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La Entrevista con Mayan Comadrona (Partera) Ester- ESPAÑOL


Our comadrona Ester Pop Tuch with Malaya

Ester Pop Tuch es una comadrona (partera) muy especial y brinda sus servicios puramente por donación para que todas las mujeres puedan acceder a su atención, sin importar su situación financiera.


Tuve la suerte de tenerla presente durante el nacimiento de Malaya. 4 meses después, le pregunté si podía entrevistarla y ella aceptó amablemente.



My experiencia con Ester

(la entrevista está abajo)


Tuve un increíble parto en casa en San Pedro, Guatemala. (Mi historia de nacimiento está AQUÍ).

Quería dar a luz sin nadie más que Angelo, pero como de costumbre, el plan más grande resultó ser diferente al mío 😁

Cuando tenía alrededor de 4 meses de embarazo, encontré una entrevista con Heather Baker, quien es autora del libro "Parto en casa en sus propios términos". Habló sobre el "parto libre" y los beneficios de hacerlo sin ayuda. Sentí sus palabras vibrar por todo mi cuerpo, ¡todo tenía mucho sentido! Me encantó la idea de estar a cargo de mi propio nacimiento y el empoderamiento que trae.


Sin embargo, un mes después de que el destino trajo a nuestra familia maya a nuestra vida (AQUÍ está la historia).

En algún momento, Estela (la abuela extra de Malaya) nos preguntó sobre nuestro plan de parto y sugirió que su partera (que aquí se llama "comadrona") - Ester podría atenderme. Ester ayudó con el parto de sus tres hijas y Estela habló muy bien de ella. Estuve de acuerdo porque no quería discutir demasiado nuestro plan de parto libre, pensé que tal vez ella no lo entendería. Sin embargo, comencé a sentir mucha ansiedad después. No estaba estresada en absoluto por el nacimiento antes de eso, pero la idea de tener a alguien más allí me puso realmente nerviosa. Pensé que no podría relajarme durante el parto si había alguien más que Angelo. No sabía cómo salir de esta situación, así que tuve que acceder a verla ...

Y no me arrepiento para nada 😊❤


Tuve un parto asistido no asistido


¿Qué se supone que significa eso? ¿Cómo puede tener un parto sin ayuda mientras recibe ayuda?

Resulta que puedes. Pero necesitas encontrar una comadrona muy especial para ello. Resulta que Estela nos recomendó a la persona perfecta para esta tarea.

Ester vino a nuestra casa para revisarnos a mí y al bebé Malaya en mi útero. Estaba muy nervioso, pero cuando la conocí, me sentí en paz. Su presencia era muy tranquila y tranquilizadora y sentí que había algo especial en ella. Revisó mi vientre con las manos y me dejó escuchar los latidos del corazón de Malaya a través de un estetoscopio. Me gustó todo. Yo era feliz. Pero cuando se fue, mis pensamientos sobre el nacimiento libre volvieron. Tenía miedo de que si ella estaba presente en mi nacimiento me diría qué hacer y perderé mi poder de decisión.

Venía a verme todos los meses y siempre estaba feliz de verla. Nuestra conexión se estaba fortaleciendo. Pero en el fondo de mi cabeza todavía tenía el pensamiento de que ella no me dejaría estar a cargo de mi nacimiento. Una mujer que ayudó con el parto de miles de bebés y yo, una madre primeriza, que nunca ha visto a alguien dar a luz, ¿quién debería tomar decisiones?

Pero soy el único que puede sentir lo que está sucediendo dentro de mi cuerpo y realmente me sentí capaz.




Algún tiempo antes de mi fecha de parto, escribí mi plan de nacimiento y se lo mostré a Ester.

Estaba un poco nervioso porque no quería ofenderla. No quería que sintiera que le estoy contando todas estas cosas porque creo que ella no sabe cómo hacer bien su trabajo. Por supuesto, eso no es lo que estaba pensando. Pero para mi propia tranquilidad tuve que decir claramente lo que quería. Necesitaba escuchar la confirmación de que estamos en la misma página. Ella leyó mi plan y estuvo de acuerdo con todo.




Le dijimos que queríamos un parto de loto (decidimos no cortar el cordón umbilical de Malaya sino esperar hasta que se cayera por sí solo), lo cual no es algo común en absoluto. Ella no estaba familiarizada con eso, pero en lugar de tratar de convencernos de que no lo hiciéramos, pidió más información para poder aprender más sobre este proceso. Nos dimos cuenta de que es una persona de mente abierta y sin prejuicios y podemos confiar en ella con nuestro nacimiento.


Durante el parto todo fue perfecto.

Ester nunca trató de hacer nada que yo no quisiera y dejó que Angelo atrapara al bebé, como prometió.

Después del parto, me ayudó a sacar la placenta. Con un masaje y algunos movimientos de piernas salió y pude concentrarme completamente en mi niña recién nacida. Estaba feliz de que ella estuviera allí.


