Crisis in Haiti. Peace at the Maternity Center.

Photo provided by the author.
Photo provided by the author.

It’s 10 a.m. on a Tuesday morning. Dozens of mothers parade with babies in their arms and smiles on their faces toward Heartline’s Maternity Center. They’re coming for their postpartum consultation appointments.


To keep those appointments, many of them have spent the morning bypassing mass protests – roadblocks, barricades, and burning tires. Vans and ambulances that could have offered transportation are absent, incapable of traversing the chaotic streets.


Today in Haiti, amidst a generational crisis, ordinary people are trying to survive. Among them are pregnant women and new mothers seeking care. Hospitals and health centers are largely inaccessible. 


The Heartline Maternity Center keeps its doors open.

Refuge for mothers


Built in Tabarre (a suburb of Port-au-Prince) and opened in 2007, the Maternity Center provides high-quality, compassionate maternal and infant healthcare. With a medical team of 8 midwives and 3 nurses, rooms for prenatal consultation, labor, and delivery, a kitchen, safe medication storage (and more), the Center aims to accommodate all women in the region, regardless of their material condition. 


The Maternity Center operates 24/7 and welcomes around 120 babies every year. The team there cares for women with healthy pregnancies and those with complications just the same, from pregnancy diagnosis to prenatal consultations, delivery to postnatal follow-ups and vaccinations. 

Tuesday morning postpartum appointments


On Tuesdays, the Center sees new mothers as part of the postpartum follow-up program, assessing the health of both mom and baby. In the waiting room, patients chat and share a meal provided by the Maternity Center. Then, a nurse takes each baby’s weight, the mother’s vital signs and screens for signs of postpartum depression. Following each consultation, the group joins together for education sessions on breastfeeding, nutrition, infant care and family planning. At the end of the visit, the medical team and mothers say a short prayer together.

Photo provided by the author.

“It always makes me happy to come to the maternity ward during my appointments. Not only am I happy to see the other mothers who have become new friends, but I also feel safe and I have a healthy baby,” says Muline, one of the mothers who gave birth at Heartline’s Maternity Center and attended Tuesday.

Make more peaceful Tuesday mornings happen


Maternal mortality rates are almost 25 times higher in Haiti than they are in the United States, and 48 times higher than they are in Canada. Most of these deaths could be prevented if women had access to good health care, especially obstetric and perinatal care.


Given the current crisis in Haiti, an already-weak health care system is weakened further. Many mothers cannot physically make it to health care centers, and many of those centers have closed.  Heartline is able to keep the Maternity Center’s doors open because of the generosity of donors like you.

Now is the time to invest in this work! The Maternity Center needs you – for more shared meals, more check-ups – and more calm Tuesday mornings in the midst of crisis.

About the Author


Aljany Narcius

Haitian journalist Aljany Narcius is currently pursuing a Master 2 in Media Management, online from France’s University of Lille. With ten years of experience in the fields of journalism and communication, Aljany is a linguist who uses the Creole language as her weapon in the fight against social inequalities, exploitation, and all kinds of violence.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.