Midwives’ Voices, Midwives’ Realities

midwives-reportMidwives are key partners in what we do here at Global Force for Healing. Safely bringing new life into the world with respectful, quality care is what we and midwives around the globe strive to provide for our moms and babies.

These goals, as with many other goals, still have obstacles that keep them from being achieved. These obstacles are outlined in the publication from The World Health Organization called, Midwives’ Voices, Midwives’ Realities (2016). 2,047 midwives and other birth personnel were interviewed to determine what these obstacles were and how they felt they could be overcome. In general, the obstacles were divided into three main categories, social, economic, and professional. When midwives experience difficulties in all three categories it can lead to a state of burnout, which in turn can lead to a decline in the care they give to their patients.Graph for Blog

As a nursing student considering midwifery as a potential career I was very shocked to hear some of the obstacles midwives today are facing. My biggest concern was that only 48% percent of global participants feel fulfilled in the work they do. Another surprising statistic is that only 58% percent of midwives feel they are treated with respect and only 61% percent feel supported to do their jobs. While I appreciate the honesty and openness of the participants in the study, the results make me feel unexcited to enter into a career in which only half of the workforce feels supported and fulfilled. How is it that the people who are supposed to bring life and happiness into this world are feeling this way? What does this say about the future of the profession, including recruiting new midwives into the field at a time they are so desperately needed?

Making changes so global midwives feel happy and supported in the work they do will not only make sure we continue to have enough midwives to support the work, but will also improve the quality of care they are giving their patients. If we are to reach our goal of providing safe, respectful, quality care to all mamas and babies around the globe, then we need to start with the people working to make this happen, the midwives and birthing personnel.

I encourage whoever is reading this blog post to read the full article via the link below, and to share your comments and thoughts on the article: www.globalforceforhealing.org/contact/.

http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/250376/1/9789241510547-eng.pdf?ua=1 

Guest blog by Allison Dressler, Junior Nursing Student at Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU) and Summer Intern at Global Force for Healing

 

 

 

 

Spotlight on Haiti, Part II

Cyvadier Hotel view in Jacmel - 2Maison de Naissance in Southwestern Haiti It’s hard to believe that Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, is only a 90 minute flight from the border of the US, the richest in the Hemisphere. Fortunately, there is Maison de Naissance (“House of Birth”)—a shining beacon at the end of a long road! Undoubtedly, visiting Haiti was one of the most unique experiences of our lives.” Llewellyn and Leo, Immersion Trip participants (June 2017).

Tmamanewbornhis project Partner operates the only Haitian Health Ministry-licensed birth center and is staffed completely by Haitians. Since their founding in 2004, Maison de Naissance has never lost a mother under its care–after almost 5,000 deliveries! The clinic also provides community health education, family planning, prenatal HIV testing, and pre-and-postnatal visits. It was truly a beacon for surrounding families, offering disaster relief and emergency services after Hurricane Matthew last September.

While continuing to provide high-quality care to local families who would otherwise be left without, current Initiatives include a second Immersion Trip October 1-7, 2017 and raising the remaining $8,000 urgently needed for a new vehicle to navigate very rough roads. To help close this funding gap and/or sign up for one of 3 spots left on the trip-of-a-lifetime, please contact: Janice@globalbirthinghomefoundation.org or call 913.402.6800.

To learn more: http://globalbirthinghomefoundation.org.Screen Shot 2017-08-18 at 3.06.43 PM

 

Spotlight on Haiti, Part I

smiling Bernard:MFHMidwives for Haiti: Unsung Hero Bernard Forteus
Bernard Forteus has been a Traditional Birth Attendant (TBA) since he was 25 years old. “I’ve delivered a lot of babies”, he says about nearly 40 years serving his community in rural Haiti. Midwives for Haiti, a Project Partner of GFH provides essential Continuing Education for Bernard and other TBA’s to recognize danger signs in pregnancy, provide sanitary birth techniques and clean birth kits, and promote health in their patients.

Midwives for Haiti (MFH) joins Global Force for Healing and other Network partners in our belief that no woman or baby should die during pregnancy or childbirth. MFH trains skilled birth attendants to increase access to care and end preventable maternal and infant deaths in Haiti (www.midwivesforhaiti.org). They also provide these essential services to families and communities who would otherwise go without them in Haiti, which has the highest maternal and infant mortality rate in the Western Hemisphere. Bravo, Bernard!

To read Bernard’s entire inspiring story: https://www.midwivesforhaiti.org/blog/

The Launch of We Choose Love!

Love banner 1Tell Everyone on That Train I Love Them: The Launch of WE CHOOSE LOVE!