Le pedí a Ester que volviera 4 días después del nacimiento. ¡Malaya se desconectó de su placenta mientras estaba allí! Me pareció muy especial que sucediera en este momento, como si Malaya esperara a que regresara para aterrizar por completo.


Estoy muy feliz de que Ester estuvo presente durante el nacimiento de Malaya y la desconexión de su placenta. No cambiaría nada.



La entrevista con Ester


LA ENTREVISTA EN ESPAÑOL ESTÁ EN EL ARCHIVO DE AUDIO A CONTINUACIÓN


Questions were asked by me- Marta (M) and my friend Sandrine (S)


M: How long have you been a comadrona?

- 37 years


M: Why did you decide to become a comadrona?

- Someone told me that I had a gift when I was born but I didn't pay attention until I was put in a situation where I had to attend a birth


M: Who told you that you have a gift?

- A comadrona who assisted with my birth. She was a family friend.


M: How old were you when you attended the first birth?

- I was 17 years old but I haven't started working officially until 37 years ago.


M: How many babies did you assist to deliver?

- About 7-8 thousands.


M: How many babies were born at home?

- Majority of them.


M: How many times did you have to send someone to the hospital from their home?

- I think about 2 %.


M: Do you think that giving birth at home reduces the risk of interventions?

- Yes


M: What would you say are the benefits of giving birth at home?

- There are many. You are comfortable at home, your family is with you and the recovery process is faster.


M: Do you know how many women in your experience were unable to breastfeed their babies? - One out of 500 women


M: So that's very rare

- Yes, most of the women can feed their babies but when they have to go back to work they often mix formula with breast milk.


M: And what do you if women cannot breastfeed their babies?

- We give them formula


M: You work for donation so even those women who can't afford to pay have access to your care. How do you see your role in this society or the role of a traditional comadrona in this society?

- Yes, I also attend to women who can't pay.


M: Do you think the role of the comadrona here is different than in other places?

- Yes because in other places comadronas have a price. And when the baby is a boy the price is 100 quetzal more than when it is a girl.


M: ?! Why??

- Because of ''machismo''*

(* The Machismo is an ideology that encompasses the set of attitudes, behaviors, social practices and beliefs to promote the superiority of men over women. In several countries, especially conservative and traditionalist, the concept of machismo is still quite entrenched in society.)


M: Wow it is still happening...

- Yes, some medics also do it.


M: Do you feel that women here trust more in traditional comadronas than in hospitals and medical system?

- Nowadays both but before they only used comadronas.


M: Do you think now women experience more complications than in the past?

- About 10% more than before. Many women now experience preeclampsia and they have to go to the hospital.


M: Do you think that because the quality of food changed it contributes to more complications?

- Yes, because now there are many fast foods that we eat and before people ate in a more natural way.


M: Do you have knowledge of different herbs? Do you use herbs in your practice?

- Yes, during, before and after pregnancy. Also, when babies are sick.


S: What kind of plants?

- For example Pericón (Tagetes Lucida), Chamomile, Anis, Rue (Ruda). We use many plants.

Bolsa de Pastor is used for haemorrhage.

La Pimpinela is being used to speed up the birth but it is dangerous.

Ixbut (Euphorbia lancifolia) is a plant that helps to produce milk.


M: Why do people use Rue (Ruda) to bathe their babies? We also bathe Malaya in it.

- The belief here is that the smell of Ruda chases away bad spirits. We use Ruda for the smell.


M: Do you think that people are still interested in this knowledge or young people aren't so interested anymore?

- They are still interested, even more now because of the pandemic. they have doubts if the chemical medicine is working so they are trying to return to plants and natural things.


M: You have someone that you train, to pass down all the knowledge, right?

- Yes, I train 3 women


M: How did you find them? Or did they find you ?

- They came to me


M: You assisted with delivery of my daughter Malaya. I know some of my requests were unusual but you respected all our decisions. Why you never tried to convince us to do things in a more common way?

- Because a woman has a right to choose how she wants to give birth. It is not about what I like.


M: Were you a little bit scared about some of my ideas?

- Yes! For example, not cutting the cord.


M: Thank you very much for accepting it !

- And because the water in the pool wasn't warm, that's why I didn't put you there.


M: Yes, Malaya came out too fast we didn't manage to bring all the water up 😁


M: Do you have an advice for someone who would like to become a comadrona?

- Yes, to work with love and to recognise their job because some people don't appreciate their job.


M: Do you have an advice for women who are about to give birth?

- To concentrate during the birth because sometimes they are too stressed and it is not good during the birth.


M: What do you think is the most needed here, around the lake for maternal health?

- Good nutrition, exercise and having a good relationship with their partner and to take control over the stress.


M: What are the common problems women experience postpartum ?

- Eclampsia, haemorrhage, infections in the uterus and vagina and anaemia because of malnutrition,


M: Do you think Malaya will have teeth soon? She's salivating so much!

