Monday, November 15, 2010

Mother Health International has first set of twins!

 First set of twin, baby girls, born at the 
Mother Health International birth clinic, November 2010.

I was up early and went downstairs to have some tea and was laying in the hammock when Sherline came down and said there was a laboring woman at the Dome. Marie Antoinette was up at the clinic helping the woman get settled in and told Sherline to send for me. So although Melinda was going to be considered "first-on" that day I figured I was up so instead of waking her to do a labor assessment I thought I would go up there to check in. I knew Sabine had had a multip birth in the night so I went up to check on everyone. 

When I arrived I could see that the mom was in a good active labor (G4P2) - close contractions and vomiting - so I set up and settled in with Marie Antoinette and Sherline. It was about 6:15 a.m. at this point and the mom said that she had been in labor since 5 a.m. - so really not long at all.
Marie said she would like to catch the baby so I got her a pair of scrubs and put her in receiving position at the foot of the bed. I asked what she needed and Marie replied, "just to have you by my side." 

The birthing mom's Godmother was there and I could see that she had a knowledge of midwifery, an inherent skill and sense of the mom and baby and the process - she had that energy and wisdom of a wise woman about her. I found out that she had attended births as a midwife over the years. I liked her very much.

The birthing mom said that she had felt the baby move but not really that morning and I thought I would check for heart tones just for reference but I was having difficulty finding where to hear them best so I am gently palpating her belly in between a couple of contractions and it's was a bit confusing - feeling for sure there's a back here but there also seems to be a lot of "fullness" on the other side as well but doesn't seem posterior (you know, that train of midwifery thoughts and "hmmmmms..." that go through one's mind). 

I catch a bit of heart tone and it sounds good and labor is progressing really well so I just set back, get everything prepped and ready. I support the Mamma and Marie. Marie suggested to the mother to get off of her back and possibly walk or change position but the mother reported that she was shaking too much and couldn't do it. She had told Marie when she first arrived that this labor felt "strange", different from her other labors.

Sabine, who came up to check on her post partum mother, came in to help us out when she heard that the mother was pushing.

The mom starts pushing around 7:15 a.m. and it 's obvious progress but the baby isn't flying out, in fact, it's coming slow enough that I just consider the possibility of big shoulders (as the mom's belly was quite big) and then watch and observe. So slowly and beautifully a head emerges and after a couple of contractions and it rotates to an posterior position and comes out the rest of the way.....hmmmmm, I'm thinking, that sure is a small baby for a term gestation - a little baggy and wrinkly - possible IUGR - but it is a vigorous little baby and we put her on Mom's belly. It has a pretty short cord. She rests a moment and touches her babe when she seems to push again, or really, scrunch up her face as if she's getting an approaching contraction. Marie says, the placenta is coming and I think, "Gee, that's an awfully strong contraction for a placenta, and so soon after the baby!" 

So I look down and I see a bulging BOW and a head behind and I say, "that's not a placenta, that's another baby!"

Marie was really surprised and jumped back a little reporting later that she didn't know what was coming - at first she thought, placenta but then thought something "worse" but she looked into her heart and told herself she would not be afraid, she would not run away, she would stay and do her job. So as the baby emerged out gently, completely in the caul, I received that babe and laid it on the bed and then removed the membranes. This child was the most peaceful looking babe in the caul - you could see her perfectly and you could tell she was doing great. The baby was small enough that it did not break the amniotic sac at all on the way out and the baby was completely encased in the sac. It was like getting a peak into the womb. The placenta came with the baby. She barely bled at all, uterus was great, I had given her some Yunnan soon after the first babe came out just to be sure we didn't get an extra bleeding but her body was really doing all the right things.

Second baby was smaller but actually "pinked" up more quickly than the first although both babies were really quite vigorous! We got them to breast pretty quickly and it was bit of a juggle but it was also all so smooth. One couldn't have asked for a smoother twins birth. Both baby girls, fused placenta, two amniotic sacs, both head down, baby #1 5lbs and baby #2 just over 4 lbs, and both babies and mom were so strong!

