Having a baby in Cuba: A road to the unknown?

Cuba boasts first-world infant mortality rates every year. Thus, Cuban women know very well the importance of the specialists’ attention in hospitals and polyclinics.

My mother tells everyone the story of my birth every September 16th. I was born at 02:45 am. Some details have changed a little bit as years pass by, but the fact of giving birth remains in her memory as a heroic deed. However, it should not be a road to the unknown for Cuban women.

Cuban women love to tell the story of their labor either in family anecdotes or in educative talks at hospitals. The stories are very different as women are different, and we hear of them from childhood to our time to become moms.

Nonetheless, health care and specialists play a huge role in the preparations for the delivery in Cuba. Doctor Regla Rodriguez Pedroso, gynecologist at the Mother and Child hospital Hijas de Galicia talked to CubaSi about the premises to have babies in Cuba nowadays.

Are Cuban women ready when the time to labor comes?

Women’s delivery should not be a road to the unknown. Women must be ready when time comes. Women and times change. Therefore, women should not listen only to their mothers and grandmothers. It is very important to read and prepare the future mother during pregnancy.

There are many patients who at the time of delivering, they ask for caesarian section. But not everyone is psychologically ready. The health area plays a paramount role in this matter because a woman must know what she is going to face.

In all this, we can see a rise in the number of adolescent mothers in the health facilities due to early sexual practices.

Cuba champions natural delivery…Why?

Cuba has always championed natural delivery. It is undoubtedly the healthier way. You avoid surgical and anesthetic risks.

Since the triumph of the Revolution, Cuba worked hard to reduce infant mortality. The formation of physicians, even from other countries, helped to meet this goal. Cuba determined not to make caesarian sections for convenience.

Different committees were created; namely, that of quality, infant mortality, infections, medical histories, and the perinatology and neonatology committee.

Based on such new policy, a better life quality for pregnant women blossomed in the country. It certainly contributed to the creation of family doctors. Among family doctors duties, the attention to pregnant women is essential. Besides, a gynecologist monitors and determines the risks, social dysfunctions that may face pregnant women.

Infant mortality has dramatically reduced. Cuba lowered his infant mortality to a record rate of 4,2 deaths for every 1,000 live births.

Some women say physicians “force you” to give birth…Is it right?

We tried to reduce caesarian sections in Cuba without causing any damage to the newborn in a forced delivery. We tried to persuade caesarian section nowadays, but we do not force anyone to labor naturally.

If there is any chance the IQ of the newborn may be affected, then caesarian section is carefully organized.

Natural delivery is beneficial for the boy since it has been proven it improves the lung function.

Indeed, contractions are very important because they relax the walls of the uterus as well as its blood vessels. Patients lost less quantity of blood, contrary to what may occur in a caesarian section.

Even induced labors have their own requirements. For instance, we are talking about a mother’s illness or a diabetic patient.

Is epidural anesthesia an option for today´s Cuban patients?

Many countries in the world use the epidural one. But there are also many women hurt because of it may damage other parts of their body. We only use here local or general anesthesia with a close supervision of anesthetists.

The C-section is carried out following a medical indication. This sort of surgery represents a huge anesthetic risk for the mother and the newborn. Besides, C-sections are surgeries susceptible to infections.

Let´s take into account that the 93% of pregnant women in Cuba suffer from vaginal infection.

Giving birth again…Is it recommendable?

I try to convince my patients that giving birth again is not dangerous. I even propose myself to help them to have their babies. Some of them do not want to have more babies because there is no space, or due to their works.

In a low percentage of times, the moment of delivery determines the decision to conceive again. There are patients who say: “No more!” after giving birth.

It is good to have more than one child. If you ask me, I would recommend three children. But I also understand conditions are not ideal.

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