Project #13817

Pay a Haitian midwife's salary for one year at MN

by Global Birthing Home Foundation
A newly delivered baby!
A newly delivered baby!

                                                The Role of a Midwife at Maison de Naissance

The mission of Maison de Naissance (MN) is “To significantly reduce maternal and infant mortalities in impoverished communities”. MN is intentionally located in the midst of numerous small, impoverished communities, and its midwives play a critical role to ensure every mother and her baby has the best opportunity possible for a healthy birth.

A nurse midwife's primary role in support of this mission is to assist pregnant women from early pregnancy through the birth and first year of their baby’s life. This includes at least three prenatal checkups, including blood work to check for infections, vitamin deficiencies, etc., delivering the baby, providing postpartum care to the mother and well baby care that includes monitoring growth, nutrition screening, and vaccinations.

When a pregnant woman has a special condition (diabetes, history of miscarriage or caesarian section), the midwife may refer them to an obstetrician to ensure there will be lower risk for complications during pregnancy or the delivery.

The preferred schedule of care for pregnant moms is monthly visits to the midwife from the 4th month of pregnancy on, and two visits in the last month.

During these appointments, the midwife will:

  • Conduct clinical tests as needed for the mother- general health checkup (heartrate, blood pressure, nutrition screening); blood tests if anything appears abnormal
  • Monitor the development of the fetus
  • Advise and guide pregnant women in their choice of a delivery plan
  • Answer any questions the mother might have about their pregnancy

The midwife might also:

  • Track various pathologies of the pregnancy
  • Prescribe necessary medication
  • Refer to an obstetrician or specialist in case of complications
  • Conduct education sessions to prepare the mother for childbirth

On the day of the birth, the midwife is in charge. She is the one who must:

  • Diagnose early labor to manage potential complications
  • Explain the sequence of expected events to the mother
  • Help the father find his place and support his wife
  • Decide if the intervention of a doctor is needed for a serious complication, and arrange to transfer the mother to a hospital if necessary
  • Perform an episiotomy if needed in urgent cases for immediate delivery
  • Conduct the initial checkup of the newborn, and ensure it is healthy; perform necessary remediation if it is experiencing any difficulties making the transition to life outside the womb
  • Conduct resuscitation of the baby if needed, per the latest techniques (‘Helping Babies Breathe’), and refer to a hospital if necessary

After childbirth, the midwife monitors the child and the mother. She provides advice on hygiene, breastfeeding, and nutrition for both. She will also advise the new mother on postpartum contraception and prescribe it if requested, or if it is advisable for the mother’s health.

At Maison de Naissance, midwives also participate in the continuous training of their support staff, coordinate basic obstetric care, and supervise the work of nurses and auxiliary midwives. They produce statistical reports to track the medical history of each mother and her family, and cumulative, monthly reports for the Haitian Ministry of Public Health and Population.
This includes at least three prenatal checkups, including blood work to check for infections, vitamin deficiencies, etc., delivering the baby, providing postpartum care to the mother and well baby care that includes monitoring grow, nutrition screening, and vaccinations.

Midwives at Maison de Naissance embody the true meaning of the word “midwife”, which means “with woman”. They are with the women they care for through prenatal care, delivery, after delivery, and help them care for their newborn babies. They are also with women in a community sense; providing community education and interacting with the Haitian Health Ministry, tracking and reporting the information that is necessary to improve the health of women throughout the country. Global Birthing Home Foundation salutes our phenomenal, dedicated, hard-working and brilliant midwives!

Healthy Twins
Healthy Twins
Happy moms and midwives
Happy moms and midwives


Another healthy newborn!
Another healthy newborn!

Early one morning, Maison de Naissance (MN) Director/Midwife Supervisor Kirsty was driving to work with several other members of the day shift at the maternity center.  She spotted a woman squatting by the side of the road, and, she said, an alarm went off in her head.  She pulled over to find a newly delivered baby lying in the dirt between the exhausted mother's legs, but the delivery was not complete yet.  The mother, Marie, had gone into labor earlier that morning, and decided to walk the four miles from her home to MN to deliver the baby there, but the baby had other ideas.

Kirsty and her coworkers immediately set to work, putting a clean cloth under the baby, washing it and the mother with bottled water, and helping with the final stages of delivery.  Kirsty clamped and cut the cord, then they carefully lifted the mom and her new daughter into the back of their Landcruiser for the trip to MN.  Once there, the mother and baby were both given examinations and pronounced healthy!  They were moved into the postpartum ward for some much needed rest, while the birth was recorded so the MN community health team could check up on them after they returned home.

