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.
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