Monday, March 21, 2011

Not only babies are blooming at MHI

Not only babies are blooming at MHI; the garden is just starting to get active. We have squash, tomatoes, beets, cucumber, bell pepper, salad greens, herbs, eggplant, and some flowers peeking their heads out. We've also recently made the discovery of 2 exciting plants on our land: Moringa and Cotton. Moringa is an amazing tree, whose leaves can be eaten and provide complete protein + essential minerals and vitamins, as well as medicinal properties. Additionally, the seeds can be ground and used for water purification! We've been encouraging women to take some home and to look for it around their houses to eat.

The second plant, is cotton. We dug up the roots of one of the plants last week to make tinctures with the apprentices for Cotton Root Bark (Gossypium herbaceum), which is excellent for inducing labor and helping with post-partum bleeding. All this is aside from the wonderful plants we've already been acquainted with here: a Loofah vine which provides us with natural sponges for dish cleaning, the banana trees, the cherry tree, and the mangoes which are starting to drip from the sky. New things are being planted continually atop placentas--more Moringa, cotton, papaya, kashima (a popular fruit), etc. We are all excited with the abundance that nature is providing us here in Jacmel.

Happy Spring Equinox!
Rachel Olsson, Volunteer Midwife and Gardner, MHI birth clinic

Jacmel, Haiti

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Happy 1st Birthday Mother Health International

"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

To the Mother Health International Community:

With a tremendous amount of hard work, generous financial contributions from those individuals and organizations who believe in the MHI model of care, a lot of love, kindness, and a strong desire to preserve the sacredness of birth and offer a safe place for Haitian women to birth, the MHI birth clinic was officially born a year ago today.  
Happy 1st Birthday Mother Health International! 

"We're building a new generation in Haiti, starting in Jacmel, where love is in the middle of the MHI team and all the women that we've been taken care of. Our Haitian women are very courageous and strong, they know how to take care of their children but, they are some things that they do not know that can make the difference between life and death. Through the course of prenatal care at MHI birth center, each woman gets an opportunity to further their education to maintain a healthy pregnancy and family through teaching on hygiene, nutrition, breast feeding, gentle parenting and much more. We're trying to create a relationship between us and the women, something that can help to touch their heart. When you touch someone's heart you can change their life. My relationship with MHI clients shows me that we are indeed doing that. Thank you for keeping us alive this past year! Over 400 babies were lovingly born here and thousands of women cared for. Help us continue to live out our vision for the families in Jacmel," Ninotte Lubin, MHI Administrator & Midwifery Student

"From the original seed of a disaster relief clinic, MHI's birth clinic in Jacmel has evolved to a Haitian community traditional birthing center. The Haitian women have now become the primary administrators and care givers to their community. We are grateful for their strength, their dedication and love for this project. International support now consists of donations and mentoring by midwifes and other healthcare professionals. This clinic is continuing to grow and evolve with your financial help and love. We are becoming a unique example of a culturally based traditional midwifery model of care. We could not do it without all of your support. Our deepest thanks and love go out to all of you." Clare Loprinzi, Traditional Midwife, CPM & Dr. Joseph Kassel, ND, LAc., MHI Volunteer Medical Advisory Board Members

"To all the women in Haiti and the amazing volunteer team I work with each day, thank you. To the many individual and corporate donors who have been so generous with your contributions and support, thank you. To the many many volunteers who have come to Haiti, thank you.  I am personally blessed and honored to work along side such an amazing team who gives of their heart and soul each day to sustain this beautiful birth clinic. It is truly a privileged to do this work and it has forever transformed me. This is what I was born to do in this lifetime. Merci ladies of Haiti for giving me the opportunity to fulfill this calling." Heather L. Maurer, MHI Volunteer Executive Director & Co-founder

Please consider donating today to help us celebrate our 1 year anniversary and our recently granted 501(c)3 status. Visit our website:

In great gratitude,
The Mother Health International Team  

Mother Health International is a 501(c)3 tax exempt public charity. Your donation is considered tax deductible under the guidelines and rules of the IRS-USA.

Mother Health International receives 501(c)3 status from the IRS

I am thrilled to announce that Mother Health International has received our 501(c)3 status from the IRS. Contributions to our organization can be tax deductible under the section 170 of the IRS code. We have been classified as a public charity. Donate today!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Employment Opportunities

Mother Health International Job Openings
On-Site Midwifery Coordinator
Jacmel, Haiti

Mother Health International has two On-Site Midwifery Coordinator positions available. The MHI On-Site Midwifery Coordinator’s primary responsibility is being the primary midwife NARM preceptor at the MHI birth clinic. This is an amazing life changing opportunity for someone who wants to work within a traditional midwifery model of care.

Primary duties include:

• Works with the Volunteer Medical Advisory Board President, Clare Loprinzi, Traditional Midwife, CPM on the educational program for the apprentices and overseeing this on the ground in Haiti.

• Attends births working within the MHI protocols and upholding the MHI model of care.

• Works with the Administrator of MHI on maintaining the midwifery side of the clinic.

• Maintains all NARM protocols for apprentices.

• Communicates on a bi-weekly basis in an email or skype with the President of the Board of Directors as it pertains to this job.

• Welcomes and orients volunteers to the clinic.

Additional details:

• Teaches apprentices while following the MHI protocols, helps improve the clinic day efficiency working alongside the MHI administrator in the clinic to help identify and find solutions to the midwifery related issues that pertain to clinic.

