Watch: Mamatoto offers an intimate space for new families to be born
Debbie Lewis, Executive Director and Senior Midwife, Mamatoto Resource and Birth Centre
Mamatoto Resource and Birth Centre was established to provide mothers-to-be with as much education and support before, during and after birth to ensure that mothers have as much of a smooth transition into motherhood as possible.
The only centre of its kind in Trinidad and Tobago, Mamatoto was fashioned after the home and offers family-centred care which is customised to suit each woman and her family's cultural needs and personal choices.
Located in Belmont, the centre has a complete suite of services for mothers-to-be including prenatal and postnatal visits; childbirth education classes and breastfeeding support; birthing including waterbirths; postnatal support group; miscarriage and stillbirth support group; teenage pregnancy support; and a free multimedia library.
Care at Mamatoto isn't just physical. Their staff has been trained to also monitor the psychological and social well-being of the mother throughout the childbearing cycle. Additionally, the mother and her family are provided with individualized education and counselling.
The midwives of Mamatoto also respond to requests of women who need support after experiencing a miscarriage or stillbirth. Support services and groups for mothers who may be experiencing postnatal depression have also been established.
"Whether the mother gives birth at Mamatoto or was transferred and gave birth elsewhere, Mamatoto staff engage in very close postpartum follow-ups which include phone calls and visits for up to six weeks," said Debbie Lewis, Executive Director and Senior Midwife. "We feel that it’s an area that’s not really talked about or recognised. And when it's recognised not acknowledged."
Understanding that fathers are just as important during the birthing period, Mamatoto also has a support group for men called 'Fathers and Fathers To Be'. "There just isn’t enough information and support for men and fathers to be in Trinidad and Tobago," Lewis stated.
“Some of our pregnant clients wanted to join so they can start sharing and get tips and information...a peer support group. There is support among themselves but with professionals on standby with expert information. They meet monthly and it's free."