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!
Happy moms and midwives