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Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines

by Mercy In Action Vineyard, INC
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Marcie
Marcie's little baby

This past week, our home in Olongapo, Philippines was in the world news headlines as we were hit by a typhoon and experienced the worse flooding in our recorded history. Now we are all digging out of this natural disaster that affected 18 of our 19 local communities in this region and flooded more than 90% of our city, including our own family home. Most significant for Mercy In Action, during and since the flooding began more pregnant women than ever are coming in to deliver in our birth center. We think the storm and the trauma of losing their homes and possessions triggered many women to go into labor. And they are staying longer after childbirth in our center, staying dry and warm and being fed while they wait for their homes to be cleaned and cleared of mud enough to return home.

As the only medical facility in our region of the Philippines to provide maternity care at no cost, Mercy In Action is proud to help poor and disenfranchised pregnant women by providing them a respectful, culturally sensitive and safe place to give birth in our modern yet home-like birthing center. Please join our project. With a gift of $150, we can help one woman deliver safely in our facility, including all necessary birthing supplies, tests, emergency medicines as needed, and transportation to the birth center in labor and transportation home again after delivery. At Mercy In Action, success is measured in excellent medical statistics, healthy breastfeeding babies, and happy parents who did not have to go into debt just to have a safe birth. 

One new mother, Marcie, who delivered just this morning at 2:30 am, said these words moments after the birth of her baby, as she cradled him in her arms: "Thank you all, thank God for Mercy!"
GlobalGiving Project of the Month:
Finally, we want to share with you the honor we received this month of October by being chosen as the featured GlobalGiving Project of the Month. Please join with others this October to fund the worthy work of Mercy In Action. Every newborn baby born here thanks you; after all, everyone needs a little "Mercy", especially in stormy and troubled times like these!

Links:

Join the Lights crew with midwives and Eliza
Join the Lights crew with midwives and Eliza

Here at Mercy In Action every day is Labor Day, Mother's Day, or someone's Birthday! But this Labor Day we are especially thrilled to know that Mercy In Action will be featured on the home page of the Global Giving website!

Last month, we were honored to be chosen as a finalist in the Global Giving Photo Contest, and came in first place in our division-Giving Hope- and 5th overall in the competition. So thanks to those of you who voted for our picture!  One of our donors wrote to say "Beautiful picture of a beautiful baby, keep up the good work saving those precious lives!"

This summer we were also chosen by the organization Join the Lights to be featured in a mini documentary during their round the world tour—“12 Countries-12 Months-12 Stories of Compassion.” By the time you read this, the documentary film they made about Mercy In Action should be up on their website and ours! (see links below.) In the words of Davis Goslin, Mercy In Action was chosen because "Join The Lights believes in sharing stories of incredible courage that reveal the grace of a life transformed.  We believe these stories are lights, shining brightly into a dark world."... and they found Mercy In Action to be one such light! We were honored to be chosen and enjoyed the month they spent with us at our birth center. Hopefully you will watch and enjoy the story they told about one of our beautiful patients, Eliza, who lives on the local garbage dump and agreed to allow the film crew to follow her through the last month of her pregnancy and birth of her baby. Davis wrote after they left the Philippines to say, “we had a great time there and have become full advocates of what you are doing!” 

We want to thank all of you, our wonderful donors, who give to Mercy In Action and remind you all of just how far those donations go in this poor country where so many women don’t have any help when they go into labor.  Happily, the women who come to Mercy In Action’s birth center in labor get kind, top quality care, thanks to your sponsorship and commitment to keeping birth safe for all.

Eliza and baby, sharing a moment
Eliza and baby, sharing a moment
Newborn Exam after Birth
Newborn Exam after Birth

Links:

Mercy in Action
Mercy in Action's welcome!

The following is an e-postcard from Ana Calvo Langdon, a GlobalGiving Representative in the Philippines.

...This is the first thing expectant moms hear when they enter Mercy In Action’s childbirth clinic. A midwife with a huge smile is ready to give them a tour. The “tour” (that Sandra and I experienced) starts with a video about pregnancy, including doubts that a prospective mum may have, and ends with a tour of the bright, friendly facilities. The goal is to support natural, safe childbirth, enhancing the relationship between the mom and the newborn.

During our visit, we chatted with a midwife who told us: “My favorite part of work is the moment of childbirth because at that time the mothers are already my friends. When they come to the clinic shy and fearful I tell them that we are going to take care of them and everything is going to be ok”. The relationship between the moms and the clinic does not finish after labor. The midwives do home visits and the new moms and babies come for check-ups and postnatal care “lessons”.  We met a mom returning for her 6 week check-up and after the exam Mercy In Action gave the mom a picture they took of her baby when she was born.“It is a moment of celebration and for some of them it’s the only picture that they will have of their babies”.

