Mayan midwives getting acknowledgment for their work in Guatemala

Americas Now

In Guatemala, midwives are present at a child’s birth more often than a doctor.

Guatemala has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in Latin America. At 140 deaths per every 100,000 births it’s five times higher than in the United States.

More than 300,000 women around the world die each year from preventable pregnancy-related complications. It is estimated that in Guatemala a medical professional attends only 25% of births. Traditional Mayan birth attendants known as Comadronas or “midwives” attend 60%-75% of all births – and up to 90% in rural areas.

Guatemala’s Comadronas are our Game Changer.

More than 22-thousand Comadronas are officially registered in Guatemala, but their numbers may be much higher. The “National Comadrona Guideline” contains important elements like the knowledge of traditional birth attendants and the history of relations between them and the state-run health system.