Midwife attended births, at the core of MN's model of care, are the most effective tool in the fight against maternal and infant mortalities, a model recently endorsed by both the UN and the World Health Organization.  Our midwives have delivered over 4700 babies in an impoverished region of Haiti, the country with the highest rate of maternal mortality in the western hemisphere, without a single mortality.

Our success, through the dedicated efforts of our midwives, and the lives of their patients, like Marie and her daughter, are a direct result of the dedication of you, our donors.  Thank you for your support!

Dressed for success
Dressed for success


Prenatal Checkup
Prenatal Checkup

The following accounts are based on interviews with 3 MN patients, conducted by MN's Director, Rosena Baptiste.  They are a testament to the dedication of our staff, and the efficacy of our model of maternal health care, which includes overcoming cultural barriers, and making everyone feel welcome.

Emmanuelle, 37, lived in Port-au-Prince when she had her first baby. During her second pregnancy in 2006, she heard about the care provided at MN, so she decided to leave Port-au-Prince to deliver at MN. A 3rd baby was delivered at MN in 2009, but now Emmanuelle is an MN family planning client because of “the efficiency of services, competent staff, hospitality and availability of medications”. According to Emmanuelle, MN was distinguished from all other institutions working in the maternal health field and must continue to provide good care to help all women of childbearing age in the municipality of Torbeck. Finally, she thanked the MN founders and benefactors for this great initiative they undertook in 2004.

Claudette, 36, who lives in Larnage, gave birth to her first daughter at MN in 2004, a few months after it opened. She chose MN not only because she lives nearby, but also because of better care compared to the other health centers she had visited. The warm welcome, the availability of medicines, the cleanliness of service delivery areas, and the competence of the staff all contribute to her satisfaction with MN.

Sully, 24, lives in the community of Lepètre. She received information about MN from a friend who is a patient there. Sully decided to go to MN for care during her first pregnancy, and delivered her baby there. She is now in her second pregnancy, and she says MN is an institution where the reception plays a special role in the care of pregnant women, and the health care is high quality. The staff is always available for service delivery any day of the week. According to Sully, if MN did not exist, there would be nowhere for her to go for quality care, with her limited financial resources.

Well Baby Checkup
Well Baby Checkup


Mom's lined up to see a midwife at MN

Midwives at MN must have patience, perseverance, courage, a positive outlook, and most importantly, in addition to their medical skills, they must be able to convey a sense of security and calm to women usused to visiting centers for 'institutional' care, where they can feel overwhelmed and stressed.  

Imagine growing up in a remote village without electricity, running water, or sometimes even a road!  Your home is built of sticks and thatch, with a dirt floor.  The nearest professional medical care can be many miles away, by motobike if you are lucky, but usually by horse, donkey, or on foot.  Now imagine that you are ready to deliver a baby, and have never been outside of your immediate community - never seen or visited a hospital, doctor, or even a nurse, but you know that it is important to have an attended delivery for the safety of your baby.  You feel intimidated by all of the people and equipment, which is mysterios and a bit frightening.  You are poor, and feel out of place in this modern environment.  It is a critical part of every midwife's job to make all mothers feel welcome and comfortable, to feel cared for.

Now imagine that a hurricane is passing, or had passed recently.  Babies come when they are ready and cannot be rescheduled.  The power is out, some staff have been unable to travel to work, and shift replacements are stranded by flooding.  None of these things matter to the baby to be delivered, and it is the midwife's job to ensure that the care each mother receives is unaffected by circumstances as well.  Babies at MN have been delivered by candlelight, by flashlight, and by shining the ambulance headlights into the building.  During a multiple birth night without power, a baby was resusitated by cell phone light while another was being delivered.

Storms, earthquakes, floods, lightning strikes, and even political protests - it's all in a days work for MN midwives.


The 'emergency' baby and midwife

A little excitement occurred at MN on March 2nd, 2015, when a local mother who had received prenatal care at MN was driving into Les Cayes (while in labor) to deliver her baby at the general hospital. Her route took her close to MN, and shortly after passing the turnoff, she realized she would not make it the hospital in time.  She diverted back to MN, and arrived just in time. The baby was ready to be born as she pulled in, but our experienced staff quickly moved her into the delivery room, and got to work.  All went well and another healthy baby was delivered to a healthy mom at MN! 

If MN was not located where it is, out in the rural, impoverished area where high quality, professional is not otherwise accessible, the outcome may have been much different.  The baby would have been born on the side of the road with nobody in attendance, and with a greatly reduced chance of a healthy outcome for both mother and baby.

We are proud of our highly skilled staff, and the work that they do for their patients every day!

A last minute arrival!
A last minute arrival!



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Organization Information

Global Birthing Home Foundation

Location: Leawood, KS - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Jim Grant
Executive Director
Leawood, KS United States

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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