Dear Friends of Mercy in Action,
Thanks to your generosity this year, 470 babies who were born at Mercy in Action sponsored birth centers are celebrating their first Christmas this December. The birth centers that we sponsor provided each mother respectful, skilled midwifery care during her pregnancy, labor, and birth completely free of cost.
Since a picture is worth a thousand words, please enjoy this short photo montage and receive our gratitude for your partnership that has sponsored the birth centers featured, and has given each of these families a priceless gift of a respectful, safe birth.
Mercy in Action Christmas Card 2022
We look forward to continuing on the journey with you to provide maternity care for families in 2023. Happy New Year!
Blessings and Peace,
Jenny Fox, for the Mercy in Action Team
The Tolentino family is going home today with a healthy baby in their arms!
Mercy In Action works diligently with families in our care throughout the nine months of pregnancy to ensure the best possible outcomes for mother and baby. We do this with regular prenatal health checkups, where our midwives monitor the growth and development of the growing baby, as well as the vital signs and general health of the pregnant mother.
Prenatal education is a big part of our care as well. Mothers and fathers, as well as any family members or friends who desire to attend, are treated to regular childbirth education at our Mercy In Action clinics, where they learn the keys to growing a healthy baby during the important First 1,000 Days of life (from conception until the 2nd birthday.)
In addition, through your support, we are able to offer nutritious food to pregnant women in our care if a family finds themselves in a situation of food shortage during pregnancy, and every expectant woman in our communities is given free prenatal vitamins, courtesy of Mercy In Action in partnership with Vitamin Angels in the Philippines.
These prenatal measures, all free of charge and given with love and care by skilled midwives, go a long way toward securing a healthy future for the next generation. A healthy pregnancy means the best chance for a safe birth and a promising tomorrow for families living in poverty.
Thank you from all of us for your support!
In addition to our day-to-day work of delivering babies, this week our Mercy In Action staff in the Philippines are again responding to another major disaster on Leyte island, this one caused by Tropical storm Megi. The storm last week caused a catastrophic landslide leading to hundreds of deaths and displacing millions of people near our birth center. Our staff was asked by a local humanitarian group to come as perinatal healthcare providers and lactation experts to support the traumatized survivors who are pregnant or have small babies. We have sent extra donations with our staff to the evacuation centers to support the victims of this deadly landslide with medical aid and pregnancy and breastfeeding support. Many new mothers were ready to give up breastfeeding because they were stressed by the trauma of loss, grief, and homelessness. Our teaching to both the mothers and the officials in charge of the evacuation centers was to do all in our power to support the MotherBaby unit, as breastfeeding is a stress relief to both of them in hard times. Pregnant women and mothers need to be supported and nurtured during times of evacuation and displacement from their homes, which is what we always seek to do.
Although disaster response is not something Mercy In Action intended to become involved with when we started providing midwife-led maternity care in the Philippines in 1991, we now are fully aware that understanding the basics of best practices in disaster response is essential knowledge for maternity care providers in areas like the Philippines where natural disasters frequently occur.
Thank you for your support of Mercy In Action birth centers in the Philippines, where our midwives and support staff go above and beyond the call of duty when disasters impact the women and babies in their communities.
Blessings and love to you and yours,
Dear Friends of Mercy in Action,
In my last report, I wrote about the new birth center we were building in a medically under-served area of Samar island in the Philippines.
We are so proud to announce that, with your generous support, the birth center is up and running in time for December babies!
I have attached a photo to this report of the new birth center at night - doesn't this new center just look so warm and welcoming? It makes me so happy to know this center is open 24/7 to welcome women in labor...which reminds me of a Christmas tradition practiced in Mexico and some parts of the USA…
When Mercy In Action was headquartered years ago on the border of Texas, New Mexico, and Mexico, the Las Posadas, (Spanish for “The Inns”) was a religious festival celebrated in the area at Christmastime. Las Posadas commemorates the journey that Joseph and Mary made from Nazareth to Bethlehem in search of a safe refuge where Mary could give birth to the baby Jesus.
I was realizing today that we have built another “Inn” for poor women who are often turned away from hospitals and private clinics when in labor, due to their inability to pay or a shortage of beds. This holiday season, we can be proud together because your donations helped us construct a safe, respectful, evidence-based, and world-class maternity care facility that offers healthcare free to pregnant women in need! And just in time for the season of Las Posadas!
Thank you, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Lord bless you and your family,
Vicki for the Mercy In Action team
Dear Donors and Supporters,
This past year and a half has been a time of growth and expansion for Mercy In Action sponsored Birth Centers in the Philippines, where our staff has been busier than ever with more than the usual number of childbirth deliveries, as well as many more pregnant women seeking checkups.
As the pandemic continues to rage throughout the Philippines, we are also finding that more communities are hard pressed as healthcare is less accessible to them, due to the continuing high number of COVID patients in the hospitals and shrinking healthcare labor force available, especially in rural areas.
One solution we have identified is the need for more birthing centers in areas where the community has none. We were approached by our head midwife about building a new birth center and clinic about 45 minutes from our existing Leyte clinic, on Samar island. So we have purchased a piece of land with a building damaged in the Super Typhoon In this community, and are in the process of renovations.
Currently, there are no medical facilities in this area, and families are being forced to deliver at home with no trained birth attendant. When we get the new birth center and clinic up and running, we can address this problem with high quality midwife-led care in a lovely, welcoming birthing center.
Thank you for helping assure there are safe places for babies to be born! We will continue to update you as this project comes to fruition.
For the Mercy In Action team in the Philippines
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