The birthing practices in Haiti fall into the social structure of society. The men have authoritative control and to assert that, they don’t normally want to use condoms (only 34% do according to Unicef) and have nothing to do with the birth of their children. There is a skilled attendant 37% of the time and others theres a midwife that may not be trained medically. Labor and caring for the mother is considered women’s work and they, along with the family members, assist the mother; the dad doesn’t not get involved, contrary to American men (Jordan, 2015). In terms of authoritative knowledge, it is a community based practice that is how the procedure is done is agreed upon. In the labor room in a hospital setting, the husband typically stands back and allows the the other skilled workers assist because he is intimidated by the scene (Jordan 2015), it can be argued that the same attitude is shared by thats Haitian men. According to the United Nations Population Fund, for every 50,000 people theres just one midwife (Galietta, 2017). And the maternal mortality rate remains very high. Preeclampsia- and eclampsia-related complications are one of the leading causes of maternal death and resource limited hospital are evidence of those complications (Small et al., 2005). Hospitals are overworked and understaffed but its midwifes are a great preventative measure to ensure a healthy mother and infant.
When it comes cultural practices and childbirth rituals and care, there are many traditions Haitians go through. As stated previously, birth is treated as a happy time, a gift from God. During pregnancy, mothers tend to spit out their saliva. They don’t want to be inappropriate and therefore would carry around a spit cup and not swallow their saliva. One common tradition is the postpartal procedure are the “three baths”. Special herbs are gathered and water is made from it to bathe in, and a tea is made for the mother to drink. For the first three postpartum days, the woman is encouraged to take a hot bath in the herb fortified water; this is the first bath. The next three days she is encouraged to bathe in herb fortified water that is warmed by the sun; this is the second bath (“Family Roles,” 2003). Enemies of the mother are known to put bad spells of their baby.
Women rarely get prenatal care mainly because the ratio of patients to doctors is so high most women chose to stay home; 99% of all complications are due not seeing a doctor (Shah, 2018). There are nonprofit interventions to aide in training for better maternal care. The Modification In Mother-Baby Mortality Statistics Initiative or Mimsi, is an example of a program started by a former NYC physician Winfred Tovar. The goal is to train young women to set up mobile clinics, so that community volunteers can enter the home of the expectant mother with the materials needed to transform the patient’s home into a clinic. The volunteers are trained to measure vitals, height and weight, perform ultrasounds etc, and input all the information on a mobile device for diagnosis (Shah, 2018). All in all, efforts are being done to help alleviate premature maternal and infancy death and complications.
Family Roles and Organization. (2003). Retrieved July 13, 2018, from https://www.salisbury.edu/nursing/haitiancultcomp/family_roles_and_organ.htmGalietta, W. (2017, July 24). Perspective: “I saw a lot of women who died during delivery, but I did not know how to help them.” Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/in-sight/wp/2017/07/24/i-saw-a-lot-of-women-who-died-during-delivery-but-i-did-not-know-how-to-help-them/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.f8c11735aeb1