Lovely Update + Maternal Health Crisis in Haiti

If you’ve been following this courageous mama’s story (you can read more here and here), you’ll understand why we’re overjoyed to have Lovely and her baby girl back at the Heartline Maternity Center for some TLC!

After spending more than two weeks in the hospital, Lovely and baby Chrislove were discharged on Sunday, July 22. The Maternity Center staff was there with the ambulance to greet mom and baby, and bring them back to the MC’s postpartum wing for some much-needed care and rest.

Lovely and her infant receiving postpartum care and bonding time at the Heartline Maternity Center.

During the political unrest earlier this month, Lovely had to be transported to a local hospital during labor. After giving birth at the hospital, she survived a severe hemorrhage and then waited days and days for a blood transfusion that was not available.

Lovely never received the blood and when she left the hospital, her hemoglobin level was at a 6 (we don’t understand how she is walking around strong and smiling with such significant anemia, but here’s the proof!).

Now that Lovely is back at the MC, the nurses and midwives have been administering iron injections which are really helping to improve her condition. Baby Chrislove is gaining weight and breastfeeding like a champ. After a bit more rest, and a few more injections, we anticipate that this courageous duo will be ready to head home in the next few days.

**Update: On July 25, Lovely and Chrislove went home! Grandma and Auntie were there to welcome them with love. We look forward to seeing this strong mama and daughter every Tuesday over the next six months for check-ups, postpartum support, and child development education.

Though the situation was not ideal, we are grateful that Lovely was admitted to a hospital. Against the odds, she and her baby survived. Far too often, Haitian mothers are unable to access lifesaving care.

“In the ten years I have worked in maternal health in Port-au-Prince, I cannot tell you how many times we have attempted to transfer women with clear and determined needs for a Cesarean Section, only to be told ‘Sorry, no room at this hospital.’ … We went to four hospitals on a few occasions, only to have each one say they had all their operating rooms packed full for hours and hours to come. What a horrible and helpless feeling, to know exactly what a woman needs in order for her baby to live and for her intense and prolonged pain to end, but not be able to find it. It is quite common to make a transfer plan as we leave the Heartline Maternity Center that has options A, B, and C. There is not a guarantee of availability (of maternal health care) for any woman in this city.” – Tara Livesay, Director – Heartline Maternity Center

Click here to read why materially poor Haitian women now have even fewer options for care in Dr. John Carroll’s recent blog post.

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