Looking back at her chart I saw that her last baby died because it came prematurely....she said that she already had 2 boys at home and her family told her not to come home with anymore boys so she was pretty happy that she balanced everything out with 2 girls! She got an extra spirit to come back to her after the loss of one - it was all just really beautiful. Sherline reports that the mother told her after the babies were born that she had had a dream earlier the morning of the labor of two girls, her girls, playing outside of her home.

I asked the Godmother if she knew there were two babies because I could just see that wisdom in her being and she said that yes, she could tell but that she never said anything to the birthing mom because, as is tradition to Haitian culture, you don't tell a woman because you don't want her to be afraid.
I looked back at her prenatal chart and no one had ever suspected twins and she had been measuring appropriately and she went to term.

Anyway, there was never any hitches and after several hours everyone was ready to go home. We talked about keeping the babies warm, nursing them plenty, and having them sleep together. They were the most vigorous little babes I've seen who were that small. I never once doubted their strength, or moms, it was all flowing smoothly.

The babies are now 9 days post partum and came in for their first visit since the birth. Both babies have gained weight and are over their birth weights by about 300 grams. The mother has no complaints and her body feels good. She says she isn't too tired and finds that nursing two babies is not too difficult. Everyone who was at the birth reports feeling blessed and thankful to have been a part of this beautiful experience. One couldn't have asked for a more perfect birth to welcome the first set of twins to Mother Health International, Haiti!

Emily Baker, volunteer midwife

Monday, November 8, 2010

Tata's Story-Mother Health International Jacmel, Haiti

My father and mother died when I was 21 yrs old. I had only God in my life. I now have 6 daughters and because of this I work hard to give them an education. My husband work is seasonal because he is gardener, so my children depend more on me. I also take care of my 2 nieces, which gives me a total of 8 children. So that is me, I love my life! I love my children!

 Tata in the MHI kitchen.

I know I am a good cook and it is my pleasure to cook for the midwives and to clean the house, clean the kitchen. I am so happy to do this for the midwives. I pray that MHI will be able to stay here in Haiti and have a long life.

I have a good ear on the community in Jacmel and what I hear is that people are very happy with us. The clinic gives good care because of the way midwives work and spend time each woman in labor. They are gentle with the women and that is what they need. I am proud to work for MHI. Thank you for coming to Haiti. 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Haitian women move with strength and grace as they continue to work hard for dignity and empowerment

Haitian women move with strength and grace as they continue to work hard for dignity and empowerment. Last Friday we had a full day of prenatals here at the Jacmel, Haiti clinic. Ludnabert, a strong young woman came to the clinic in early labor. She walked and rested outside the yurt close to the outdoor prenatal area during the day with her beautiful mother staying close to her side. While I worked with woman after woman checking their babies and giving them the vitamins, I would go over and give her water and smile and check in with her. She was graceful in her movements and breathe. I was to find out later that she was a professional soccer player for Haiti. Toward the late afternoon we finished with all the women we were seeing, we being Marzia (a Sicilian midwife), Emily (CPM from Idaho), Melinda (CPM and full time volunteer midwife) and myself. Marzia and I decided to stay up to help Ludnabert birth.

As the night progressed I showed Ludnabert how to hang on the metal bars that support the dome. She and I would go into a full squat position and move back and forth. We moved together throughout the night, dancing and sitting back to back moving and breathing. The clinic uses a lot of dance movement as one of the Haitian assistant midwives, Marie Antoniette loves to dance (so do I) with birth. Marie has created some lovely dance movements that we use.  In the center of the dome we have a nice counter that surrounds the supply area and we have made it a place where they can lean on to help with their dance movements. The night moved forward with lovely movement and smiles. Around 10:00 pm Ludnabert decided to lay down, contractions slowed down just a little but were strong. She was in control and moving her baby through her body. I checked how far she was progressing by palpating and massaging the muscles that connect to the uterine wall on the side. Feeling the baby’s shoulders and head ever so low down I knew she was close to full dilation. This is often a lovely time that the mom and baby rest between contractions before the baby births.  I decided to go and lay down on one of the beds to stretch my back and adjust my hips. Little did I know that within minutes I would fall asleep. Marzia was sitting by her side. I awoke to Marzia calling, "Clara, Clara” and realized that I had fallen asleep. I jumped up and went to Ludnabert but I could see that she was still resting between longer spaced contractions. I then went to the next birthing area and saw Marzia sitting there with another older woman. Marzia told me that she had just come, I must of fallen asleep for about 20 minutes (twenty rejuvenating minutes).

