by Leah Rashidyan, MBH Vice-President, while in Haiti
Today I walked in the shoes of the MamaBaby Haiti midwives. They are receiving special training on cervical cancer screening techniques, so I came to the clinic to provide coverage along with the two MBH nurses. Coverage began the night before so they would be alert and awake for the training, and it was a long night with two births-- which includes doing labor support, catching the baby, helping initiate breastfeeding, moving them to the postpartum room, and then cleaning the birth room! After settling them in, I finally got to sleep around 5 am... Just in time for about 3 hours of sleep. 8am the alarm rings, and it's time to get up and at them for prenatal visits. Today there were 33 patients waiting by 9am... And yet another laboring mom who was just admitted. Bouncing between prenatal visits, labor support, discharge teaching for one mom from last night, while monitoring a newborn who was breathing a bit fast... it was busy. Balancing duties and seeing everyone with one of our nurses was quite a task that took till 2pm.
Each trip I take I am reminded of the value of prenatal care-- I saw everything from high blood pressure requiring immediate transfer to the hospital for preeclampsia, vaginal bleeding in the third trimester, small bellies needing ultrasounds for evaluation of the baby and the due date, and malnutrition in our pregnant mamas. I am always reminded of the level of critical thinking and problem solving this work requires-- especially in Haiti. And after just a day of doing the work the MamaBaby Haiti midwives do everyday, I am reminded that midwives do hard work. If you are a midwife, had a midwife assist at your birth, or if you know a midwife personally-- I'm sure you know this is true. Now imagine what that hard work looks like in Haiti-- caring for the women who die more frequently of childbirth related complications than anyone else in the Western Hemisphere. It is really hard work. And hard work that wouldn't continue without your dollars and your support.
So thank you. I saw the women who it matters to today. I know how the MBH midwives care for them and their babies. And there is no better way to donate a dollar than to help a pregnant mama have a healthy baby.
With love and thanks,
Leah Rashidyan-Vice-President, Board of Directors