Midwifery School: MERCY IN ACTION

$10,313 of $15,000 goal

Raised by 219 people in 43 months

My name is Barbara Vernéus and I reside in Philadelphia, PA as a single mother with my daughter Glorious-Zoelle S. Verneus.  Previous employment experiences include 18 years in Human Service, most recently as a full-time Family Advocate within the West Philadelphia community. During those years, I also serviced women part-time as a doula. specifically catering to the Philadelphia community and to those who are facing financial hardship but still desire my services. In addition, I offer doula services for free to teenage mothers.

I began doula work in 2003 helping other women bring precious life into the world. My journey began with a movie called "Losing Isaiah" starring Halle Berry. Yup! You read correctly, it started with a movie that inspired me to become a midwife. 

I have volunteered overseas in Senegal, West Africa for the African Birth Collective
and in Brooklyn, NY at Dyekora Sumda Midwifery Services as a midwife assistant. I have also been employed as a Live-In Advisor at Pathways PA to teenage mothers and mothers-to-be. I have also served women in settings from the public health initiative based out of Boston University to women's groups within church settings.

I also offer affordable doula care within my Philadelphia community to those who are facing financial hardship but still desire my services. In addition, I offer doula services for free to teenage mothers.

Looking ahead, it is my desire to continue to serve families in the urban community and overseas, such as in Haiti for my family is of Haitian descent.
Currently, I am completing my Master's in Counseling with a concentration in Marriage and Family with an anticipated graduation of May 2016. My degree in counseling along with becoming a midwife will help me to serve women who have experienced trauma. Grieved by the abuse of women and children and the lack of value of the urban family, I seek to help bring the importance of the family unit while providing the Midwifery Model of Care. 

Each experience I've had  serving women and children has reinforced my passion and calling. I believe the most impact begins  at the moment of conscious conception and as a midwife we have the opportunity to assist in helping a woman/mother know her virtue, resources and choices for herself and her baby.

So what is this fundraiser for? Well after birthing my daughter on June 17th, 2014 I knew right then that I had no more excuses preventing me from completing my passion. Having my daughter gave me yet another reason. I am now looking towards the next chapter in birthwork and families as a MIDWIFE by taking classes at Mercy In Action while doing an apprenticeship with licensced midwives in order to become a Certified Professional Midwife.

I am currently enrolled into Mercy In Action ( http://www.mercyinaction.com/midwifery-academic-distance-course/) and will be relocating to Dallas, TX to apprentice under a group of licensed midwives who have welcomed me with open arms. The money I would raise will completely go towards:
Tuition: $2950
Books: $2225
NARM Online Study Course: $449
Exam: $900
Medical equipment: $350
CPR: $75

Neonatal Resucitation Certifiction: $240
Cultural Competancy: $99

and any acquired expenses that may be considered miscellaneous in order to complete my venture.  

There are several ways you can help me towards accomplishing my goal in becoming a Midwife:

1. You can make a small monetary donation towards my fundraiser.


2. You can spread the word to your closest family and friends. By committing to sharing this fundraiser through your social network on a consistent basis (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, website and/or Blogs.) 

Why becoming a midwife is so special to me? I'm glad you asked! The model of care provided by midwives is based on the concept that pregnancy and childbirth are normal life events that should be carefully monitored but not interfered with, unless necessary. Midwifery care has been proven to reduce the rate of medical interventions in labor and birth, such as inductions of labor, electronic fetal  monitoring, and episiotomy that may cause harm when used routinely. Midwifery care also reduces the need for a cesarean section. Midwives look to maximize health outcomes using a minimum number of medical interventions. They also address the emotional, psychological, and cultural concerns of women in their childbearing year. The philosophical foundation of midwifery care is based on protecting, supporting, and enhancing the normal process of birth.

Women cared for by professional midwives have:
•    Fewer hospital admissions during the antepartum period.
•    A lower incidence of hypertension during pregnancy and labor. 
•    Fewer episodes of abnormal heart rate in labor.
•    Less need for pain medication in labor, including epidural analgesia.
•    A lower incidence of shoulder dystocia, in comparison to similar women cared for by physicians.
•    A lower rate of instrumental deliveries (use of forceps or vacuum extractors).
•    A lower incidence of retained placenta, and fewer or equivalent postpartum hemorrhages.
•    Fewer perineal injuries and fewer 3rd and 4th degree lacerations. 
•    Fewer cesareans and more vaginal births after cesarean section (VBACs).

Compared to care given by physicians for similar populations, with professional midwifery care:

•    Babies are less likely to be born preterm or with a low birth weight.
•    Babies are less likely to suffer from fetal distress (abnormal fetal heart tones) and birth trauma during labor and birth. 
•    Babies are less likely to require newborn resuscitation or special care in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). 
•    Babies are more likely to remain with their mothers throughout the hospital stay and be exclusively breastfed at two and four months. 
•    Comparable or a fewer number of perinatal deaths (at three months) occur.
•    Costs are reduced.
•    Women who are cared for by midwives are very satisfied with the care they receive. They value the personalized care, education and counseling that professional midwives provide and value the opportunity that midwives give them to participate fully in decision-making regarding their care.