"Haitian women move with strength and grace as they continue to work hard for dignity and empowerment."

Eloufene, a 50 yr old woman guesses her age from what was happening in history comes from a long line of Haitians. Eloufene was born at home in Jacmel, had all her babies at home, this birth was her 11th baby, some of her births she had done by herself. I could tell from the worried look on her face that she had some real concerns and a hard life. I knew that we needed to know what was on her mind so with my creole being basic I asked a translator to come in. She told us that she was scared because of loosing three of her babies and that she was also concerned that this baby was a month early. I told her that I understood that she must be scared but that this was her baby’s birthday. I put my hand on her belly and talked to the baby who responded to me. I then looked at her and with my eyes and then words told her that her baby had chosen to have this day as her birthday. I told her that her baby felt big and strong enough. I told her that my second child was a month early and was born at home and now he is a big strong doctor. I told her that although I could not promise her anything that I felt with all my heart that her baby was all good. She smiled a little at me and I asked her if we could all, her daughter, Marzia, her and I breathe some good breaths into this room full of love and if she would open up her legs and let her baby come. 

I talked to the baby and said the same and told her that when she was born that we would bring her right up to nurse from her mom and that she was safe with us.  Eloufeine said yes with a nod. We all breathed love into this area and she let this sweet baby girl be born in the sac of waters into the world. The baby was small and strong and went right up to her moms’ breast where she started after a few minutes to vigorously suck. MarziaElofeine checked her hard uterus and smiled with her. I went back to be with Ludabert. I opened the sheet between the two of them and Ludnabert could see Eloufeine nursing her baby. They both smiled at each other.

Within a few hours Ludabert’s baby was ready to come into the world. Eloufeine and her sweet baby girl were nursing and resting. The baby had not yet made any noise other than the ferocious nursing she was doing. Ludabert was moaning and the baby was coming. As her sweet baby’s head came out we heard Eloufeine’s baby make two sounds; veeni,veeni, so close to the ceole word come come. We all were filled with the amazing power of birth and love as Ludnabert’s baby girl entered the world.

As the early morning was coming and Marzia and I had finished cleaning up the clinic and were ready to come down to the house to sleep a little, we peeked in at the two moms with babies at breasts and smiled. We went back a few hours later to check on the women. Both were doing well. It was asked of Eloufeine, “Why did you travel two hours to come here to birth?" She said that she had heard of this clinic from other women in the country side. She said that it was told to her that we give good care to the women. She was so happy with her care. She said that we love the women here and we treat them with respect. She smiled. That late morning her family came to help her home. She walked proud out of the grounds of MHI. Two weeks later, she came back to a postnatal. You can the see the photos of the two women and their baby girls living side by side. She handed me a bag, it had two papayas and a jackfruit that she had carried the long distance. My heart was again filled with love;for this work that I am honored to do and for the resilience and strength of the Haitian women.

By Clare Loprinzi

Monday, October 25, 2010

Sheline Agella

My name is Sheline Agella and I am 22 years old. I am Haitian and I live in Lavanneaa, across the river from Jacmel. 

My dream is to become a pediatrician because I love to take care of babies. I love the MHI clinic because the clinic showed me birth. If I must go to the university to learn birth I do not have money to learn there. This clinic is giving me an opportunity to learn birth. I know that the birth that the doctors do in the hospital are not like the births that are done at the clinic. I have seen birth in both places. The hospital is using pitocin to induce labor which exhausts the woman, where the midwife makes it naturally without pitocin. When I met Clare at the clinic she told me that she would send me to English school and I can help serve and work for the clinic to help the foreign midwives. My sister in law came to birth at the clinic and I was very happy to help Clare with her birth. I loved doing that and then Clare said, "Come and work with us at the clinic." My family was very happy with the care of the clinic. Clare is like a Mom to me and I love her as she does for me what my Mom could not do.

