After the earthquake in Haiti Catharine looked for ways to help. She found the organization ‘Midwives for Haiti’ online. They were in the process of setting up a new clinic in Port-au-Prince. After fund raising to cover the cost of the trip she went and helped set up the new clinic. Here’s is Catharine’s Story about Haiti:
Prenatal Exam Tent
I am so fortunate that I get to go to places where I can help women and children who are in need.
Our living conditions were difficult, but of course paled in comparison to the living situations of the people who lived there. Working in temperatures around 100 degrees with humidity of 85% was very draining. For a Canadian like me, who has lived here in southern California for years (where we have the absolutely perfect climate!), it was unbearable at times.
One of the biggest frustrations of our work there was that even though we were able to provide them with prenatal and postpartum check-ups, and the information to have a healthy pregnancy and baby, it felt like a futile endeavor because where would they get adequate nutrition and enough clean drinking water?
Many of the women had their babies at home, meaning in ‘tent cities’ for a lot of them. Due to lack of transportation, or other barriers to care, we travelled to these ‘cities’ and set up our prenatal check ups in one of the tents. There were traditional birth attendants in some areas, but most of the births were unattended by anyone with any training or equipment for emergencies.
The other midwives and nurses in our team were absolutely wonderful. No matter where I’ve travelled and worked in the world, midwives are midwives, are midwives, are midwives . . . .
I’ve always experienced a commonality which goes very deep!! I am always inspired by sharing this experience with them.
Returning home is one of the most intense experiences in terms of seeing the incredible gap between how we live and how so many of the less fortunate people on our planet live.
Just as I felt when I returned from Africa, I am overcome with gratitude for all that we have here in North America, and that there is a safe, clean place for our babies and mothers to birth.
Hands On Training
The Beautiful Children
Our Expat Midwife Team
Catharine returned from volunteering in Haiti in June of 2010, with the desire to continue this humanitarian work