Partera mayaIn Mexico 50% of maternal deaths in rural zones are the result of obstetric emergencies, due to the distance between communities and lack of medical facilities. Therefore it is no wonder that the service provided by rural midwives is indispensable. On average, each midwife attends an average of six births per year, a testament to their importance. In the area of reproductive health, the traditional midwives play a significant role for rural and indigenous women, during their pregnancy, delivery, and afterwards. These midwives attend 30% of all births in Mexico.

The World Health Organization defines the term traditional midwife as a person (usually a woman) who helps the mother during childbirth and who originally acquired her skills attending births herself, or working with other traditional midwives. In both rural and urban areas, many women seek the assistance of a traditional midwife, for they usually share the same cultural values, living conditions, and resources.

Consultation and visits:

The mother-to-be contacts the midwife, inviting her into her home and offering her some gifts such as food. The midwife examines the pregnant woman, and after confirmation of pregnancy begins check-ups in the fifth month of pregnancy. If the baby is positioned incorrectly, the check-ups are done every eight days, in order to get the baby turned around, after which the check-ups are done every 15 days until contractions begin. No special care is indicated during this time.


During childbirth the pregnant woman must walk as much as possible to help the baby to descend. A tea is made from herbs and cinnamon to assist the contractions and facilitate the birth. The head is covered because of the effort that will be made during the contractions. When the contractions are more frequent and the baby is ready to come out, the mother must kneel to facilitate birth. The midwife presses on the abdomen to help the baby to come out, and the baby is received in a clean cloth. The baby is placed upside down to expel any liquids it may have ingested, and if the baby doesn’t cry, it is spanked, cleaned, placed on a mat on the floor, and its umbilical cord is cut, and tied off with thread prepared by the midwife.

Expulsion of the placenta:

While the placenta is being expelled, the midwife massages the uterus region and gives the mother mint tea. When the placenta has been expelled it is examined to ensure it is complete.

To contact a midwife, you can get in touch with me.

Text by: Anabell Castañeda
Email: [email protected]

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