Thursday, November 17, 2011

A typical week at Casa Compasiva...


(Is there such a thing?)

Monday: 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Doctora Donaji
Prenatal/postpartum appointments

Our wonderful doctor Donaji is available for appointments all day, and we usually have eight to ten clients scheduled.
 A doula welcomes each one and checks blood pressure, weight, urine, pulse, etc.  Depending on need, the pregnant mama will be sent upstairs for nutritional counseling with either Obdulia or Lety, our “nutritional police” doulas.


Esther and Melvis
Sometimes those sessions or the regular pre-natal check-ups turn into counseling sessions with, tears, hugs, and prayers. 
If the mama needs an ultrasound check, she is then directed to our ultrasound room, where our doula Melvis reigns as current ultrasound queen.  Both Melvis and Dr. Donaji are excellent ultrasound techs, with Lety hard on their heels.  The rest of us pretty much just stand back and watch in awe.

If no ultrasound is called for in this appointment, the mama will then see Dr. Donaji or Jenny (our resident midwife).  Jenny is also very much in demand for lactation counseling for those postpartum clients struggling to get breast-feeding established.
A normal prenatal check-up will include palpating the mama’s tummy to get a feel for baby’s size and position, measuring mama’s tummy for uterine height, checking for swelling, listening to fetal heart tones, assessing any physical problems with the pregnancy, and listening to any concerns the mama has, whether physical, emotional, or spiritual in nature.
Jenny and new friend
  
After the doctor or midwife has finished attending her, our doulas are trained to share a short devotional with each client, including scriptures pertaining to the stage of pregnancy that she is in, and prayer for the mama’s needs.

Mondays are usually a whirlwind of activity as we see many clients and their families.  The trick in all the rush is to remember that our purpose is not just to give excellent prenatal and postpartum care but also to represent Christ in a worthy manner to each person seen. 

Tuesday
Clinic hours from 9:00 to 3:00

Usually a quieter day, with fewer patients scheduled because the doctor is not there on Tuesdays.  Yesterday surprised me, though, as the two scheduled appointments we had turned into several appointments with new “drop-in” clients.  We were kept running all day, not eating lunch till 2:30.

Wednesday
Clinic hours from 9:00 to 3:00

Two doulas are on duty at Casa Compasiva while two doulas take a moto-taxi and then a bus to the local government hospital.  With their Casa Compasiva pass, they are admitted to the maternity ward where they spend the next five hours doing volunteer service as labour attendants.  The resident doctors and nurses look on in amazement and incredulity as our Casa doulas treat the laboring mamas with respect and compassion.   

Our doulas give back-rubs, share relaxation techniques, coach breathing, hold hands as mamas push their babies out, and quietly share the love of Christ through their presence and their prayers.  Sometimes our doulas return to Casa energized by the positive impact they were able to make in a dark environment, and sometimes they return demoralized by the distressing conditions and the lack of compassion that the majority of the hospital staff show their patients. 

Thursday
Clinic hours from 9:00 to 3:00
Same as Tuesday, with home visits to postpartum clients possibly happening as well.


Friday
 
Staff Bible study from 9:00 to 10:30
Staff meeting from 10:30 to 11:30
Clinic hours from 11:00 to 3:00


Always a busy day, but good, as Casa Compasiva staff worship together in song, open the Word of God together in a discipleship training course, pray for our clients and one another, and debrief births from the week before or share needs and concerns.

Alternate Friday evenings
4:30- 6:30
Prenatal class with teaching, devotional, craft (usually) and healthy snack

Alternate Saturday mornings
9:00 -11:00
Prenatal class---all of the above

   
Sunday

Day of rest, unless a birth is happening!



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