This November I will be traveling to Haiti with Wendy Dotson, a friend and colleague who is a local nurse-midwife. Wendy travels to Haiti twice a year supporting the Midwives for Haiti program, teaching and training Haitian midwifery students. In her travels to Haiti she has seen a great need for professional breastfeeding support. I am very excited to have an opportunity to "teach the teachers" and support an established program that teaches Haitian men and women life saving skills.
Our first stop will be at Heartline Ministries Maternity Center in Port Au Prince. Mothers are cared for during their pregnancy by midwife volunteers and most mothers deliver their babies on site. I love that they also bring mothers back after they deliver their babies for classes (lured by a warm nutritious meal!) and often troubleshoot breastfeeding difficulties. These midwives know the importance of getting breastfeeding off to a good start in Haiti! I hope to do some hands-on training with the midwives at Heartline including how to teach proper hand expression technique, low milk supply strategies and hands off ways to get infants to latch.
The next town we will travel to will be Hinche. In Hinche I will have the opportunity to do a presentation for the new graduating class of midwives, current midwives and OB doctors that practice at the local hospital. The presentation will include basic breastfeeding information with a focus on the importance of prenatal breastfeeding education. Due to many superstitions surrounding breastfeeding in the Haitian culture I plan to provide evidence based information that will help midwives and doctors dispel these myths with their patients. I will also be traveling in the mobile clinic with the student midwives and will be able to do a lot of one-on-one teaching and troubleshooting.
Please consider sponsoring me to help cover the costs of this trip:
$650 volunteer fee with Midwives for Haiti: This fee will cover transportation between Port Au Prince and Hinche, transportation to the hospital, room and board for the week, and the cost of translators.
$700 airfare from Dulles to Port Au Prince, Haiti
$200 baggage fee, taxis, overnight accommodations in Port Au Prince
$$ Any additional donation money will be used to purchase breast pump parts for the pumps I will be bringing and the rest will go towards Midwives for Haiti Pink Jeep fund!
Midwives for Haiti have marked urgent these items on their supply list. Donations can be dropped off at the Lactation Center at INOVA Loudoun in the Physician's Offices, South Lobby- Suite 109.
2. Nitrazine Paper
4. Fetal Doppler
6. Non Sterile and sterile gloves
7. Hand sanitizer (small bottles)
8. Cups for urine tests (washable and reusable)
9. Protein Urine Dip Sticks
10. Zip lock bags: snack (for pills), quart and gallon sized
11. Hand breast pumps
12. Watches with minute and second hands (for student midwives)- extra batteries
13. Fanny packs
I would also like to bring 5 working electric breast pumps. Please help me get the word out if you know of anyone who may have a new or gently used breast pump they can donate. I know with the new Affordable Care Act some moms end up with a couple of pumps and they aren't using them all! There is a great need for a breast pump to be readily available for preterm births which is a common occurrence in Haiti.
I appreciate any assistance you can give.
Jennifer Straub, RN, IBCLC, RLC
For more information about the programs you will be supporting directly visit their websites:
Heartline's Maternity Center Program:
Midwives for Haiti: http://midwivesforhaiti.org/
And of course you should visit Wendy's blog!
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