Friday, September 1, 2017

Doctors, Midwives, Doulas, and Birthing Centers in Peru

More and more women are choosing to give birth in birthing centers . While there aren't that many places in Peru, they exist and hopefully there will be more in the future. They don't seem to advertise much and I think people mainly hear about them by word of mouth. Sadly, I don't have much information about some of them. If you know of more places or have contact information for the ones listed, please email me at

Cost and Recovery
I'd like to believe that you can't put a price on something that happens once in a lifetime. Even if you give birth a dozen times, you only give birth to that particular baby once. It's also so much easier to recover from a vaginal birth than from major abdominal surgery, which is what a C-section is. Expect to pay about S/.10,000-S/.15,000 for a natural birth where the doctors will "allow" you to birth the way you want.

Midwives and Doctors
From what I've seen, the birthing centers mainly use doctors who believe in natural childbirth. Midwives don't seem to be the norm in Peru.

Views of Doulas and Natural Childbirth 
Sadly, many doctors believe that they are gods and the C-section rate is high. In most places it's about 50%-60%. In Arequipa, it's about 90%. C-sections are fast, expensive, and the doctor is in complete control. None of those are the way that childbirth is meant to me. Many times the father isn't even allowed in the OR. Definitely not the way it's supposed to be.

And then after the baby is born, when they should be bonding and imprinting with their mother and father, they are taken away all alone to be observed for 8 hours. Sometimes if you cry a lot, they will let you hold your baby for 10 minutes. None of these procedures are evidence based. In fact, they are quite the opposite. 

This shows the importance of choosing a good place to give birth. You need to find a place that has similar views as you and ask the right questions to make sure they are not going to perform an unnecessary C-section on you.

My Experience
Having had a birth with a midwife and two doulas with my first. In fact, I was so moved by the birth of my first that I became a childbirth educator, postpartum doula, breastfeeding educator, and LLL Leader and started giving other women information through my blog, Tender Embrace Birthing.

My second was supposed to be born peaceful at home, but I ended up with an emergency transfer that lead to an emergency C-section. It was a traumatic nightmare. 8 hours after I gave birth to my first, I walked out of the clinic and slept in my own bed that night. 13 hours after my second I was still flat on my back with tubes and drugs being dripped into me and suffering from amnesia.

Where to Go
Below are the birthing centers, clinics, and doulas that I know of. Sadly, I don't have much information about some of them. If you know of more places or have contact information for the ones listed, please email me at

Kusi Wachay is a natural birthing clinic focusing on wellness. From pregnancy, to birth, to the postpartum period, they offer a variety of services. Dr. Illa Camargo is a doctor at Kusi Wachay and specialises in homeopathy and natural birth.  It's expensive.
  • Classes for moms, dads, and babies, such why you would really need a C-sectionas prenatal and postpartum yoga, postpartum exercise, attachment parenting, nutrition, breastfeeding, and newborn care. 
  • Water labor and water births are offered here. 
  • Homeopath and herbal medicine. 
  • Andean belly binding aka Bengkung belly binding.
  • Social support for mothers.
  • Doulas
Mate Pardo de Schade used to be a doula in Arequipa but is not anymore.

Ruruchay - Casa de Nacimiento (Facebook) is a natural birthing center. They also attend home births. Dr. Ruro Caituiro Monge is a doctor and doula at Ruruchay - Birthing Center. They offer a variety of services
  • Prenatal swimming, yoga, and dance.
  • Doulas.
  • Postpartum workshops, womens' circles.

Casa Pakarii - Casa de Nacimiento (Facebook) is a natural birthing center. Dr. Angela Brocker Wiebers, from Germany, is the director. The doctors also attend births at home and other clinics. They offer a variety of services.
  • Prenatal swimming, birthing and breastfeeding classes 
  • They have also offered these activities in the past: placenta ceremony, temascal / inipi / birthing ceremony, prenatal singing, clothing swaps, women's circles, nutrition classes. first aid, round table about the hidden problems with vaccines, Reiki, Mayan Calendar workshop, wooden toys conference.
  • Doulas.

Clinica Delgado-Auna (Facebook) is a regular clinic but the doctors will "allow" you to birth the way you want. is a website for 2 doulas in Lima. 

Carmen Ordonez (Facebook) is a doula.

Casa Lucero (Facebook) is a natural birthing clinic. Their Facebook page hasn't been updated in a while and their website isn't working. I'm not sure if they're still in business.

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Thursday, June 1, 2017

How You Can Go Through a Divorce in Peru and Still Be Considered Married

Image source
Marriage, divorce, and Peruvian citizenship are probably the most popular topics on my blog. I've written a number of articles about getting divorced in Peru. 
Emotional, Financial, and Practical Advice
You need to be practical about the divorce. Take your emotions out of it. You need to think about finances and avoid these mistakes. If kids are involved, try to co-parent, even if your ex tries to turn the kids against you. If you're divorcing a narcissist, you have even more to think about. Narcissists can turn everyone against you, even your friends, your lawyer, and the judge. They use techniques, such as gaslighting, to convince you that you're crazy. They will tell lies and believe them, totally ignore you, re-invent the past, and turn people against you. If you're in a relationship with a narcissist, I highly suggest you read more about it and find a support group. Here are some links to help you.
Court Documents
When your divorce is finalised you will official documents from the courts. I got two: a "registro personal" and an "acta de concilacion extrajudicial". The first translates to a personal registration which basically says you're divorced. The second breaks down the division of property, custody, alimony, and child support.

RENIEC Documents
You may think that with this you will be considered divorced and you might be, depending on your nationality. Some countries will accept an apostillised copy of these documents and you can register your Peruvian divorce back home. Some countries don't register / record foreign civil status documents. My county in the USA used to, but now they don't. So while I was able to register my Peruvian marriage, I couldn't register my Korean divorce and my Peruvian divorce.  (I divorced my ex twice since he didn't want to register our Korean divorce in Peru.) This was not an issue when I re-married in the US. I simply showed them a copy of my divorce papers and that was good enough for them.

Other countries won't accept the court documents. If you're Peruvian, these documents are NOT enough to show that you are divorced. You need to complete one more step in order to register your divorce in Peru. You need to take these documents to RENIEC and have them register your divorce. You can then get a copy of your divorce certificate. If you got married in Peru, then they will print out your marriage certificate and in the margins there will be a note stating that you got divorced. If you didn't get married in Peru, they will print out a document stating the details of your marriage and also include the divorce in the margins. This document is what you need if you're Peruvian or if your country doesn't accept the other divorce documents you got from the courts.

The irony of all this is that BOTH parties (if Peruvian) need to go and change their civil status. For example, I was only given the court documents and was unable to change my DNI while living in Korea. My ex easily got the divorce certificate since he was living in Peru. He went to RENIEC and is now registered as divorced. So even though he is no longer married to me (according to RENIEC), somehow I am still married to him (according to RENIEC). You would think that once one person registered a marriage or divorce, the other would automatically be registered, but they're not. I'm not sure if this is just a way to get double the amount of fees or simply lack of logic.

I, personally, would do this last step if possible. If you're in Peru or paying a lawyer to do it, just get it done. You never know when laws will change and you will need your divorce certificate from RENIEC. 

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