|A Haitian Midwife
Bien-Amie Guerlie | Class One Graduate
Interview by Nicole White, CPM, volunteer
|Bien Amie Guerlie, MFH Class One Graduate, now works as Clinical Preceptor for Class Five students.|
I had the honor of sitting down to talk with Bien Amie, Ste.Therese staff midwife and preceptor to our current students, about her life and work as a midwife. She is married and the mother of two adopted sons aged 22 and 3 years old. Bien Amie trained as an auxiliary nurse in 2003. She began working at St. Therese that same year. Soon after, Bien Amie joined the first class of Midwives For Haiti, in 2005.
Path to Midwifery
As an auxiliary nurse, Bien Amie felt like her skills were inadequate to address some of the more serious conditions that women were struggling with. She was relieved when she began training to become a midwife.
Impact of Midwives For Haiti
Bien Amie comments that the presence of Midwives For Haiti has greatly increased the skills of birth attendants doing prenatal care, as well as postpartum and post operation care. Bien Amie feels proud to be a part of the decrease in maternal mortality in Haiti, particularly in Hinche. When I asked her why she was drawn to the program, she said she loves being a midwife. She is also glad to have skills necessary to save lives.
Pride of a Midwife
|Bien Amie labors with a patient at Ste. Therese hospital.|
Bien Amie is proudest every time she hands a live baby up to their mother, to see the happy mom. She believes that Midwives For Haiti has had a great impact, and she hopes it grows to help save even more babies and children. Quite simply, she wants to reduce maternal, infant and child morbidity.
Gratitude to U.S. supporters
She is thankful to Midwives For Haiti and wants the supporters of this amazing program to know that God gave them good hearts, so please keep giving and keep praying!
An American Midwife
Patti Lee, CNM | MFH Volunteer
Patti Lee made her first trip to Haiti in 2010. Since then, she has been part of the education of two classes of midwives, on three trips to Hinche. Patti was kind enough to answer some questions we had about her experience as a midwife and her experience with MFH graduate midwives.
|Patti Lee, with two graduates and Bien Amie (far right) at Class Three graduation in November, 2010.|
Midwives in Haiti and the U.S.
We all share an abiding trust in birth and a heart open to
giving of ourselves to the women and babies we care for.
We all put ourselves and our own families second to the needs of the woman in labor and we are willing to be completely involved in watchful waiting at all hours. We all study and question and discuss our knowledge and our craft until we are the best we can be.
As individual as we are as women, from dramatically different backgrounds, we share a communal soul and we come to our profession with love. Being midwives is who we are, not only what we do...
...I think back to recently spending a week inCap Haitien with a graduate from 2 years ago. I think she and I shared the same soul.
Pride of a Midwife
I love being a midwife, it sits well with my heart. I am proud of my ability to provide labor support, to convince that vulnerable Mom that she can do this, to lay hands on and massage at the right spot at the right time, to know when to use water and positioning. I guess I am proud of my intuition.
Midwives For Haiti Students
Every experience I have had with a MFH graduate or student has been significant to me. I am in awe of the spirit and knowledge of the practicing graduates and have seen the incredible care they provide on mobile prenatal clinics...
...I held the hand of a student not long ago as she smiled with pride in herself, she the midwife who just safely guided a baby into the world over an intact perineum, facilitated bonding, and delivered the placenta intact. When I looked into her eyes a midwife looked back.
Read the rest of Patti Lee's story on our website.