Barbara Viquez Saucedo

Human Capital Development

Barbara Viquez Saucedo

(MEX) Mexico:  MidwifeNurse

Nominee Highlights:

Bárbara Viquez Saucedo began her nursing career before switching to the field of obstetrics. Ms. Viquez Saucedo is trying to change the way that pregnant women experience labour in Mexico, to be free from violence. She has developed a programme that addresses the specific issues facing Mexican women, aiming to improve maternal health and give newborns a better start in life.

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Bárbara Víquez Saucedo began her academic training at the Community College of Nezahualcóyotl, incorporated into the Autonomous University of the State of Mexico, graduating as a general technical nurse with a Bachelor of Health Sciences. Subsequently, she joined the Dr. Gustavo Baz Prada General Hospital in 1987, with the title of Nursing Assistant. At that time her intention was to specialize in intensive care. However, she shifted her future toward obstetrics after by chance attending the birth of her brother’s first son in her home. Ms. Viquez Saucedo changed course, studying an open degree at the National School of Nursing and Obstetrics (ENEO), which reaffirmed her professional vocation mainly in the obstetrics field. Subsequently, she pursued a Masters of Perinatal Nursing at the UAEMex. 

In addition to her formal education, she has been a collaborator on the technical midwifery curriculum at the Ministry of Health, always with the main goal of ensuring maternal and perinatal health and contributing to eliminating obstetric violence to which women are subjected in health institutions. Nezahualcóyotl is a municipality with challenges including conflict, drug addiction problems, high pregnancy rates in adolescents, and a place where women are subject to violence within the family.

In 2000, Ms. Viquez Saucedo rotated through the labour and delivery unit assisting women in labor. There, she experienced violence herself from patients, despite her best efforts. These experiences led her to become an educator in perinatal psychoprophylaxis, allowing her to contribute important achievements in personal performance directed towards patients and co-workers. In this new role, she prepared a perinatal psychoprophylaxis programme directed towards the community, which represented an enormous challenge in implementing it. She learned that for pregnant women, once labour begins, a biochemical process is triggered where a series of hormones fire at the same time. In this way, the adrenaline cascade takes over the mental processes, causing laboring women to experience a flight or fight response, and diminishing reasoning capacity. In response, Ms. Viquez Saucedo developed a communication strategy to take advantage of the moment between one contraction and another, and to help coach women through the process. She now is a teacher, perinatal nurse and an expert educator in the area of perinatal psychoprophylaxis through a module on maternal and perinatal care.