The United States has a higher infant mortality rate than any of the other 27 wealthy countries, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control.  A baby born in the U.S. is nearly three times as likely to die during their first year of life as one born in Finland or Japan. That same American baby is about twice as likely to die in her first year as a Spanish or Korean one. And even with the long history of midwifery in the black community, black women currently represent less than 2% of the nation's reported 15,000 midwives. I want to be part of the movement of lowering these rates through midwifery care, particularly within the urban communities where infant death rates are highest. Every woman and baby deserve the best service of care no matter where they come from.

This fundraiser is bigger than me..  So please empower me so I may pay it forward and empower women, families and support healthy and holistic childrearing. 

                             HELP BIRTH FORTH A MIDWIFE!!!

Those who donate from $1 to $50 I would take a day to say thank you from my facebook page and personal website.

$51-$100: To those who have donated $51-$100 I write a personal letter with a unique card as a THANK YOU.

$101-$500: For those who have donated $101-$500 I will create personal thank you video that will be posted on Facebook and my website. I will also send you a card.

$1000: This gives you a lifetime doula asst voucher which can be used by you or a loved one. If not local, you will be supported via skype, email &/or phone conference

If you want something even more personal you can purchase a Yoni Egg Set!!!! Which will still come along with a thank you on facebook and my website. To know more about what is a yoni egg and how it benefits women here is a link:  http://naturotica.net/lifestyle/yoni-egg-benefits-and-history/

Three lucky ladies can purchase a Bluestone Yoni Egg set. 

Two lucky ladies can purchase the Amazonite Yoni Egg set 

One lucky lady will get to purchase the Clear Quartz Yoni Egg Set 

One lucky lady will get to purchase the Black Obsidian Yoni Egg Set 
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Hi everyone!!!

It's been a while since I last updated you. Well I am proud to announce I completed my Phase 1 and looking to start Phase 2 in the PEP Process in the coming year. I also won a full scholarship to attend the EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED™: MIDWIVES HANDLING COMPLICATIONS IN OUT-OF-HOSPITAL SETTINGS taught by Mercy In Action Nov. 6-9, 2018 in Philadelphia, PA.

This process has been a roll coaster emotionally, physically and mentally but I refuse to give up. As a single mother there has been a lot of sacrifices and barriers like consistent employment, childcare, etc., but you as my community has been a great part of my motivation.

If you would like to continue to see how you can help in my journey you can donate to my gofundme or you can purchase one of the shirts that I created with a great message by just clicking on the link: https://www.bonfire.com/store/fanm-saj-boutique/. Thank you again for everyone who donated and/or shared my campaign. My journey is also your journey and you are part of making history.

They are available in t-shirts and long sleeve.

And of course if you would like to personally stay in touch, you can email me at tinyandbravedoula@gmail.com

Barbara Verneus
Doula & Aspiring Midwife

“Making the decision to have a child - it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ”
― Elizabeth Stone
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✨IN HONOR OF BLACK MATERNAL HEALTH WEEK APRIL 11-17, 2018✨ Check out @blackmamasmatter and/or @tinyandbrave on instagram for updates. Or follow hashtags #blackmaternalhealthweek #bmhw18
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Good morning! Good morning! Good morning!

BECAUSE OF YOU AFTER 2 YEARS I HAVE FINALLY REACHED MY GOAL!!!!! And I truly believe it's bc you also believe the sacred unit of family should be protected, especially the Black family no matter your race/background. No woman and baby should die bc of systematic oppression/racism operating consciously or subconsciously. Thank you again for your donations and sharing my campaign. I'll be leaving my campaign open if you would like to continue to donate towards my journey in midwifery. There is still much more ahead and I look forward to continuing to share my journey with you!!!! And no matter what don't give up on your dreams; never give up! Challenges/obstacles/barriers are just doors to more amazing opportunities ahead. Your needs are met when you least expect it and when you need it the most!

Some of the reasons many Black women are discouraged to pursue midwifery is bc of the lack of childcare, finances and community support. Midwifery education should be accessible, affordable and culturally diverse. There shouldn't be barriers to becoming a midwife. But yet I face them everyday!

Thank you again for everyone who donated and/or shared my campaign!!! Thank you for seeing the urgency of Black mothers and babies dying at a higher rate than any race. Thank you for seeing the need for more Black and Brown midwives. And thank you for believing in me!!! The video you see was made 2 years ago before moving to Texas when I was living in Philadelphia for my campaign. I hope my message reminds you of the bigger picture of what I'm striving for since day one!

I am humbly grateful to everyone who helped to make this happen within these 2 years!!!!

Barbara Verneus
Help Birth a Midwife.
W/ the beautiful Marinah Farrell, LM CPM
Masters in counseling to soon Midwife!
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I woke up in tears this morning while my daughter was still asleep! Good tears! Tears of joy and gratitude! You ask why???


WE ONLY HAVE $1,381.00 LEFT TO GO!!! So please continue to share and know that no donation is too small.

With Love and Humble Gratitude,

Barbara Verneus

My motivation!!!!! My daughter Glorious.
There for my Masters & next as a CPM.
Being a student...
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Read a Previous Update
7 months ago

Thank you for the work that you do.

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$10,313 of $15,000 goal

Raised by 219 people in 43 months
Created October 2, 2015
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7 months ago

Thank you for the work that you do.

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