The way the clinic helps the community is different from the hospital. This clinic does not charge us money. Ninotte, Marie, Marzia and Clare make women to come back to a clean clinic because they are treated well. When I saw Marie after she finished her work, I cleaned the bed and changed the sheets and she dances with the women in labor. Ninotte also keeps the clinic clean and helps me bring plant medicines from the house to the clinic. Marzia is very smart to see what needs to be cleaned and has a lovely touch. Clare makes the women laugh and when the women come they have problems but she make their problems leave. The women tell me in private that the women tell her that she makes them laugh even though they have problems. She pushes us to make it all better with the clinic. She makes us laugh and dance.

After I finish I can work for this clinic and do good things for this is clinic. This clinic is for the people of Haiti. This clinic is helping poor people and help them have them have birth with respect at the clinic. Then the clinic helps the women every week to come and have appointments before and after their birth. This gives the baby all that it needs to stay healthy.

To become a doctor I need I need to pass an exam with a good score so I can get in. I need to buy special books, it is hard economically for me to go to school. It is also hard because even if you get good grades many times they choose the one to go because they are friends.

Clare told me that she just attended the Haiti health conference where she spoke there and she heard a doctor say that they are sending Haitian students to learn in Cuba. They want to send them to come back and I would like to do that and come back to help my people. To get good education would be important. I am happy that doctors are helping our board, I saw a picture of Dr. Jade and I want to thank her.

I am very thankful that Clare for giving me opportunity to learn more and more. The clinic gives me the first step to learn more and I will study to become a doctor so that I can come back to work for this clinic.

Sheline, learning to burn the umbilical cord. 
All babies born with MHI have their cords burned. 
This helps to prevent infections and aids in healing faster than 
a cut cord.  

Friday, October 22, 2010

Meet Ninotte Lubin-Assistant Midwife, Administrator

Ninotte Lubin listening to fetal heart tones. 

 Ninotte Lubin

Ninotte Lubin

My name is Ninotte Lubin. I am from Haiti from the southeast. Jacmel is my region. Jacmel was created in 1698 , a wonderful city that had welcomed Simon Bolivar in1812 for the freedom of some countries in the South America like: Venezuela, Equator, Peru and Bolivia

I was born in 1974, we are six children, three girls and three boys, in my family. My mom is alive, my dad was dead 25 years ago. I am the fifth one in my family. One of my sisters died two years ago, she left a son who ten years old, one of my older brothers left to the United States 20 yrs ago and has never returned. He lives in Missouri. I am living with my mom, my little brother and one of my older sisters, and my nephew. We come from an area they call Lafond, a nice area about 7 kilometers from the town of Jacmel. Lafond is the village of Merisier Jeannis ( a big cousin of my mother), an illiterate countryman who had fought a lot to escape of humiliations, hardships, and sacrifices that the rural life had been imposed on him.

I grew up with my family, my dad was a great person. He was a responsible man, he took care of everyone, even if we did not have a lot of resources. He was in the military. Before he died in 1985 he left the military because he did not want to do bad things because he was very sensitive. He tried to give us a good education like I remember he always told us life is a struggle so you should fight for what you love, for what you want to do. He loved his children because we were always at the top of our classes. He said that he wanted to help us to become whatever we wanted to become in life. That is why after his death I said my life is gone but my mom even if she did not have work she was strong and she loved her children too she said I have two things in my life that I never want to do as I want to help my children. I do not want to be a robber and I do not want to sell my body for sex to help my children. But I can do everything. That is why she never got married after her husband death or be with another man as she loved my dad so much.

She did all good things that she could do to help us. I am like my mother because she has conviction. My responsibility revolves around children. I was always thinking about children and always feel bad when I see children in the street. I ask where do they come from and why are they in that situation? I wrote about that even though my book is not yet published. I see children's lives different like if the mothers take their responsibilities from when they get pregnant they can change the children lives in the street. When I heard about the birth clinic I was working for an organization called FOTCOH ( friends of the children of Haiti) in Cyvadier. A friend of mine told me that there is a clinic at St. Helene who needs a female translator (Marie Antoinnette is her friend). He told me you can see and talk to them and see what happens.

