The Jungle Mamas Program, operated by our partner organization Fundación Pachamama, aims to eliminate all preventable deaths in childbirth of Achuar mothers and babies, and to improve community health by focusing on the education of women, family planning education, and improving environmental health.

This last April, the Jungle Mamas team and two Achuar women presented their work together at the Regional Conference of the International Confederation of Midwives in Quito.

Speaking to the Importance of Intercultural Maternal Health

Over 300 certified midwives and obstetrics professionals from Canada, the United States, and Central and South America gathered for this event.

Jungle Mamas shared their experience in a presentation titled “Revaluing the importance of Intercultural Maternal Health: The experience of Jungle Mamas with the Achuar Women of the South-central Basin of the Ecuadorian Amazon.”

The presentation was created to raise awareness about the importance of culture and cultural dynamics in health care, using the example of Achuar women.

Achuar Women’s Leadership and Knowledge Shines

The two Achuar women who presented at the conference simulated a birth that blended safe-birthing practices with their ancestral ways — a demonstration of how Achuar women today work to save lives in their communities. Participants at the pre-conference and during the conference were left very impressed and excited about the work the Achuar women are leading.

Jungle Mamas spoke about the current risks standing in the way of quality care in the region, and access to health partners during pregnancies and childbirth. The Achuar birth model, combined with western safe-birthing practices, has been invaluable in improving the quality of the care mothers receive. At the same time, the team feels that western midwifery and obstetrics still have a lot to learn from indigenous birthing traditions.

This event was particularly successful in terms of connecting Jungle Mamas with many midwives, obstetricians and both national and international organizations committed to making sure no woman dies while giving life to another human being.

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