By providing continuous emotional and physical support throughout labour, a mother will feel empowered to make the choices necessary to afford her the best birth possible. I believe that every mother in the world deserves this experience, yet women throughout the third world are so often unable to access services that we in the Western world are lucky to have. Like many of you, I would like to see this change. And I would like to start with Haiti, a nation that has the highest maternal mortality rate in the Western Hemisphere.
Maison de Naissance is a birth centre located in Haiti.
MN has been in operation since 2004 and has contributed significantly to the health and well-being of women and children in Torbek and surrounding areas. Their vision: Every mother and every baby, no matter what country they call home, has access to quality and culturally relevant healthcare, which is the foundation of healthy, empowered communities. Increasing women’s autonomy would lead to significant improvements in maternal mortality, morbidity, and care-seeking outcomes. They offer family planning and education classes to all mothers-to-be and believe effective communication between maternity care providers and women in labour is necessary to provide a positive birthing experience.
Over the past year, I have been in contact with Jim Grant, the Executive Director of the Global Birthing Home Foundation, a sponsor of Maison de Naissance Birth Center in Torbeck, Haiti. Through Jim, I have had the opportunity to discuss bringing a doula program to the Centre with the Directrice of MN, who agrees it would be an excellent addition to the midwifery and prenatal programs.
My plan is to bring my childbirth experience and skills to the Birth Centre, training local volunteers to support labouring mothers.
While family members in Haiti are encouraged to attend and assist the delivering mother, many families are not able to provide this for various reasons. As a result, many women have only their midwife with them in the delivery room. The role of the doula is not known in Haiti but is something that could be fostered.
This GoFundMe Campaign will help me bring doula training to Haiti. The amount I hope to raise is enough to cover my daily living expenses plus travel, vaccines, and lodging while I am there working as a volunteer alongside the team at Maison de Naissance. Any funds raised beyond what I need will be used to purchase equipment and supplies or given as donations to the Centre.
I hope to make two trips: one in the Fall of 2019: a short visit to the Birth Centre, where I can meet the Directrice, Rosena, and the other birth workers. This will allow me to better understand the situation there and help me determine what sort of supplies they might need. The second trip will be in the Spring of 2020. This will be for 1 month, and I will stay in the town of Les Cayes, from which I will travel daily to MN to do the training.
I understand that some of you may be concerned about the crisis existing in Haiti. I have been keeping abreast of the issues there and am happy to report that as of June 10, 2019, the State has reduced their travel warning from level 4 to 3. I have no intention of putting myself in any danger and will take all precautions necessary to keep safe, even if this requires me to postpone my trip until a later date.
Even the smallest donation made by many will help me in my mission.
I would like to encourage anyone who is able, to please support me. Many of you have cheered me on from the sidelines, while not needing my services personally. My gratitude is overwhelming, and I never take your loyalty for granted. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your encouragement - past, present, and future.
Birth is a place of amazing transformation; as each child is born, so is a mother.
Please assist me to achieve my vision for I cannot do this alone.
Below are some links that provide information on Global Birthing House and Maison de Naissance, including a beautiful video about one patient's experience at the birth centre in Haiti. I've also provided a link to my own website, The Salty Stork, so you can learn more about me and what I do as a doula.
A patient's perspective of Maison de Naissance
Informational video on Maison de Naissance
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