Midwife on a Mission

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As a lactation professional and Traditional Birth Attendant, I have worked with and serviced hundreds of families. I have had the honor to be trained and mentored by both Traditional and Nurse Midwives. My mission is to inform Birth Workers and families across the globe about humane and gentle birth options — and the importance of breastfeeding. This desire to encourage gentle birth practices and support birth justice is what fuels my mission trips. 

In 2014 I joined a team of midwives and birth professionals on a two week midwifery mission trip to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. We worked in shifts at the Hospital Materno-Infantil San Lorenzo de Los Mina. This is a public hospital that sits in the capitol and delivers 80-100 babies daily. In 2013 they delivered over 18,000 babies with an astounding 50% cesarean rate. Coincidentally the c-section rate lowered to only 10% during our work in L&D; many of which were pre-scheduled for c-sections.

This hospital also reported a 100% breastfeeding initiation rate with a dramatic 94% decline within first month, leaving a devastating 6% breastfeeding population. 

During our visit we donated much needed medical supplies to aid the labor & delivery staff and wheel chairs. We also compiled several dozen mom & baby gift bags, which included a small bar of soap, a sanitary napkin, a wash cloth, and a blanket and hat for baby. These items were well received as they are not supplied by the hospital.

My mission and passion for missionary midwifery continued in August 2016 with a three week trip to Mbarara, Uganda. We worked in shifts for two of those weeks at the University Hospital.  Mbarara Hospital is a public hospital, funded by the Uganda Ministry of Health, and general care in the hospital is free. The birth practices were very closely related to methods and procedures that I witnessed in Santo Domingo. However this hospital reports an estimated 30% cesarean rate and about 60% exclusive breastfeeding at five months postpartum.

Unfortunately, many developing countries have rapidly rising cesarean rates and harsh obstetrical practices. Whereas women are left alone to labor in a crowded laboring room. The attending staff are generally trained in high-risk management of birth with very little knowledge of natural undisturbed birth which coincidentally results in many unnecessary interventions. We donated much needed medical supplies and wheel chairs to the midwives and obstetricians. We also gave mom & baby gift bags for immediate postpartum as the hospital does not supply them. 

During this midwifery mission trip we had the immense pleasure to visit a local school and orphanage called, Guma Na Yesu (Keep with Jesus). This school cares for approximately 750 youth. We met with Minister Naboth Tumuhairwe and his lovely wife Alice who humbly provided us with a guided tour of the facility.  Here is where we learned of their great challenge to provide daily food and drinking water to the youth.  The children sometimes suffer illness from lack of adequate nutrition.  There perseverance and dedication inspires me greatly to continue my missionary work and help bring sustainable food resources. 

The need is great! The funds are necessary to help bring much needed supplies to these hospitals and resources to this school.