Lamb Hospital is in rural northwest Bangladesh. It’s a 150 bed hospital that does obstetrics & gynecology, surgery, medicine, pediatrics etc. They have a large outpatient service. Most of the staff are Bangladeshi, but there are a few foreign doctors. Most of what Lamb does is actually not at the hospital, but out in the community. They do primary care clinical services provision, health promotion, micro-credit, and capacity building of communities. They also train people in many areas — both to work in hospitals and laboratories and to provide health services in the villages.

Though it seems like a big bother to travel 5 hours away from home and wait for weeks to have our baby here . . (especially considering everything is normal and Elias was born at home), I am very happy to be here instead of a fancy hospital in Dhaka. The reason is that while there is good health care available in Dhaka, it’s health care that caters to the extremely wealthy who are the tiny minority in this country. I would much rather have my baby at a place that focuses on the poor. Why should I have my baby in a place that looks like a hotel while most people struggle to get the most basic health care! Another reason why Lamb is a good choice for us is that here midwives do most of the work on the maternity ward. A doctor is there whenever needed, and C-sections can be done quickly. The best of both worlds! In most hospitals and clinics around the country, the C-section rate is alarmingly high and midwives are not recognized.

Here is one part of the maternity ward. The writing on the wall says that the mother’s first milk (her colostrum?) is the baby’s first vaccination. While waiting for a check-up, I got to listen in to some teaching. The waiting room is equipped almost like a classroom. While the ladies wait their turn, an older women teaches them about what kind of foods and in what amounts they should eat when they are pregnant, birth control, breast feeding etc. There are alot of really harmful superstitions that many of these very young village women still believe — like that they should not eat much when they are pregnant because it’s hard to push out a big baby, like the long list of meats and vegetables that they aren’t allowed to eat as a new mother, and maybe the worst one: that they should throw away their first milk. My favorite moment was when the teacher said, (in rough translation), “Forget potatoes! They are the same as rice! If you are going to buy a vegetable, leave out the potatoes! They are expensive and have less vitamins!” Maybe that teaching doesn’t sound surprising to you, but here, people’s favorite ‘vegetable’ is potatoes.

The picture above shows the entrance that I will use if I go into labour during the middle of the night.
More pics and information? (they are always looking for teachers, nurses, midwives, and doctors) — check out their website

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