A personal mantra of mine has now become an organization founded here in Ashland, Oregon by Asha Deliverance, mother of Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche. Her beloved son “Tilley” was murdered on a Portland, Oregon train in May while defending two teen girls, one wearing a hijab in what has been declared a “hate crime”.

Taliesin’s last words were to, “Tell everyone on that train I love them”. His mother, Asha heard this as a call to action to carry on her son’s legacy by founding a movement to bring love front and center—a mission Global Force for Healing shares. The mission of We Choose Love is to honor human diversity, unity and love in action to build a more peace-loving world.

Asha at launch“My son left me with a job…I believe the true heart of this planet is going to find a way. We need to crack it open so the love can flow in.” Asha Deliverance, Ashland, Oregon 7/28/17

To join the movement, please visit: http://www.wechoose.love/

Sunrise Centre Uganda Donor Appreciation; 2018 Ashland Trip to Uganda!

Here’s a note from Nicole Van Seters, Co-Founder and Director, Sunrise Centre  who was in Ashland, Oregon recently for a terrific donor event–read her note.
 Screen Shot 2017-06-30 at 2.36.43 PM
Hello Ashland Friends,
 
The girls and I made it back to Nelson (Canada/BC) safely and wanted to send a note of appreciation to everyone who joined us for the Sunrise brunch Sunday, June 25  So much progress has been made in the past year (the past 12 years!) and we are very grateful  to everyone who joined hands to help Sunrise shine.  From brainstorming sessions & sharing of ideas, to financial support, to emotional support (we  never could have made it this far without the trust and love of many amazing people).
IScreen Shot 2017-06-30 at 2.44.14 PM‘m very excited about the idea of organizing an  Ashland trip to Uganda…the seed has been planted and I’m committed to helping it grow!  What an amazing circle!  I hope to be back in Ashland in the not too distant future….please feel welcome and invited to stay in touch with myself, Kay and Lisa.  
Together we are stronger.  
With Love & Light ~ NicoleScreen Shot 2017-06-30 at 2.43.11 PM

Lifesaving Story from Bangladesh Birth Center: Through the Eyes of a Midwife

ruralbirthcenter, Jen,staff

Hope Foundation for Women & Children of Bangladesh Update by Guest Blogger Jennifer Burns, CNM, MSN (volunteer at new remote birth centers)

ruralbirthcenter banner BanglaBirth centers with midwifery care are a key component to addressing maternal & neonatal morbidity and mortality around the world. Improving access to skilled maternity care is the only way to directly change outcomes in developing countries. Hope Foundation for Women and Children of Bangladesh has opened four birth centers in remote communities. The model is simple and effective, with one midwife, one midwife assistant and three field workers. They begin with door to door surveys and communication with community leaders about midwifery and birth center care. Field workers are on the front lines connecting with the community to help change a culture, with the goal of improving outcomes for women & children of each community.

 

BanglaeshMothersClub bannerAnother key component is the monthly Mother’s Club meetings. The midwives and field workers gather women of the community and provide structured education on topics ranging from family planning to breastfeeding. This grassroots style is connecting the women of the community and providing them with a support network and information to make informed decisions about their health care. The groups are guided with love and compassion, transforming each woman and her community.

Jennifer with Local Staff

The options in most rural communities for birth are limited to traditional birth attendants. TBAs attend up to 90% of the births in these areas. Unfortunately, many have no formal medical training, which results in high rates of preventable maternal & infant mortality and in Bangladesh, unacceptably high rates of fistula.

Bangla.mama+newbornThere are moments of clarity when working in developing countries. One that profoundly moved me involved a young woman who came to the birth center in labor. Upon arrival she was bleeding and had a fever. She had been laboring at home for quite awhile and walked over an hour to reach the birth center. The midwife identified the fever and bleeding, and immediately began treatment. The birth was imminent and thanks to her training, she knew exactly what to do. The baby was at least 5 weeks preterm but was born alive and breastfed well. The mother received loving, compassionate midwifery care and potentially life-saving medications for her bleeding and infection. I will never forget looking in her eyes as she held her new baby, thinking to myself, “What would have happened to her three months ago prior to this birth center opening?” Luckily, with the dedication of the Hope Foundation we will never know.Hope baby

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY TO ALL! WE ARE GRATEFUL BEYOND WORDS FOR EACH SAFE DELIVERY AND THE COURAGE OF MOTHERS TO GIVE LIFE! WITH LOVE, KAY

 

Welcoming Amy Marowitz to Our Circle of Advisors!

