support for women during child birth.

“When we’re in the hospitals here we often have women and their partners or their family, and so we’re supporting everyone as a team and just giving them some informational support, some emotional support, some guidance – that kind of thing,” said Christa Duquette, president of the Red Deer Doula Association.

She added that their role is to really work with the care providers and fill those little gaps that are missing and give women more confidence and making them more comfortable.

“The work we’re going to be doing in Honduras, as we understand, is essentially just that emotional support for women, but it’s a very different system, they don’t have anyone else – they’re not allowed to have anyone else in the area with them when they’re labouring and giving birth,” she said, adding that they only allow staff.

The Central Alberta women will be working in two hospitals during their trip, which, they’ve been told, have around 50 babies being delivered in a day.

“We’ve been told it’s a very high rate of delivery in Honduras,” said Duquette.

Duquette said one of the neat things about the trip is that they had decided to do it in December and have made it work on their own.

“We essentially gave ourselves just over six months to plan and most of our doulas that are going – so out of eight (or nine) of us – we’re all fundraising on our own to take ourselves down there.”

Along with bringing Doula support to these families and women in Honduras, the team of Doulas is working to gather and bring medical supplies along with baby supplies with them on their trip.