My first impression of birth (I had not seen a birth before coming to MHI) was terrible because I saw how the baby came and when they explained to me what the placenta was and I saw the roots in the placenta I said, "Wow we are all a gift of the universe. I was scared. I did not think I was ready to see all of this. I took three weeks to understand birth. After three weeks I was ready to see all the things. Now I see life like I saw it before I understood it. This clinic has a excellent impact in my community because we have only one public hospital in Jacmel. We have some private clinic too, but this clinic after the earthquake is a miracle for everybody in Jacmel. Not only in Jacmel but from all over the southeast. People come from all areas of the southeast. They come because one after one they are excited and happy and their people are happy are to come to birth here. They love the way that we take care of them. Because we have an education problem in Haiti the nurses do not take care of the women respectfully. That is why they prefer to come to this clinic. The other thing is money too, they do not have to pay money to birth with us and the last thing that is most important is the psychological part. The way we talk to the women we help them to love themselves. We help them not to be scared and to feel their power that they have in their body and mind. When they are with us they feel secure. This is my second impression of birth. Women are powerful to give birth easily with suffering but lovely and gently.

The baby is also feeling the same thing that mom feels. When we try to help the women like we do help them to break all the bad things that they have inside. Because we help the mom we help the baby too. If you help them then you help the society and we help them to be responsible. People that are responsible are able to build a stronger society.

After two months in this clinic I remember that I talked to myself, I said
"Ninotte you are a translator but if you want things changed in Haiti you should move your mind. You should help this clinic stay alive and study everything you can study to help the mothers and to help yourself to do what you want to do in your life." That is why when the board asked me if I wanted to be a midwife I said yes without hesitation. Now the board has asked me to help run this clinic. I am very comfortable to do this.

I have a lot of things to talk about but, I want to resume all in a few words. I am a student in the midwifery school mama primativa, I am a co-administrator of MHI, one of the part of the philosophy of this group that I love so much is "educate Haitian women to be midwives, so, they can help themselves to stay alive."

Women we can, help yourselves to survive honestly with dignity that come from in the universe that has been created with LOVE. This love you have it in and around you.

In 1804, Haitian people fought for their freedom, now, women around the world must fight to change births to change the world. NOU KAPAB.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Meet Marie Antoinette Helen Jeune, Assistant Midwife at Mother Health International

Over the next few weeks our blog will feature the wonderful MHI team on the ground in Jacmel, Haiti. Your financial contributions help support the salaries of these team members. Thank you. Each person has been asked to write up a short story describing themselves and the work they do. Enjoy!

Marie Antoinette Helen Jeune
Assistant Midwife, Translator
Mother Health International birth clinic in Jacmel, Haiti

Marie Antoinette Helen Jeune
Marie Antoinette Helen Jeune

Marie, Melinda and a beautiful mother on prenatal day at the clinic.

I am Marie Antoinette Helene Jeune. I was born in 1981 in  Jeremie in the area of the grand Anse in the south of Haiti. I have a son who is five years old. I have been working with MHI as a translator and now I am studying to become a midwife. I am a Haitian woman coming from a long line of strong women. My people were brought here to Haiti as slaves from America in 1503. In 1804 we got our freedom. My people bought our freedom for $90 million in 1825 from France. I want to become a traditional midwife so that I can work for my country and this clinic.

I have the patience to be a midwife. The MHI birth clinic provides very good care to the women in my community during their pregnancy, birth and postpartum. The focus of a midwife is on natural methods for pregnancy, birth and postpartum care. I recognize the difference in care when I see a doctor attend a birth; it is not the same thing that we do as midwives when we work with birth and women. I am talking about the pitocin used routinely in birth in Haiti, and the other drugs that make the it very hard for the mamma and the baby. I see the way a midwife works with birth. She makes the women comfortable during labor using massage, and uses movement such as traditional dancing during birth. My passion is to become a midwife and make a difference in women’s lives. The first time I came here to work was at the beginning when Bumi Sehat started the clinic. Now the clinic is under new leadership and is Mother Health International, and when I first came here I did not know anything about natural birth. When I saw the way the birth clinic treated women, I felt so good and love within myself. I loved the pregnant women and this work. I massaged them, give them some ideas to make them happy during labor, create some dancing steps to relax the woman so she would not be afraid. One day when I was working with Kelly, I said I want to share some ways with the the mother to make her happy, to make her dance and laugh. Kelly said to me, “Yes Marie, the woman will be very happy that you do with her her." I felt so happy inside in myself, I knew that I was a midwife and not every one else knew, but I knew.

