“My name is María del Carmen Álvarez Pérez. I live in the community of Pinabetal, Chiapas and I’m 28 years old.
I am not a midwife yet, but I am learning. I began learning from my grandmother
until her death. This is the first time I am in a workshop. When GPA offered this course, I wanted to take it to have new experiences and gain more knowledge. There is only one midwife in my community and we need more. That made me realize how important it is that pregnant women have midwives so they can receive care.
The first time I assisted a birth was in May. I was called to check on a girl because her family said she was sick. My mother and I soon realized she was pregnant, not sick. The baby was in the wrong position but the family refused to send her to the hospital because they didn’t believe she was pregnant since she didn’t have a partner. We massaged the girl’s belly and gave her support, but when she began to give birth, she ran to the bathroom and delivered there. That’s when I realized how important it is to talk to our children and neighbors so they don’t suffer; so they know what is happening to them, so that babies don’t suffer. I’m here so I can learn and help the women of my community. In my village, we have a health center but there is no doctor at night or on weekends. Although we have a health auxiliary, he doesn’t always want to assist births, and that is why midwives are so important.
As I take the GPA course, my job is getting easier. I have learned to identify danger signs; to encourage women to get prenatal tests; to have ultrasounds. I am learning how to recognize when a woman is hemorrhaging, and things I can do to help.
I know how to check blood pressure, but I want to learn more so I can know what to do during emergencies.”