1 in 80 women in Haiti will die in childbirth. 1 in 80, often by things that we know to be preventable.
I could not shake this number. It affected me deeply, and as I found myself working more often with women through their pregnancies, I realized this is the crucial time for intervention. That we must care for women and empower them in their most vulnerable time before we are left to care for their infants in the wake of tragedy.
I have been teaming up with an incredible American labor and delivery nurse and doula who also moved to Haiti, and we have been working together to care for and empower women, to structure what it looks like to provide access to prenatal care, and to take fear out of the equation for pregnant women by providing access to medical care and a safe, sterile place to deliver their baby with follow up care and breastfeeding assistance.
While in America, I’ve been blessed with an opportunity to pursue certification in both Childbirth Education and Birth Doula work. If I’m feeling passionate about helping women through pregnancy in Haiti, where the need is great, I can say I’m equally passionate about gaining all the education and resources I can to do so well.
The women I serve deserve my very best. Because of the support I have received from ICEA, I’m able to pursue continuing education and to invest in the skills, knowledge, and resources I hope to share with them so they are able to share with others.
Help continue to spread the ICEA core values of compassion, collaboration, and choice and donate now to our scholarship fund. Your generous gift to the ICEA scholarship fund will allow us to support even more birth professionals around the world like Laura. Once you’ve donated, make sure to share this graphic on your social channels and encourage your followers to support family-centered maternity and newborn care.
Laura is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Social Work. She moved to Gonaïves, Haiti, in August 2015 and spent two years teaching 2nd and 3rd grade at a local elementary school. Now, Laura is working at Klinik Jubilee, an American run medical clinic that aims to provide top of the line medical treatment to those living in Gonaïves. While working as the Clinic Social Work Director, Laura has created programs to treat malnourished children and educate their caregivers. She also provides education, medical care, and formula to foster families who care for infants after their mother’s died in childbirth. Additionally, she serves as medical coordinator and patient advocate for children needing emergent medical care.