One time while a woman was laboring she asked me, “Oh marie mwen kapab fe pa sa y o wap tiye nou avan bebe sa sa fet.” (Oh Mary I can’t do these steps, you are killing me before my baby is born.” I said no, never quit, do not be discouraged. I am here and I will support you to make the steps.” She answered me afterward her baby was born, “Oh Mary I love you and sometimes when she looks at me and our eyes are together and we are connected.”

MHI midwifery model of care is a good model for Jacmel because it is hard to find good care for pregnant women. We are kind here, we treat the women with respect. The families come to the clinic and they are very happy because their women are finding good care in the clinic. The families tell me why wasn’t this clinic here before. They asked me, “Why are you working this work of midwifery? You treat us well, like the foreign midwife, are you a midwife?” They tell me I will become a great midiwfe and that makes me feel good. I hear them say, “You know Mary this clinic is very good, it is giving good care and you especially. If the foreign midwives leave you will be there here to help us. Stay strong, do not change your behavior.”

Some of the women and families ask me who are the midwives that come here, where do they come from. I explain to them they are midwives and come after the time of the earthquake to work in Haiti but they come and they plan to help the women and pregnancy for care. I explain, the damage of the earthquake brought the midwives.

I never thought about birth much before I worked here. In 2004 I was pregnant with son, my mom wanted me to follow a midwife and she gave me all the natural medicine. I was as 23 yrs old and the midwife checked positions of my baby but I never knew what she was doing and was very afraid when she touched my belly. My mom said there is not difference between the midwife and doctor. She told me to accept the midwife, let the midwife do her work, let her give me natural medicine and check my baby. When I was in labor, I lost my mucous plug. The midwife checked me and said the baby was ready to be born. My mom said to me, "Let her help you birth and I told my mom no and she said it was my decision. So we went to the hospital. She said that I would see the difference between a midwife and a doctor. I told her “I do not know but I told her that I trust the doctor.” If I was to have another baby again I of course I would do it with the midwife. 

We are working as midwives and as professionals and rarely we to bring a mother or baby to the hospital. But if we bring a baby or a mother to the hospital we treat them with respect and they will treat us with respect. The families are very satisfied, 100%, with the care that the clinic gives to the women. They like the way the midwives treat the women, very natural. There are some families that have told me that hospital, even if the woman is having a normal pregnancy and labor with no complications, that they make problems for the mother and baby. That means that they will cut the women (episiotomy or c-section). They said to me it is not the same as when we work with a midwife to do the birth. I met a lot of the girls and families telling me often the way the midwife  works because it is natural, and it is better for the birth of the baby.

First, when a woman comes to me in labor, we share some ideas with the woman and get to  know each other in labor. You can tell the woman some jokes to make her laugh and help her not stress and help her not be afraid. For the dance for the birth, I make the woman understand that it is not a game, it is to help the woman relax and help the baby get into position. Sometimes I create some steps to show the women to be relaxed, to be happy,to be laughing with me or smile with me. I explain to the women the baby wants love even when the baby is inside of his/her mom. I tell the women, let the baby know that they are something special and that everyone is going to receive them with a lot of love. This is throughout a woman's pregnancy, I explain to the baby everybody is waiting for the baby and will receive them with love. The baby needs the love.

Marie Antoinette, Haitian Assistant Midwife
(This was slightly edited to assist with the translation.) 

Friday, October 8, 2010

MHI passes the 200 mark!

Mother Health International is pleased to announce that over 200 babies have been born peacefully, and healthy at the MHI birth clinic with the support of volunteer midwives and OBGyn's from around the world using the midwives model of care.

We want to thank the greater community for your support in making this type of maternal health care service available to the women in Jacmel. You are making a difference in the lives of these women, children and the community at large. Thank you! 

Next week marks the 40th week working in Haiti and a newsletter updating you on the wonderful happenings at the clinic will be coming next week. 

