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  • Writer's pictureKay Sandberg

Khunia Palong (Rural) Birth Center: Peaceful, Respectful Care for Bangladeshi Mamas & Babies

Meet Nilufar Yasmin, Midwife in charge of peaceful Khunia Palong Birth Center in a quiet farming area outside of Cox's Bazar--one of 5 Hope Foundation Birth Centers in rural areas run by midwives. Nilufar, in the red and orange sari, and her team of community health workers, a midwife assistant and a special volunteer (her story below) greeted us in the recovery room. The atmosphere was calm and restful, nestled in green and set off the road.

This is exactly the kind of space we support for gentle deliveries and babies' first breaths.

As we were about to leave a young mother in labor came in accompanied by several women--modeling a best practice for women to choose who is present, including husbands. We trust the baby was delivered without complications. When a complication arises, an ambulance transports the mother with a midwife to Hope Women's and Children's Hospital. This happens in about 20% of births, the global average.

We were introduced to Monuara Begum, a lovey volunteer, who received a new lease on life after successful fistula repair surgery at Hope Hospital, ending 15 years of suffering! Like the mama we met on Maheshkhali Island, she now volunteers out of gratitude to HOPE.

Here we are together--Lisa, Paula, and myself with our new friend with the beautiful smile. It was hard to leave without seeing the baby about to be born and learning more of this courageous woman's story. I hope to visit more more HOPE birth centers someday.

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