One of the joys of the 2017 Birth Center Symposium in Haiti was meeting other dedicated birth workers and educators employing the midwifery model of care, including Amy Marowitz, DNP, CNM. Amy has graciously agreed to join our Circle of Advisors! Please see her bio below. Welcome, Amy!

Amy Marowitz is a Certified Nurse Midwife and an Associate Professor at Frontier Nursing University (FNU) in the Department of Midwifery and Women’s Health. She has 15 years of experience in full scope midwifery in and out of the hospital including a high volume practice with the Indian Health Service, and a smaller hospital owned practice for women on Medicaid. She began teaching at FNU in 1994, has taught Antepartum and Intrapartum Care, and now coordinates the Intrapartum course series.

Amy has published and presented on varied Intrapartum topics, including midwifery management of slow labor, management of pre-labor rupture of membranes at term, care of women in early labor, and waterbirth. She has a passion for Global Midwifery, has made several volunteer trips to Haiti, and has designed a Midwifery Curriculum for use in Haiti based on ICM (International Confederation of Midwives) core competencies.

Amy has a Bachelor’s Degree in General Studies with a concentration in Anthropology from the University of Michigan, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from St. Louis University, a Master of Science with a Certificate in Nurse-Midwifery from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, and a Doctorate of Nursing Practice from Oakland University.

Buiga Baby Boom!

Buiga mama:newborn April '17This April has seen a huge increase in babies born at Grace Medical Clinic in central Uganda–a four-fold increase over last month! This is thanks in part to an exciting new outreach program employing village mothers to encourage their neighbors to deliver at Sunrise Centre’s maternity facility. Below is a photo of the first village outreach by midwife Christine and “Village Mothers”, a program partially supported by Global Force for Healing.

Buiga village outreach2mamas The new program is led by Clinical Director Irene Wobusobozi and supervised by Buiga Director, Nicole Van Seters. It has created quite a buzz in the six villages, with red t-shirts identifying women as “Village Mothers”, with “Maternity Outreach” on the back. Here are photos of a recent Village Mother training and staff gathering. More good news: To accommodate the larger volume of births, donors from Iceland have pledged funds to build an additional room onto the maternity area by Summer! For more information or to donate to this incredible nonprofit: http://www.buiga-sunrise.org.newborn 4-6-17 Buiga

Buiga staff-com.&clinictraining Buiga 4.17

Welcome, Maison de Naissance (Haiti)!

In the Midst of the StormGBHF Logo

A new partner with Global Force for Healing is Global Birthing Home Foundation, which supports a birthing center, Maison de Naissance, in the small SW rural community of Torbeck, Haiti. Almost 5,000 babies have been born at the center since opening in 2004, with zero maternal deaths (globalbirthinghomefoundation.org).

Last October, Hurricane Matthew made a direct hit on Maison de Naissance. It withstood the storm, but not without severe damage to the power and water systems, and with every large tree on the grounds blown down. Through it all, the birthing center kept functioning, and it even became a temporary shelter for several weeks for as many as 150 people. Throughout it all, babies were still delivered and mothers and babies received essential care.

It took over 3 months and 4 relief trips to get all the systems functioning at full capacity, and during this time, the staff kept the clinic functioning even if a baby needed to be born by candlelight.

MN photo 1 of 2Rosena Baptiste, the Directrice, and Jim Grant, Executive Director of Global Birthing Home Foundation, made food relief distributions to the local community 4 times, as this very rural area was overlooked by the international relief agencies.

The harsh effects of Hurricane Matthew still linger for those served by Maison de Naissance. Recently, a pregnant woman shared, “I have lost my animals, a goat and a cow. My house has broken down and now I am living in a sort of tent that leaks.” Yet, she shares how Maison de Naissance has helped with prenatal care and vitamins, “It has helped a lot!”

Jim returned after his 4th relief trip in early January, working to finalize repairs, and reflect on how vital this oasis of healthcare is to the surrounding community: “We have always been very proud of the fact that we could offer modern, professional, and high quality maternal health care services in region where such services were either inaccessible or unaffordable. We never expected to operate as a relief shelter and services provider, but again, our community had nowhere else to turn. When asked by USAID if we could provide security for a distribution of cooking and hygiene supplies from the birth center, I replied, ‘We have been staging food and water relief operations out of Maison de Naissance since the hurricane, and our security comes from the trust we have built within the community’. They delivered the supplies that week, and everyone pitched in to ensure an orderly distribution of the goods.” Jim Grant, Executive Director

To contact Maison de Naissance: janice@globalbirthinghomefoundation.org.