Thank you again for your support. 
We continue to look for donations of support to maintain and sustain the clinic. Consider making a donation today, 

The Mother Health International Team


Saturday, August 21, 2010

Mamma Primitiva-Traditional Midwifery School Open Enrollment

Mamma Primitiva is a worldwide traditional midwifery school that believes if given the opportunity and teachings, every woman can know and help the restoration of traditional birth. It is the work of the Primitive Mamma.

Many years ago, I organized the Mother Oak Midwifery Conference with several old traditional midwives teaching who had years of knowledge and experience assisting women during birth. All sessions from these extraordinary conferences were taped and have become an integral part of the midwifery education you are about to receive. You will be provided with other teachings from great midwives, traditional healers and medicine women from around the world that will also be included in your classes. The words from these old midwives and great teachers in the healing field, will be part of your educational experience. Their words will take you to a deep place of knowledge, to the root of this ancient knowing and wisdom.

As many of you know I have done grassroots work locally, nationally and internationally for many years to keep traditional midwifery alive and continue to pass the education on to women who want the knowledge. I have worked extensively in Hawaii, Greece, Sicilia and Bulgaria and the United States. Women from all over the world will attend these unique and powerful traditional midwifery courses. Local and worldwide networking will result from your friendships and all proceeds will go to non-profit maternal/child health clinics.

This education is to help you prepare yourself to help women birth whether you will become or are an educator for your friends, doulas, childbirth educators, apprentices, midwifes or doctors. This education will add to other education that you are receiving as it will give the rich traditional approach. If you want to become a midwife it will be your responsibility to find apprenticeships in your local community. You will find these courses unique, and helpful in your journey to understanding midwifery. Some of you may want to apply to work at the MHI clinics in the future and this schooling is imperative for you to be able to participate.

We look forward to you receiving this education through Mamma Primitiva to help women and babies birth with respect and love. Clare Loprinzi, Traditional Midwife, CPM, MCH

Mission Statement of Mamma Primitiva

Mamma Primitiva is a worldwide online traditional midwifery school that believes that if given the opportunity and teachings every woman can know and help with the restoration of traditional birth. It is the work of the primitive mamma.

The intention of Mamma Primitiva is to provide traditional midwifery education to a diverse group of women around the world. 100% of the money generated from the tuition paid to this school will go directly to supporting a midwifery model of care clinic in a impoverished and disaster stricken country. The intention is to keep the traditional midwife ways of birthing alive while at the same collaborating with birth practitioners from around the world.

Clare Loprinzi, founder of Mamma Primitiva, is on the board of directors and the medical advisory board for Mother Health International, a nonprofit organization, with a midwifery model of care birth clinic located in Jacmel, Haiti. Haiti has one of the highest infant and maternal mortality rates in the Western Hemisphere. The mission statement of this unique medical advisory board is, "MHI Medical Advisory Board is a broad collaboration of practioneers advising and supporting Mother Health International to create the bridge between high technology obstetric care and the excellent outcomes provided by the low technology, hands on midwifery model of care in impoverished and disaster stricken countries. The collection of our data will provide inspiration for birthing centers worldwide."

This educational school has been a long time dream of mine and could not be doing this without the help of many other people and you. We have much work to do to help Motherearth heal, and it starts with birth. I would like to thank you for joining us and hope that the healing begins with you and spreads throughout birth movements and groups such as Mother Health International.

The Mission of Mother Health International

Mother Health International is dedicated to respond and provide relief to pregnant women and children in areas of disaster and extreme poverty. We are committed to reducing the maternal and infant mortality rates by creating healthy, sustainable holistic birthing centers using the midwifery model of care with culturally appropriate education for the health and empowerment of women. With every healthy birth there is a positive benefit for the communities that we serve and the world as a whole.

Learn more about Mother Health International, click here.

Special thanks go to: Mother Margaret, Evie, Shana, Natasha, Jade Patti, Carol, Kelly, Misha, Joe, Lori, Josh, Heather, Mathidle, Milena, Miglena, Evangelia, Maria, Marzia, Lucia, Beverly, Renee and to you and all the beautiful babies and mammas of the world.


Friday, August 13, 2010

It's a boy! Mother Health International Catches its 100th Baby at birth center in Haiti

It's a boy!
Mother Health International Catches its 100th Baby at birth center in Haiti

August, 13, 2010, Jacmel, Haiti:

Mother Health International catches its 100th baby since it opened its doors on March 10, 2010 in Jacmel, Haiti.

