In force for just over two years, the “Nacer com Cariño” (Born with Affection) law has changed the obstetric scenario in El Salvador, Central America. Created in August 2021 by the country’s first lady, psychologist and perinatal educator Gabriela de Bukele, the law improved care for pregnant women during prenatal care, childbirth and postpartum.
In the country where 70 thousand babies are born each year, the reduction in neonatal mortality has already reached almost 50%. According to the country’s Ministry of Health, the rate went from 62.8 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2021 to 34.5 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2022.
The Kristeller maneuver (which pushes the belly during childbirth), for example, was completely banned and there was a reduction from 19.1% in 2021 to 8.6% by September 2023 in the number of episiotomies (cut between the anus and the perineum) carried out in the country.
Women in labor now have the right to a companion, free movement and the possibility of eating and hydrating themselves during the birth of their children. Everyone arrives at the birth well-informed and, consequently, safer. This was also reflected in the drop in the number of cesarean sections performed in the country.
All these changes are portrayed in the documentary “Todos Nascemos”, by Eduardo Chauvet, which will be released this Thursday (16), in São Paulo.
The director and screenwriter of the “Renascimento do Parto” trilogy now brings reports from health professionals and families who had experiences before and after the implementation of this law in the country. To this end, he accompanied several hospital births in El Salvador throughout the month of February 2023.
“We don’t need to invest millions to humanize births. In El Salvador they didn’t do anything extraordinary. The changes came from simple actions, based on scientific evidence. It’s about invading less, attacking less”, points out the filmmaker.
“Many say that when a law comes from the top down, it doesn’t work, but there was awareness and training of all professionals involved. Adhesion occurred horizontally, with the presence of change managers”, he explains.
BE BORN WITH CARE
The law guarantees women an intimate, relaxed and safe environment for childbirth, where there is warmth and the presence of a companion at all times. Women have freedom of movement and can choose the most comfortable position during labor. In addition, they can consume liquids and food to stay hydrated and energetic.
The law prohibits routine vaginal examinations, trichotomy (intestinal lavage), unnecessary venipunctures, rupture of the amniotic sac and provides for late cutting of the umbilical cord to prevent anemia in babies.
“To get an idea of the obstetric violence that the country was experiencing, there are cases in which families only had their first contact with the baby eight days after birth”, explains Chauvet.
Now, with the exception of cases in which the baby needs urgent medical attention, skin-to-skin contact with the mother after birth becomes mandatory, as well as rooming-in, and broad protection and support for breastfeeding.
“The curious thing is that what we fight to happen in Brazil, we go to the registry office, register in the birth plan and still run the risk of not being attended to, it is now law there”, points out Chauvet.
WHERE TO SEE?
The official launch of “Todos Nascemos” will take place in São Paulo, on Thursday (16), at 8 pm, at Espaço Itaú Augusta. On November 20th, at 8pm, the film will be shown at Espaço Itaú Botafogo, in Rio, and on the 22nd, in Brasília, also at Espaço Itaú.
All screenings are free and will be followed by a debate with experts on how an assistance model from El Salvador could be applied here in Brazil and around the world.
To participate, simply send an email to [email protected], with your full name, ID and CPF and indicating the city where you would like to attend. Places are limited.
After distribution in Brazil, the documentary will also be shown in Buenos Aires, Milan and Los Angeles.
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