managed by Silvia B. (Communication)
Silvia Bahr began as a volunteer in the maternity ward of the old public hospital in La Ceiba, Honduras in 2007. Her work started with assisting women during their birthing process: holding their hands, listening to their concerns, giving comforting words, eye contact, emotional support and massages. She showed them breathing techniques to ease labor, which were new to most of the women that she encountered. Conditions in the hospital were difficult, where eight to ten women labored at once in the same room. She stayed with the women for many hours; on weekends and all through the night.
Her work gave her insight into the health care and hospital systems of Honduras; their norms, hierarchies, potential for change, and lacks. As her work in La Ceiba progressed, she began to widen her scope. She worked on providing general and childbirth education to women, and creating and distributing educational materials to health care centers, hospitals and traditional midwives.
In 2009, she founded an association in Germany with the broad goal of improving maternal health care in Honduras. Silvia immediately began taking action towards this goal, by offering direct labor support to birthing women, to providing sexual, childbirth and general education in hospitals, health centers and hogares maternos (or ”mothers waiting homes”). Silvia is collaborating with traditional midwives, organizing donations of needed materials to midwives and underfunded hospitals, and working in the education sector to organizing workshops and training to student nurses and doctors. Lastly, Silvia continues to work to increase the presence of labor support in public Honduran hospitals, where there is a great need. To multiply and sustain these efforts, Silvia has started a volunteer program now known as Dar a Luz Honduras. Dar a Luz has many local friends and collaborators, and tens of volunteers each year including midwives, nurses, doulas, social workers, educators and other birth advocates.