I’ve been dwelling on the statistics that haunt our pregnant, birthing and postpartum mamas all over the globe, reeling on powerful ways to be the change. I have the great honor to be working through Mercy In Actions Global Midwifery Program to receive a diploma in International Midwifery.
“The danger faced by women giving birth is real. While things have improved over the past two decades, still today, a mother dies every two minutes from pregnancy and childbirth-related causes somewhere on this globe. The maternal mortality rates vary greatly by country, with a total of 98% of newborn deaths and 99% of maternal deaths occurring in low and middle-income countries. The vast majority of the burden of deaths is spread fairly equally between Asia and Africa. This is not just a health issue but a human rights issue and a social justice issue as well. “ - Midwifery Today, Vickie Penwell.
Wow, just take that in. Care providers, midwives and volunteers must possess, and exude kindness, love, respect, be cultural competent, and gently change culture practices that add to the disheartening maternal and neonatal stats world wide. The human race must collaborate in order to achieve the Global goal to eliminate preventable deaths of mothers and babies.
Vickie Penwell and her family have and currently spend their lives working to improve these statistics. Discrimination, abuse, traditional practices that harm the mother and baby, and lack of resources are a few of the hardships women face as they go through pregnancy and birth. Many arms are being linked and the WHO (World Health Organization) along with IMBCI (International MotherBaby Childbirth Organization) is offering the 10 Steps to Optimal MotherBaby Maternity Services by Mercy in Action.
Here is one of the many approaches Mercy In Action has used to introduce the IMBCI 10 Steps in the past decades. Read through the IMBCI Initiative, print and hold close as you work to improve the outcome for women birthing no matter where you’re located. I’ve learned, and continue to learn, how to create positive wording when approaching healthcare providers, and those in the community that serve women and have the ability to stand with me to make changes in the right direction for all women.
“When we go to a new community to start a new birth center, we do not go to the Department of Health or local hospital staff and say, 'We are midwives and we want to deliver babies here.' Nor do we say, 'We are with Mercy In Action,' a small NGO they have never heard of. Rather we say, 'We would like to bring the International MotherBaby Childbirth Initiative 10 Steps to Optimal MotherBaby Maternity Services to this community. May we show you all about it?' Then we roll the slideshow for the local leaders (PowerPoint slides available on the IMBCI website) and we adapt the slides to show local pregnant women. When they hear that WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA, et al. have participated in the creation of the steps, they are always impressed and everyone wants us to show them how to keep the 10 steps, bringing improvements to how women are treated in the entire community. The very first statement in the very first step is about respect, so it is a powerful thing to be able to share this training. Remember, these 10 steps are for doctors or midwives, hospitals or homebirths … they are truly inclusive.
More midwives than ever before are going to volunteer in other countries to bring compassion and humanity to birthing rooms around the world. Many groups, including NARM, are now requiring cultural competency training for midwives, and this is a good thing. But more than attitude adjustments and kindness are necessary going forward. We need a way to measure how well we are doing with both human rights and with saving lives, and the 10 Steps of IMBCI allow us to do that well.” Midwifery Today, Vickie Penwell
I have the upmost privilege of working with MamaBaby Haiti (MBH), improving birthrates in Haiti. Through awareness, education, prenatal care, labor breathing, and postpartum practices, there has been many lives saved in the hands of the midwives at MBH. The birth center is in constant need of financial donors. In order to make this fun and beneficial for the birth center there’s a formal MamaBaby Haiti Fundraising Gala. There will be silent auction, Haitian cuisine, and lots of great company. We have two amazing guest speakers. The first is Carmelle Moise who is coming from Cap Hatien, Haiti. She’s our leading midwife at Mama Baby Haiti. Carmelle works with a handful of other talented midwives to offer free prenatal care and deliveries to the women of northern Haiti.
The next guest speaker is world renowned midwife Jennie Jospeh! She has so much knowledge into improving birth statistics it’ll blow your mind.
No woman or child should die because of where they live.
“After the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti, I traveled there to provide disaster relief and maternity care. My heart was touched in so many ways. I sadly learned to say “I am sorry, your baby has died” in Creole over and over again. Haiti has the highest infant and maternal mortality rate in the Western Hemisphere. Realizing the huge need for midwives and access to maternity care, I committed to return and open a birth center and midwifery school to empower the women and families of Haiti.
MamaBaby Haiti is a non-profit birth center, health clinic, and midwifery school located in Northern Haiti that opened in 2010. We provide a safe place for Haitian women to receive compassionate and respectful care at the hands of skilled midwives. No one is turned away and every morning you hear the waiting room of MamaBaby break out into singing as over 30 women start their day waiting to be seen by the midwives. Every night you hear the rap rap rap on the gate as women come in labor to the sanctuary and safety of MamaBaby birth center to have their babies.” Jennifer Gallardo, Founder of MamaBaby Haiti
You are invited…
Experience an unforgettable evening at the MamaBaby Haiti Gala
Saturday, October 20th at 6pm
1410 SW Morrison St,
Portland, Oregon 97205
I formally invite you to join me at this event. I currently have two tables to fill up, exactly 20 spots. The PayPal donations are already coming in. I encourage you to click on my link and PayPal me to reserve your spot https://www.paypal.me/celebratinglife.