Luna Maya Chiapas, 15 years of work to eradicate obstetric violence

Luna Maya Chiapas this month celebrates 15 years of being a civil organization that works to eradicate obstetric violence and ensure the sexual and reproductive rights of women in one of the entities with the highest maternal deaths and in a country where a cesarean operation is in increasing.

Luna Maya Chiapas was founded in 2004. Since then, it has served more than 2,500 families and has offered low-cost or financed pregnancy, delivery, and postpartum care to indigenous women from vulnerable neighborhoods and communities near San Cristóbal de las Houses, Chiapas.

Its objective is to humanize health services for women and their families, for this It has two Midwifery Houses, one in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, which was founded in 2004, and another in Mexico City that opened its doors in 2015.

Its main axis of work is to provide care services for pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum, and comprehensive sexual health with a femifocal model, that is, a model focused on women, their needs, and their decisions, always with a warm and humane treatment.

Luna Maya has a comprehensive care program that includes support groups, breastfeeding education, health, and nutrition education, community education, group prenatal support, care for newborns, family planning, cancer detection, and gynecological care. To support women who were not planning to have a home birth, she has developed payment plans that include barter.

In addition, since its foundation, it has conducted training aimed at traditional midwives, health promoters, nurses, and doctors on the attention to sexual and reproductive health from the Midwifery Model, which it disseminates in Mexico with the purpose of improving maternal and health. reduce preterm birth rates, excess cesarean sections, the risk of death during pregnancy and delivery, maternal and neonatal mortality.

Luna Maya’s work in Mexico is necessary since in this country cesarean sections are performed in 46 percent of pregnancies, although the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that 85 percent of births be carried out without interventions.

In addition, Chiapas is the second entity, after the State of Mexico, with more cases of maternal death reported in the most recent figures from the Ministry of Health.

Luna Maya also has a midwife training program designed so that students can learn all the clinical skills indicated by the International Confederation of Midwives.

The Clinical Director in Chiapas, Akane Sugimoto, is the mother of two children born to Luna Maya’s midwives. She decided to train as a midwife after some years of accompanying Latin American families who experienced obstetric violence in public health institutions in the United States.

She was trained through Luna Maya’s midwifery program and is a graduate of the National Institute of Midwifery in Vermont, USA, with credentials as a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) by the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM).

She is currently pursuing an MA in Midwifery, Maternal and Child Health from the University of Dundee in Nethergate, Scotland.

In addition to being a midwife, Akane is a Craniosacral and Somatic Movement Therapist (RSMT) recognized by the International Association for Somatic Education and Therapy (ISMETA).

The founder of Luna Maya, Cristina Alonso, is certified as a professional midwife in the United States, according to the criteria of NARM (North American Registry of Midwives).

She graduated from the National Institute of Midwifery and has a Master of Public Health from Tulane University. Currently, she coordinates the Birth Houses project, to create quality and regulatory guidelines to expand the birth houses in Mexico and Latin America.

Alonso believes in the transformative capacity of childbirth and health services centered on women.

The current General Director of Luna Maya, Ilse Fajardo, began as a volunteer at the Vitoria Center and for more than ten years she has worked from the trench of defense and promotion of Human Rights.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Luna Maya has increased the number of women seeking care for home birth due to fear of catching the new virus in a hospital, so this year the celebration of its anniversary will be held in a with a discussion about the myths of women’s sexual health and there will be a 15 percent discount on the “Healthy Woman” consultation.

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