One of the “Major Initiatives” we work on is Maternal and Newborn Care (MNC) and Helping Babies Breathe (HBB). This is an initiative from Salt Lake and is a worldwide project. In Indonesia, our partner is Perinasia, the Pediatric Association of Indonesia. The way it works is that a team of Pediatrician’s, OB/GYN’s and Nurse’s come from the US (mostly SLC) to train Dr’s, Nurses and Midwives in Indonesia in the technique of Helping Babies Breathe and also general Mother and Newborn Care. Then, those that learn, spend the next year in training midwives from all over Indonesia in the same technique. A too-high percentage of number of Indonesian newborns die each year because they fail to breathe at birth. A very simple technique can be employed to essentially eliminate this cause of death. Since most births are done by midwives, it is essential to train them in this technique. So, LDSC provides Resuscitation kits (a life-like baby mannequin, stethoscopes, aspiration equipment, etc.) that are first used to train, then the midwives keep the stethoscope and aspirators to take with them in their work.
This weekend, Perinasia is holding a training session for 4th year midwife students at Padjajaran University in Bandung. So today, we went to the University and watched the training. It was fascinating!
When a baby is born, 90% breathe on their own within seconds of delivery. Another 5-8% take a little longer but will respond during cleaning and when the midwife stimulates the back, chest and neck. But a small percentage do not respond. At that point, the midwife has to begin the technique they learn here. The goal is to get the baby breathing within one minute of delivery, so they have to work fast – and they do!