• Working with volunteer midwives and Haitian apprentices to create prenatal education that the Haitian apprentices teach the moms on prenatal days to include healthy pregnancy, breastfeeding, nutrition, peaceful parenting, labor, birth and postpartum care.

• Oversees the midwifery care we give while working and abiding to the MHI protocols; communicates with the Administrator and the President of the Board of Directors on ways to improve the care we give and reports back the weekly updates on the happenings at the clinic as it pertains to this job.

• Sets the tone and protects the space for all births to be seen as a sacred right for the mother, child and family attending.

• Teaches apprentices to do monthly clinic statistics

• Facilitate study time on a weekly basis in a formal setting/interactive “classroom” discussion time

• Facilitates and encourages volunteer midwives to teach students in clinic and outside clinic times

• Orients volunteer midwives to clinic systems and supplies, meds, etc. Explains and goes over the protocol book and all current systems pertaining to the clinic. Orients volunteers to the house and Jacmel, laundry, meals, clean up, changing money and overall cultural norms in Haiti.


• A willingness to live in our volunteer birth clinic for a minimum of eight months of time preferably a year in Jacmel, Haiti as the primary midwife on duty.

• This position requires NARM preceptor certificate/approval. Midwife may be a direct entry, traditional, certified professional midwife or certified nurse midwife willing to work within a traditional midwifery model of care.

• Must bring in a list of supplies needed for the clinic plus help raise money for the clinic.

What MHI will provide:

This position will be given a small monthly stipend for spending money. All on ground expenses are paid for including housing, food, and high speed Internet. Unpaid vacation time.

Mother Health International’s Mission

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 birth clinics 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. Our ultimate mission is to empower and educate the local clinic staff, with gender equality, to become the health care providers for their community

Volunter Administrative Team
Heather L. Maurer, Co-Founder, Executive Director

The Medical Advisory Board’s Mission

The Mother Health International Advisory Board is a broad collaboration of practitioners 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.

Volunteer Medical Advisory Board
Clare Loprinzi, Traditional Midwife, CPM, MCH certificate
Carol Roedocker, CNM
Dr. Jade Patti McGaff, MD,OB/GYN
Dr. Mathilde Costa, MD, OB/GYN
Dr. Misha Kassel, MD, Emergency Medicine
Dr. Joseph Kassel, ND, LAc.

Words from Melinda McClaren, Current On-Site Midwifery Coordinator

I came to Haiti not knowing what to expect or who to believe about the
situation here. The news and people coming back from the quake shaken
land told stories of horror and sorrow, of danger and strife. However
the story I now know of Haiti is one of love, strength, humor and all
good things among the hardships faced in a 3rd world country rocked by
injustice on every level. I am proud to say that I came to Haiti with
an open heart and have been given one back by each person I met.
Haitians have moved into my heart and soul in a way that no other
peoples have. I must say “thank you” to my dear friends here in Jacmel
for embracing me and wanting me to “become” Haitian, to be able to see
life from their perspective. I am honored. Now down to what I do
here.... Well, if you haven't heard there is this amazing birth center, the
Mother Health International birth clinic, that started up in Jacmel just
after the earthquake of 2010. I was living in Canada when I came
across the work that MHI was doing in Haiti and I just knew that this
was it for me. I saw the website and my heart was set. I have worked
overseas several times and the thought of doing midwifery in a developing country
set my heart on fire. I know the difference one midwife can make
in the life of a family. I know that just simple sharing of knowledge
regarding hygiene and nutrition can make the difference for a mom and
baby. Education is the key to empowerment and empowerment is just what
Haitian women need. At the MHI birth center we have woman from all
over the place coming to us for care, some are city folks, others are
from the boonies (jungle-country side) and there is a vast difference
in education between these two groups. Teaching people the basics on
breast feeding actually can save a baby’s life. There are quite a few
mothers that were feeding their babies sugar water until their “true”
milk came in. This a dangerous practice and we get an opportunity to
share with women how they can effectively care for their wee ones to
prevent all sorts of problems sugar water can cause. This is just one
example and there are so many to tell!

Women empowerment.... This is another great aspect of doing
midwifery in Haiti. You know being a midwife can allow you access into
a woman’s and families life in a way that very few professions allow.
Being present with a woman through the childbearing process allows you
the most intimate window into her life an the potential to be a close
friend and guide when she needs it most. It is to come alongside her body,
spirit and soul and believe in her innate capabilities,
believing in her as a mother, as a co-creationist in regards to her
child but also the direction of her life and energies. Becoming a
mother changes a woman and has the potential to inspire significant
life changes for the betterment of herself, her family and her
community. Love is a very strong driving force that can move a woman
from one state of being to another. This is what I live to see in
Haiti, and this is what I have been seeing in the women we care for.
This what makes this work of consultations and birthing so rewarding.
I see new life being born, not just in the newborn, but it is in the
woman becoming a mother, a more aware, responsible and stronger being
that is being born also.Haiti can make it, can rebuild itself, if we start working together
one life at a time, one relationship, one situation at a time, change
can happen and is happening everyday. Like it, live it, see it! This is an opportunity
that will change our life as a midwife and allow you to travel deeper into the
tradition of midwifery. This work and time with the Haitian people is one of the
greatest experience and gifts I have ever received. And it has profoundly
impacted my life in a beautiful way.