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New mums share joy from the labour ward

99% of maternal deaths occur in the developing world in countries like Uganda where resources are limited and training is scarce. Many women still give birth without a healthcare worker, either in their homes or at ill-equipped health centres that can’t treat any complications.

VSO volunteers are working in the Lira regional referral hospitals in Uganda to improve services and ensure newborns and their mothers get the best possible care. In the antenatal ward, three women share their experiences.

Leticia: “I want my baby to be a doctor”

VSO / Peter Caton

Leticia Dai, 23, has just given birth to her first child. She didn’t have an easy pregnancy.

“My legs swelled and sometimes I couldn’t eat,” she said. “I was at home when I went into labour. I started to feel pain around my waist so I went to the hospital.

"The midwives were so nice to me, lovely and caring. They treated me, checked on me and took my temperature.

"The nurse [VSO volunteer] Gudrun helped me in labour. She was the one telling me how I should push the baby. The way she was treating me felt good, it made me feel safe. I don’t think I could have managed giving birth if I wasn’t here."

“I want my baby to be a doctor when she grows up, as I have seen how they can help us."

Monica: “I pray for her to study and her life to be good”

VSO / Peter Caton

Monica is 26, and this is her third baby. She’s always chosen to give birth at the hospital.

“The second baby was very difficult because it was too big. It felt like I was going to die. I

"t wouldn’t come out easily. I was afraid of giving birth to Meryl because of it.

“When I arrived, I was in pain. I didn’t go to the nurses at first, I just kept moving around until I was able to deliver 

"I’m hoping to save money and have a good celebration for my new child. I pray for her to study and her life to be good."

VSO / Peter Caton

“I’m hoping to save money and have a good celebration. I pray for her to study and her life to be good.”

Vicky: “All mothers should give birth in the hospital”

VSO / Peter Caton

Vicky, 21, had labour pains for a few days before giving birth.

“The pain was on and off, so I didn’t come straightaway. When the waters started coming, I came.”

“The labour was painful, but I didn’t cry! It only took about one and half hours since I arrived. The nurses treated me so nicely.”

“When my baby came out I started feeling so good. I want to have fun and celebrate her birth.

“I want her to grow up and become a teacher."

VSO / Peter Caton

Vicky would strongly recommend all mothers give birth at the hospital rather than at home.

“Hospitals give you quality service and immediately vaccinate your child as well.”

Support our work

In Uganda,  women are 38 times more likely to die in childbirth than women in the UK. 

Many lives are needlessly lost. With simple equipment and the right training, midwives could save more lives during childbirth