1 in 20 Haitian children are severely malnourished and 1 in 14 won't live to see their fifth birthday. We believe that to combat issues of childhood undernutrition, we must first protect the lives of women. A new maternity center in Northern Haiti will offer family-based wellness education, prenatal services, midwife-assisted labor & delivery, postpartum care, and well-child programs. By improving access to maternal health care, we can help families give their children a strong start to life.
Due to the geographical remoteness of health care facilities and the costs associated with giving birth, many women in Haiti give birth at home. Less than 37% of women give birth in the presence of a medically trained attendant, making Haiti the most dangerous place to give birth in the Western Hemisphere. When women don't receive the care they need during pregnancy their children suffer. Misconceptions surrounding breastfeeding put more than 60% of Haiti's newborns at risk for malnutrition.
Staffed by nurse-midwives trained to deliver compassionate, evidenced-based care, the maternity center will provide safety and health to 49,000 women and their families. Group health education will help women move confidently through pregnancy and motherhood. In addition to routine prenatal care, women will have access to nutritional support for underweight mothers, counseling for victims of intimate partner violence, one-on-one breastfeeding support, free delivery, and postpartum follow-up.
Through a holistic model we can improve the way women experience pregnancy and childbirth, while tackling the challenges that contribute to family separation and hinder family survival. Improved access to maternal health care can reduce the number of children who develop severe malnutrition by improving the health of babies from day one and reducing the number of mothers who lose their lives as a result of childbirth.