Babita is 32 years old and lives in Rara Chayanath, one of the poorest regions in the Far West of Nepal. Babita recently gave birth to her third child, but due to complications during her labour, she required support from PHASE Auxiliary Nurse Midwives (ANMs). Had this support not been available, both Babita and her baby could have been in significant danger.
During a regular Antenatal Care checkup at a PHASE supported clinic, staff noticed that the veins in Babita’s lower legs were swollen. Concerned about Babita and her baby’s well-being, they recommended that she attend a Higher Medical Centre to seek specialist care. The nearest centre would have taken her an entire day to reach, with travel costs far too high for Babita and her family.
Several days later, she was rushed into the local PHASE Post in severe pain, where staff discovered she had already been in labour for 9 hours. Her family had wanted her to give birth at home but became so concerned about her condition that they decided to seek medical attention. On examination, it became clear that her baby was in a breech position (lying bottom or feet first in the womb instead of in the usual head–first position). A PHASE ANM shared, “We found that the baby was in breech position. In breech cases it is critical to deliver quickly. If the delay continues it can be dangerous for both the baby and the mother.”
Babita endured a long and tiring delivery but was supported by PHASE ANMs throughout. Finally, Babita’s baby was born. However, the cord had been wrapped around his neck and was significantly restricting his breathing. Again, PHASE ANMs were able to intervene and quickly remove the cord, before examining and stimulating the baby. Thankfully, he began to cry. Staff shared, “The baby cried and that was great relief for us. This was one of the most critical deliveries in such a remote place, especially when she had tried to give birth at home for so long without a health worker.”
For many young women in Nepal, healthcare services in a time of emergency are simply absent. Luckily, Babita was able to travel to her PHASE Health Post, which was close enough to her home that she didn’t have to endure a long and dangerous journey. She shared, “Finally, with your support, I felt relief. I had been in extreme pain for more than 9 hours. I know I would have lost my baby if I was not brought here. I now understand how you can save lives. I will tell other pregnant women to seek health worker support.”
With the support of PHASE ANMs, Babita was able to give birth to a happy and healthy baby, but not all women are as fortunate. PHASE has been working for many years to improve access to maternal healthcare for women across Nepal, which has been critical for saving the lives of many women and children. Every person, regardless of where they are born, deserves to have a strong start in life.
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