Miss Toussaint is the head midwife at St. Boniface Hospital. Below, she tells us about the role of midwives in Haiti and the crucial care they provide to thousands of women and children each year.
I decided to become a midwife because I love life. When a woman is pregnant, and she delivers, she is creating a life. I love this, and I love to care for the newborn babies.
Midwives are incredibly important for hospitals...In Haiti there are a lot of women who die in the process of childbirth because they do not receive the care they need when they need it.
Midwives help to lower the rate of maternal deaths as they educate mothers about their pregnancy. [We] can respond to any complications that may arrive throughout the pregnancy and delivery. [We] provide care to women from the day that they find out they are pregnant through their delivery. We also give mothers additional support and counseling for pregnancy and motherhood. We educate them about the process of their pregnancy, what to expect during pregnancy and delivery, what foods to eat, and how to stay healthy, and we advise mothers on care for their newborn babies.
After delivery, [we] continue to provide care to the mother and baby. [We] also provide mothers with education about family planning, showing them the various methods that they can choose. We serve many roles!
With more midwives throughout Haiti, and particularly in places that lack access to care, we can ensure that mothers and babies are healthy.
Miss Toussaint, Head Midwife
[My greatest success as a midwife at St. Boniface Hospital was] a woman who had just delivered in her home, but she lost a lot of blood during the delivery—she was almost dead. We rushed to get her blood and we did all that we could to keep her alive. She made a full recovery and went home to her healthy newborn baby!
I would love to see more midwives in Haiti. I would also like to see that all places, especially the most rural places in Haiti, have a midwife that can help to ensure that mothers are babies are protected during pregnancy and delivery. There are pregnant mothers everywhere, and those who live in the hardest to reach places often suffer the most because they are unable to find care. With more midwives throughout Haiti, and particularly in places that lack access to care, we can ensure that mothers and babies are healthy and lower the maternal mortality rate in Haiti.