Sunday, August 29, 2010

Birth Around the World: Giving birth in Haiti

I've been following California midwife Maria Iorillo's blog Women in Charge for several years. She recently arrived in Haiti and is writing about her work with Midwives for Haiti.

In Day One in Hinche, she describes her first day working in the Hinche Maternity Ward. It's hard to read--the lack of basic health care supplies is astounding. The hospital in Hinche doesn't even have a bathroom. Laboring women have to provide their own bucket for elimination, catching blood & fluids from the birth, and holding the afterbirth. If a woman has a postpartum hemorrhage, she has to supply her own IV fluids and tubing.

It's a reminder that, no matter the maternity care problems we face in North America, some women have it far, far worse. Let's take a moment to be grateful and to donate to Midwives for Haiti. Here's an example of what your donation can do:
$50 will buy enough medication to stop postpartum hemorrhage 10 times.
$250 will pay a month's rent for our prenatal clinic in Hinche.
$1,500 will educate a skilled midwife for a rural village.
$2,500 will supply a village midwife with prenatal vitamins and antibiotics for one year.
$10,000 will pay the yearly salary, room & board, medications and supplies for a skilled midwife.
$30,000 will pay two midwife instructors for a year.


  1. wow, it is so hard to fathom. I get to be pregnant for the third time here in the US. Fantastic Medical care around the corner if needed. But my midwife will come prepared with all kinds of life preserving items and drugs right to my home for the birth of my child. How fortunate we are.
    -A in IC

  2. When talking to my geography classes about human development issues in the Third World, I've talked about patients having to bring their own supplies to the hospital or sending someone to go buy things (and also hospitals re-using contaminated supplies because of lack of alternatives). Students are flabbergasted and disbelieving. We are indeed very privileged, and most of us seldom think about it.

  3. Not to forget that we do have certain populations and locations in North America that are terribly under-served wrt maternity and health care . . . some located hundreds of miles from hospitals.

  4. I have a sense of "survivor's guilt" when thinking of what others go through just because they were born in a different place than I was.
    Why am I so lucky? I don't 'deserve' it.

  5. It really wasn't so long ago that delivering in Canada or the USA was a life threatening thing for a woman to do....not to diminish what is going on in Haiti...but I think we owe it to those countries that are a lot worse off to somehow help them out....

  6. Thanks for letting me know about this wonderful organization. I donated to the cause.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...