During our visit, we also learned that Mercy In Action provides trainings to birth centers all over the world so they can replicate its model. Vicky, the founder of the clinic, said “We are happy that clinics based on our model are opening around the world. This is saving lives.” Vicky, actually, came to the Philippines 22 years ago on a visit but she never left. She not only opened the clinic, but also serves the local community by training midwives and providing housing for expectant mothers about to give birth.

Sandra and I were blown away of the amazing clinic, the friendly environment, and the dedicated staff. When I start a family, I hope to be surrounded by a community as loving as Mercy In Action. 

A bright delivery room
A bright delivery room
A bath in case moms want to try water birth
A bath in case moms want to try water birth
A happy mom with her baby
A happy mom with her baby
Happy Newborn
Happy Newborn

At Mercy In Action, we protect natural birth, even while we are actively preventing deaths of mothers and babies from complications. This is our two-part strategy that is giving us such excellent outcomes.

When the natural process of birth is working, we do not interrupt it or disrupt it with unnecessary interventions. We allow the mother's hormones to function, her body to push out her own baby. She births in a quiet, calm atmosphere. We encourage her to gather the baby to her breast and begin feeding the life-saving colostrum (first breast milk) right way within minutes of delivery. If all goes well, mother and baby are never separated for hours following birth, where they will bond and fall in love, all the while the mother's body is keeping the newborn warm and safe from foreign germs. We know from scientific studies that this is the safest birth of all, when mother and baby are happy together.

When something goes wrong with the natural process of birth, or if disease is present, we react quickly to set things right and keep the mother and baby from any harm. We may need to use drugs to stop a hemorrhage, and start an IV, and use the Anti-shock garment that we have in our emergency supplies; we may need to use a bag and mask to resuscitate the newborn who fails to breath at birth;  we may need to give a baby a shot to prevent that newborn from contracting Hepatitis B from his/her mother at birth. We may need vitamins to treat anemia, or good food to treat malnutrition, in the expectant mother before birth.

Doing less and doing more, Mercy In Action follows best-practice / evidenced-base protocols. We believe a good birth IS a safe birth, and a safe birth IS a good birth. Thank you for helping us provide both to the low-resource women we serve in our birthing home in Olongapo, Philippines

Newborn tiny feet
Newborn tiny feet
First comfort food
First comfort food
Seconds after birth
Seconds after birth
Wide-eye wonder
Wide-eye wonder
Getting to know each other
Getting to know each other

Links:

The Midwives of Mercy In Action
The Midwives of Mercy In Action

International Day of the Midwife was May 5 this year, with Mother's Day following a week later on May 12. Two great reasons to celebrate ~ 
Except that all over the globe there is a shortage of skilled midwives to be with mothers when they give birth. Most international health experts claim this is why the maternal and newborn death rates are so high all over Asia and Africa. Statistics show us that we need at least 300,000 more midwives to be with mothers immediately around the globe in order to make birth safe.
Not so at Mercy In Action's Birth Center in Olongapo, Philippines ~ We are staffed with wonderful midwives and  training new midwives all the time!
Take the story of Ann. Her mother Raquel gave birth in our birth center two years ago, during the rainy season. When her labor began, Raquel trekked out from her mountain home in the dark night, forded the river, and walked all the way to our Birth Center, several miles away, in order to deliver her sixth baby with the skilled and compassionate midwives she knew awaited her at Mercy In Action. After the birth, she could not cross the river to return home for several days, as the rains had swollen the river and made it impassable. So she was invited to stay in our Maternity Waiting Home with her family. Later, Raquel and her husband Tanno came to work at Mercy In Action as the caretakers, bringing with them their six children.
Ann, their eldest daughter, showed an interest in midwifery, so we took her on as an intern. Now Ann is attending the local Midwifery College on a full scholarship from Mercy In Action. We are training the next generation!
When there are enough kind and skilled midwives in the world, working within birth facilities that are affordable and welcoming, then all women will have the chance to survive and thrive during childbirth.
The world needs Midwives to make a Happy Mother's Day for all.

Links:

 

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Organization Information

Mercy In Action Vineyard, INC

Location: Boise, ID - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Vicki Penwell
Boise, ID United States
$78,212 raised of $99,000 goal
 
1,031 donations
$20,788 to go
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