- It depends on your nutrition during pregnancy.


M: I was at the dentist recently and I discovered I have some cavities. He said many women have problems with their teeth after giving birth because the baby gets all the calcium.

- Yes, it is normal and that's why we recommend that you eat foods rich in calcium.


S: How often do you see women while they are pregnant?

- Every month and then a month before due date every week


S: What do you do during check ups?

- Checking the belly, listening to the hearbeat, educate women, depends on the women


S: No ultrasound ?

- No


S: Do you do any special preparation for the birth?

- I pray


S: What do they do with the placenta here?

- They put it in the Earth


M: My placenta is still here (at the altar) 🤣


S: How many times do you see the baby and the mum after birth?

- I see them for 40 days but for Marta it was different, I only saw her on the 4th day after Malaya's birth.

During these visits I teach them how to bathe the baby, how to expose them to the sun and check for infections.


M: Yes, we did it with Malaya, we were exposing her in the sun every day at the beginning.


S: How many pregnant women do you see at the moment?

- 4 right now


M: Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened during the birth?

- For me, every birth is interesting, every birth is different.

Now I remember, one day I had to attend to a birth while my daughter was dying. I was very worried. I had do decide if I should stay with my daughter or go to see my patient.


M: And what did you decide?

- I had to go to see my patient. When I arrived, the baby was arriving, the head of it was already outside. The patient wanted to take medication to stop the pain but the head was already outside. It was a boy and the cord was already disconnected. The cord was tiny and didn't have blood in it. I couldn't see the cord in the vagina of this woman so I was wondering how will I take it out.


M: How did you take it out?

- I asked God for help, for a miracle. It was dangerous. The baby was ok but the woman was in danger. And at the same time I was thinking about my daughter. Both of them could die.

Everything turned out to be fine and one week after, the woman was already out, partying in the park.


M; I remember when I gave birth, I really wanted the placenta to come out already and you massaged my belly and did some stretching to my legs to help to move it

- Usually we just wait 20 minutes but we waited 1 hour during your birth


M: Why?

- Because you didn't want to, you were concentrating on Malaya and didn't let me do a massage


M: How is it possible you remember so much?

- It is my daily bread.


M: Is there a difference between the foreigners and local women when it comes to giving birth?

- Yes, it is a big difference. The foreigners are more relaxed and take it easy.


M: Why?

- Because they have more knowledge and information, they usually read beforehand.


M: Did your daughter also want to become a comadrona?

- Yes, she became one.


M: Does your daughter have a baby?

- Yes, she has 3


M: Did you assist with delivery of her baby?

- No, there were complications and she needed a c-section.


M: How about the other ones?

- Yes, I assisted with delivery.


M: How did it feel to assist with delivery of your own grandchildren?

- I was very happy


M: Do you ever think about retiring?

- Yes, I started to think about it 3 years ago and thinking about resting but I still have patients.

People are always looking for me.


M: Did you educate yourself in Western system as well?

- No. When I started I just had the knowledge of the other comadrona. Before I was interested in it and I studied to be a nurse.


M: I know you attend conferences for midwives in the US. Can you tell me more about it?

- Yes, for many years I have been attending conferences with an organisation called MANA. We were traveling to the US.

Mama Cindy is a foreigner who helped me so that I could travel to the US and gave me a lot of her experience as a midwife.


M: Was it to teach about your work or to learn ?

- Both, it was an exchange. I learned about water birth over there.


M: Do you think it would be useful to bring this knowledge into hospitals and do you think they would accept it?

- Yes, actually 10 years ago we were giving tours in the hospital, we were attending births in the hospital in Solola.


Ester: mamá Cindy es una extranjera que me ayudó para que yo pudiera viajar a EEUU y me dió mucho de su experiencia como partera.


M, S: Muchas gracias ❤


We are very grateful Ester agreed to dedicate her time to speak to us.




Las respuestas de Ester fueron traducidas por nuestra amiga Chusita. ¡Estoy muy agradecido por su ayuda!

La traducción no es una traducción literal y algunas cosas podrían haberse pasado por alto.

También modifiqué ligeramente el orden para que se pueda leer más fácilmente.

Para aquellos de ustedes que hablan español y les gustaría escuchar el audio.




Además de ser una comadrona increíble, Ester también hace un crochet.

¡No sé cómo encuentra tiempo para todo!

Compré uno de sus hermosos ponchos y se lo daré a Malaya cuando sea mayor.


Si alguien quiere apoyar a Ester, puede comprar algunas de sus chalinas o ponchos hechos a mano.

Ella trabaja en la donación y la situación en Guatemala es muy difícil en este momento.

Ella no vive solo de nacimientos.



Si desea ponerse en contacto con Ester por algo, envíeme un correo electrónico a ayamalayaaya@gmail.com o Whatsapp +4407415454433









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