Surprises and merrymaking: New mothers celebrate the Heartline Maternity Center

Maternity Center team members showing off their work. Photo provided by the author.
Maternity Center team members showing off their work. Photo provided by the author.

In Haiti, there is a history of offering honor and tribute (usually modest) to midwives and nurses: guardians of life who participate in the renewal of generations, yet who are often invisible and marginalized.


In a beautiful and unexpected celebration, mothers who recently gave birth at the Heartline Maternity Center threw a surprise party on Tuesday, February 21st, in honor of the midwives and nurses who helped them through their pregnancies, births, and postpartum periods.


Nothing was left to chance to make this event a success. The ceremony was secretly prepared by the new moms and hosted by Linda S., a young and energetic mom who gave birth to a beautiful baby boy this past November 14th at the Maternity Center. Given the darkness of this season in Haiti, Linda spoke with care, while still responding to the atmosphere of the moment with a well-judged sense of humor.


Applause erupted and the flashbulbs lit up the room as Frédelyne (nurse and clinic administrator turned photographer) captured the midwives and nurses in a souvenir photo, immortalizing a moment of big smiles.

Watches gifted to the Maternity Center staff by their patients. Each watch is personalized with a photo of the recipient! Photo provided by the author.
Watches gifted to the Maternity Center staff by their patients. Each watch is personalized with a photo of the recipient! Photo provided by the author.

“We are so moved by this act of recognition that we do not have the words to express our contentment. We are extremely proud of their courage and dedication,” said Frédelyne. “This is why it is important to continue to provide essential health services, especially at a time when the country is facing insecurity, political instability, food insecurity and unemployment, all of which have their own impact on the lives of children and pregnant women,” she added.

Fredelyne reconnecting with an old friend. Photo provided by the author.

Continuing the ceremony, the new mothers thanked Heartline’s midwives and nurses for the services they provide to women and children, and spoke of their desire for the Haitian government to invest in midwives in recognition of their irreplaceable work.


According to a United Nations agency report, “Trends in maternal mortality”, every two minutes a woman dies during pregnancy or childbirth. In Haiti, maternal death occurs about 44 times as often as it does in the United States. These painful statistics emphasize the urgent need to ensure that every woman and girl has access to essential health services before, during and after childbirth.


Thanks to donors and friends like you, Heartline is ensuring more medical professionals are on the front lines fighting maternal and infant mortality in Haiti. Supporters like you are offering health and life to these moms and their babies.

Midwives have been an integral part of Haitian medicine for centuries. They are the foundation of maternal and child health care in our country. They assist pregnant women throughout their pregnancies and into childbirth, providing prenatal, intrapartum and postnatal care, pregnancy spacing education, and screening services for breast and cervical cancer. In emergency situations, midwives can also provide basic emergency obstetric care.


Children who have risen to lead their communities, their workplaces, their cities – are so often born thanks to the know-how, the secret knowledge, the learned experience, the wisdom of midwives, practicing their art in a country long characterized by misery and violence.

A cake the mothers brought to the party. Photo provided by the author.

During the ceremony, some mothers took the opportunity to share their stories with the audience. “My water broke when I was 37 weeks and 4 days old on April 7, 2022. I was admitted to Heartline where I stayed for two days. However, I still wasn’t in labor. The midwives at Heartline helped me get to the University Hospital of Mirebalais (HUM) where I gave birth by Cesarean section,” says Misère Shelda, who gave birth on April 9, 2022 at HUM. She had a beautiful baby girl.


The party was a joy for all, and ended warmly with another round of applause – this time from the Heartline nurses and midwives, who were still shocked by the surprise that the new mothers had reserved for them.

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.