Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Studying to be a midwife in Haiti

During the earthquake, Haiti's only midwifery school was destroyed and the country left with a dire need for trained and skilled midwives to be able to care for the women and babies.  Most of the mothers continue to be cared for by traditional matrones who, however skilled and loving, have no access to diagnostic tools or life saving medicines.  In response to this need, Midwives for Haiti was born; a school for women already having completed two years of nursing school who want to be midwives.  The one year school sends trained midwives out into Haiti's hospitals and small clinics with the skill to prevent, teach and handle many emergencies.  Training programs are needed throughout the country to begin to meet the needs of so many. Here a student midwife practices skin to skin after the birth of a baby.  Typically the baby is swept away and dressed but here I explain the benefit to the baby of a sweet 30 minutes to rest with mom on her chest.  The baby crawled to the mothers breast and shortly began breastfeeding on her own.

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