Life2Live: Every woman deserves to give birth safely

Arati, a CARE-trained midwide in Nepal, helped save the lives of Sabati and her baby Ehani

Within minutes of being born, Ehani’s life hung in the balance.

Sabita lives in a mud hut on a remote mountainside in Nepal. Her home is a difficult 45-minute hike away from the nearest health facility. So when Sabita suddenly went into labour, she was on her own.

But the drama had only just begun. When Sabita’s husband returned from working in the fields, he found Sabita lying in the dirt outside their home. Sabita had not passed the placenta, and the birth of her baby girl Ehani had turned into a medical emergency.

Sabita’s husband frantically ran around gathering neighbours to carry a terrified Sabita down the mountainside on a makeshift stretcher made out of a piece of carpet. Thankfully, when Sabita arrived at the Aambote health facility, a CARE-trained midwife, Arati, was there to treat her – and give her, and her baby Ehani, a life to live. Sabita says: 

If she (Arati) was not there, I would have died.

Midwife Arati with baby Ehani and mother Sabita
Midwife Arati with baby Ehani and mother Sabita

Thanks to her training, Arati was able to carry out a simple procedure to remove the placenta. She then gave Sabita some post-natal vitamins and a neonatal kit for Ehani. Mother and baby were able to leave the facility the next day. Arati says:

I feel very proud that I saved their lives. There is nothing bigger than the happiness I feel when a healthy mother leaves the facility with a healthy baby.

Since I arrived at Aambote, there have been no maternal or infant deaths.

Over the past two decades, Nepal has made significant improvements in health care despite being one of the poorest countries in the world. This is partly thanks to international aid so we know it works but there is still more to be done. Arati says:

Where I work in rural Nepal is like many places in the world’s poorest countries where women don’t have access to the essential healthcare and support they need when they’re pregnant. Health facilities like mine are often understaffed and underfunded.

Midwife Arati pictured in health centre, Nepal
CARE-trained midwife Arati Shah pictured in the Aambote health facility in Nepal

The lack of access to trained midwives in rural communities can seem like a death sentence to some pregnant women. Complications during labour, that could be easily resolved by a trained healthcare professional, are costing lives and leaving families heartbroken.

Worldwide, 99% of deaths due to complications during pregnancy and childbirth occur in developing countries. But with your help, we’ll be able to train more midwives, improve health services, provide vital equipment and increase access to basic information for women and girls.

Every woman, wherever she lives, deserves to give birth safely.

Please make a donation today, and help give women and babies the chance of a life to live.

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News and stories are provided by CARE staff working to support our emergency responses and long-term development programmes.