After Spanish class, the other students and I made a visit to the partera to hear about her lifestyle and job. Parteras, meaning midwives, are used by some 30% of the people in Mexico and nearly 100% of the people in indigenous communities. The ideal place for childbirth with a partera is in the house of the partera. In her own home, the partera maintains a clean area for births, provides natural pain remedies (hierbas), and takes care of a mother and her baby after the birth. Why do women use parteras instead of trained doctors? Sometimes women don’t trust the Centros de Salud, other times the costs are too high, and often religious beliefs of indigenous communities prevent women from seeking medical care. Here in Puerto, we spent 15 minutes driving to Barra de Colotepec to meet the local partera. Unfortuntely, she wasn’t in her home but we are going to make another trip later this week. Regardless, I tried to snag some photos of the setup while I was there. Shown above is the bed where women give birth. Nothing more than a couple of sábanas (sheets) and a petate (grass mat).
The outside of the hut where the partera delivers the babies. Also pictured: mi madre/Spanish teacher Sol and my roommate Rachel.
Kind of blurry, but here’s another view of the inside.
Hopefully I’ll have more information about parteras in Mexico after speaking with the partera herself. The information from this post was provided in my Spanish class, but I am more excited to hear about the career firsthand later this week.