claraIn a story on Weekend Edition Sunday on January 6, Monica Ortiz Uribe recounts an effort to reduce the high Mexican maternal mortality rate, especially in poorer, more rural and isolated areas of the country, by training modern professional midwives. Many of these “new” midwives are the daughters and grand-daughters of traditional midwives who have provided care for centuries.

In 2011 the Mexican federal government passed a law recognizing professional midwives as part of the public health system.  They are hoping that by training midwives to work in villages, they can reduce the overload of patients who go to regional hospitals to have their babies, allowing the physicians there to concentrate on the higher-risk patients who really need their help.  To listen to or read the story, go to the NPR webpage at

Photo from One Heart World-wide,