With a population of 10 million, Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Only about 25% of births in Haiti are attended by a skilled provider. Most women do not receive prenatal, postnatal or newborn care.
As a result, Haiti is the most dangerous country in the Western Hemisphere to give birth. Most of these maternal deaths are caused by eclampsia, sepsis, and postpartum hemorrhage (bleeding). In other words, most of these deaths are preventable.
Every month our midwife and brith assistant accept 13-15 women into the midwifery program. After the expectant mothers are enrolled into the program they are immediately started on prenatal vitamins provided by Vitamin Angels.
Our midwife and her birth assist hold prenatal, postnatal and newborn clinics at a church in the community. Each time the women come to clinic they are learning about pregnancy, birth and newborn care. Some of the classes taught include: baby development in the womb, sanitation, nutrition, preparing for labor, signs of labor, breastfeeding, newborn care and more.
When the women show signs of labor, they call the midwife. The midwife and her assistant arrive to the woman house to provide care. In the future the women and babies will receive care at the birthing center
The birthing center will be the location where expectant mothers find medical care and support, education, safe and sanitary conditions, and respect for them and their babies in a safe environment.