Guatemala: Has the time come for a national midwifery certification program?

Midwives for Midwives trains community midwives in Guatemala, filling a need that was created when professional midwifery schools were eliminated there in the 1970’s. The authors share facets of the program, wondering whether it will succeed in the current political climate.

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About Author: Kristen Marsh

Kristen Marsh, MPH, RD, CLE, AHCC, was born and raised in Guatemala. She is a nutritionist with a Masters degree in Public Health from the University of California at Berkeley. She has worked in the public health sector in the United States and most recently worked internationally with the U.S. Agency for International Development, managing breastfeeding and child nutrition programs. Today, she is a natural childbirth teacher and advocate for safe and empowered birth. She lives in Vienna, Virginia, with her husband David and her son Lucca and is expecting her second child, whom she plans on birthing at home.

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About Author: Jennifer Houston

Jennifer Houston began attending homebirths in 1971 as an empiric midwife. She attained her CNM and MS degrees and after attending home, hospital and birth center births for over 20 years, she began working internationally with midwives in India, Jamaica and Guatemala. She started a birth center in Antigua, Guatemala, called Ixmucane and began working with indigenous midwives. The birth center evolved into the organization Midwives for Midwives, whose focus is empowering midwives and promoting the midwifery model. She is a mother, grandmother and wife to an OB/Gyn physician, who is loyal supporter of midwifery.

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