A Special Doula in Vietnam

January 26, 2017 • Vietnam

After receiving training, a doula uses her skills to help the women in her village physically and spiritually.

Hoang Muoi is a health project assistant for Samaritan’s Purse in Vietnam.

Mao is 20 years old and has a little girl. She is a Christian traditional birth attendants trained by Samaritan’s Purse. In her village, all the villagers are Christians, which is rare in that area of the country.

Mao attended a six-month training course for traditional birth attendants sponsored by Samaritan’s Purse in 2015. Since the training, she has been actively helping the villagers by counseling them and going to their homes to assist them when necessary.

Mao often attends church. After the worship service, she always takes time to counsel a group of women on nutrition for pregnant and breastfeeding women.

She also encourages them to give birth at health facilities.

She asks about the health status of those who are pregnant or have young children.

Mao shared that the counseling sessions on health and nutrition after each worship service help her build good relationships with the people in her village. The villagers get to know Mao and love her more.

They follow her advice and guidance to have better health.

Mao even goes to some women’s homes to counsel them on nutrition and answer their questions about reproductive health, the warning signs during pregnancy, and family planning.

traditional birth attendant training Vietnam

Mao practicing newly learned skills on a baby dummy.

Mao helps the villagers voluntarily.

“I attended the TBA training only to help other people in my village,” she said. “I will get the reward from my Farther in heaven.”

In August 2016, Mao went to local health center to attend a four-day training course on communication skills and nutrition screening techniques for children under 5.

During the course, I saw a passion for learning shining in her face. She even went to those who found it difficult to grasp the lesson and explained it to them in their native language.

But Mao caught my attention because of another reason. She took advantage of the break time to run down to the yard to breastfeed her 5-month-old child.

Both Mao and her husband are followers of Jesus. Mao’s husband completely supports her work.

He does all the work at home when Mao attends training classes.

“My husband agreed for me to attend the training classes,” Mao said. “He even took me to here. He cared for the baby while I was studying. He also brought the baby to the class for me to nurse during break time so that she would not get hungry.”

traditional birth attendant training Vietnam

Mao with her family

We spent some more time at the end of the training course to listen to what she wanted to share about her church.

Her lips unceasingly thanked God for allowing her to attend this training.

She also thanked God for bringing Samaritan’s Purse to help the people in her village.

My heart was filled with peace as I watched Mao’s husband carry her and the baby home on his motorbike.

They were smiling and talking with each other. I felt blessed that God had given me the opportunity to work with them.