Thursday, September 15, 2011
Yay, so I witnessed my first Haitian birth two weeks ago. It was awesome and a little unexpected. The mom to be has been seen at the maternity center before, and she actually had an appointment with us the previous week. She was about 36 weeks I believe (a pregnancy can last up to 40wks give or take a couple of days). I've never seen a natural birth before, and although I was present for my friend's birth she was sedated (epidural) so it wasn't the same experience. Needless to say, births in Creole are very interesting. The woman was singing and praying throughout her labor, if you have ever heard a Haitian prayer, then you know that we are very melodramatic people. Apparently this is very common amongst Haitians. I noticed several differences between an American hospital birth and the OTP maternity center. As is typical in midwifery, the midwife (wives) is generally hands off as long as the labor is progressing well and the mother is ok; very rarely are interventions(forceps, epidural, pitocin) used and when the mother was fully dilated (cervix is open enough for the baby to pass through) she squatted and pushed the baby out as opposed to pushing on the bed. Seeing the baby's head come out was my favorite part. There's something so awesome, beautiful, primal and powerful about birth, but especially natural birth. That's why I want to be a midwife, because it encourages and supports education, self awareness, and self confidence in women by women. M son fanm tande m rele!