Ingrid Idalia Montes Alvarado is a 44-year-old mother of seven from Guatemala City. She and her husband, who is a day laborer, knew that another child would stretch them past the breaking point.
“Each child is beautiful,” says Ingrid. “But when one gets sick, sometimes you don’t have what you need to take care of them. Sometimes there’s not even enough bread or water to give them.”
Ingrid had tried just about every contraceptive method she knew about and could get hold of, but she experienced side effects each time. And each time she got pregnant.
Ingrid is not alone. In the developing world, more than 220 million women and girls lack access to the modern contraception they desire. Not surprisingly, every year, there are more than 70 million unintended pregnancies, and every day more than 800 women die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth.
Ingrid’s life changed the day she saw a flyer for a clinic health day in her neighborhood organized by Pan-American Social Marketing Organization (PASMO), PSI’s network member in Central America.
At the clinic health day, counselors informed Ingrid about her contraceptive options – including short-acting contraception (like oral contraception pills) and long-acting reversible contraception (like intrauterine devices and implants).
Ingrid chose an intrauterine device. Since then, she hasn’t got pregnant and hasn’t had any side effects.
Now, Ingrid educates her children about using contraception and choice in family size. She is proud that one of her daughters uses the IUD and her daughter-in-law uses a contraceptive implant.
Just last year, we prevented an estimated 5.6 million unintended pregnancies and over 15,400 maternal deaths among women like Ingrid worldwide.
Take a look at these photos taken by Rita Villanueva to see what Ingrid’s life is like in Guatemala: