Monday, 17 December 2012


It’s Monday morning, about 10am. As I walk by, I hear chatting, laughing… there are women coming and going, some looking anxious, others exited, others calm, some carrying huge bundles of cloths and mats, many wearing swathes of material that cover them from head to toe. I enter the room, the activity is frantic; people pass to and fro in a blur, some are writing, others giving orders, questions are asked in one language before being translated into another before the response is translated back again, others sit quietly watching, waiting.

Just then, a door to my right opens, out walks an older lady proudly carrying a bundle from which a small fist protrudes punching the air, followed by a strong cry demanding attention. A young tired looking girl gingerly is led out by a vision of pink to a bed in the corner where other women who have been sitting, shift to make room. As the young girl collapses and is given a well-deserved coke to drink, the pink vision whisks her baby off to be weighed.

Welcome to the Maternity Unit of Guinebor II!

While Monday morning is a particularly busy time for the unit as this is one of the two days the antenatal clinic is held, November proved to be the busiest month yet. We welcomed 103 new little ones to the world, including twins and our first set of Triplets!

Unable to resist joining the fun, my friend Louise who is a community midwife in Bradford, came and spent 2 weeks working alongside the midwives. She delivered babies, took blood pressures, mopped, helped with the clinic, doing whatever she could, all with a smile on her face and a word of encouragement at the ready. 
At times some rather graphic acting was required to overcome the language barrier, which although was not always easy, did create a lot of amusement and Louise was able to form good relationships with the midwives, even managing to do some training in neonatal resuscitation.

As busy as November was for our Maternity Unit, it looks like a trend that is set to continue, but in all the activity, we look forward to welcoming more little ones to the world.

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