March 4th, 2017
Postpartum hemorrhage after childbirth is an issue. It is one of the number one causes of death of women around the world. In the US we typically see women with a hemoglobin of around 11-12 at the time of birth. This gives them a sort of a cushion of postpartum bleeding that they won’t feel terrible postpartum and they will recover quickly after birth. Most women bleed very little, under 500cc after birth.
In Haiti women often do not have adequate nutrition or have other health issues which can cause severe anemia. Often times they start childbirth with a hemoglobin of 9. This makes even a little bit of bleeding seem like a lot symptomatically. A 250cc bleed followed by what appears to be “normal” bleeding can seem much bigger and it is.
Active management of the third stage using pitocin is life saving in many situations, especially for women starting childbirth with a very low hemoglobin like this.
Watching a women go from a hemoglobin of 9 to a hemoglobin of 6 can be quite worrisome. It happens in developing nations more often that you see in places like the US, although it still happens there.
Another amazing tool we have out here is the use of postpartum cytotec. So many doulas, midwifery students and midwives are so scared of that word. Reality is, it saves lives.
Stepping out into the world can give you the incredible ability to check your perception of how life is outside of your bubble.
I’m checking myself.
Here’s a picture of our beautiful birth place, MamaBaby Haiti.
Tomorrow Claudin, Emily and myself are traveling to Port Au Prince for the Senpozyòm 2017 Sant Nesans Ayiti yo / 2017 Haiti Birth Center Symposium.
We will be visiting my first friend in Haiti, Beth from Heartline Ministries. We became friends 7 years ago after the earth shook. Both of our birth centers will be speaking and sharing stories at the conference. I am so looking forward to visiting with all of these amazing people and learning about all the amazing things they do to better the world.