Born on July 27, 2010, at 7:10 am, the 100th baby, a healthy baby boy, makes his way into the world with the loving care at the MHI birth clinic weighing 7 lbs lbs, 18 1/2 inches in length.

"We are celebrating this wonderful news, our first baby was a boy and our 100th baby is a boy," said Co-Founder, Kelly C. Dunn. "We look forward to celebrating the 200th baby born at the clinic."

Mom and baby are doing great.

"His mother arrived at dome birth clinic fully dilated at 6:45 am and he was born with great ease moments later," said Volunteer Midwife Tania Laviades.

Mother Health International's (MHI) founding members were part of a first responder team of seven medics, midwives and support staff who traveled to Jacmel, Haiti on January 28, 2010 via Santa Domingo, Dominican Republic to offer disaster relief to women and children. With the help from private donations, NGO's, non-profit organizations and government organizations, the team was able to provide emergency medical aid, water and food to the women and children who survived the earthquake.
Shortly after arriving in Jacmel, the founders of MHI recognized the greater need beyond disaster and emergency aid and began the process to build a holistic maternal birth clinic in the heart of one of the most under served areas in Haiti, St. Helen Parish.

On March 10, 2010 MHI officially opened our doors to pregnant women and started prenatal evaluations immediately. Today 100 babies have been born at our birth center and thousands of prenatal visits have been preformed. The MHI birth clinic is modeled after the Midwives Model of Care. Our birth center is housed in a 44 ft dome structure (1500 sq. feet) on a piece of land with a small house in front of it that serves as our home for volunteers. Midwives come from around the world to donate their time to serve the mothers of Jacmel.

Mother Health International
Mother Health International is a non-profit organization registered in the Commonwealth of Virginia. MHI is currently seeking 501c3 status with the IRS. We are a registered nonprofit in Canada and are seeking Charity Status.

MHI is dedicated to respond and provide relief to pregnant women and children in areas of disaster and extreme poverty. We are committed to reducing the maternal and infant mortality rates by creating healthy, sustainable holistic birthing centers using the midwifery model of care with culturally appropriate education for the health and empowerment of women. With every healthy birth there is a positive benefit for the communities that we serve and the world as a whole. To donate and support our work, visit our website at

Monday, August 2, 2010

A reflection from Volunteer Melinda

A beautiful talented skilled group of midwives had made their way here and we are forming a strong team already! Everyone is busy at work. Friday our last prenatal consultation day of the week went as usual. Many Moms came into our care for the first time, most hear about us through friends that have given birth with us in the previous months and hear about the good care we give. I often ask Moms why they are choosing to birth with us and the answer is always the same, you are kind, patience and give good care. I spent time with a mom for a consultation and she was amazed at how much time I took to ask her questions and help her along. Our reputation is spreading! Women are looking for other options than what has been available. My heart breaks when I hear moms say things like, “I would have come here sooner if I had known you were so kind and gentle”. It makes you wonder what their past experiences have been and makes me want to cherish and support them all the more! These women deserve the dignity, respect and love that we foster in the clinic setting. It makes me so thankful to be here helping to create a new standard of how women need to be treated and cared for during pregnancy, birth and beyond.

As a write we have a Mama in labor up at the dome. Last time I was up there, I poked my head in the room to see her and as I stole a glance I watched her rise with a mighty contraction and reach out for her midwife’s hand to hold. The bond that they have going can’t be stopped by language, culture, time and place, the bond is one of trust and security. It is beautiful to watch how quickly this can happen, how quickly two people who are complete strangers and then through a couple of hours of pain and progress, a bond is built between the one wanting support and the one wanting to give her support. Birth brings women together in a beautiful way.

Volunteer Melinda McLaren

©2010 Mother Health International

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Mother Health International's Latest Photos

The beautiful wall being built around the property

Beautiful new Mother with babe. 
Beautiful Eyes!

Beautiful baby! 

Double Love! 

Resting and admiring

Postnatal Days 

Happy Mama and Happy Baby

All photos by Volunteer Melinda McLaren.