Posts tagged midwife

Photo by Lynsey Addario/VII
A woman waits to be transported to the MSF hospital to have her second c-section in Bo, Sierra Leone.
A doctor blogs from the same hospital about a different patient: “She had delivered this baby at home over 36 hours before. The baby was doing well but she had not delivered the placenta and had started hemorrhaging. She had to walk an hour and a half to the nearest clinic to get an ambulance to take her to the hospital. When she arrived she was only semi-conscious, covered in blood, and her hemoglobin was only 3.1.” Read blog- http://msf.me/19GFsSo

Photo by Lynsey Addario/VII

A woman waits to be transported to the MSF hospital to have her second c-section in Bo, Sierra Leone.

A doctor blogs from the same hospital about a different patient: “She had delivered this baby at home over 36 hours before. The baby was doing well but she had not delivered the placenta and had started hemorrhaging. She had to walk an hour and a half to the nearest clinic to get an ambulance to take her to the hospital. When she arrived she was only semi-conscious, covered in blood, and her hemoglobin was only 3.1.” Read blog- http://msf.me/19GFsSo

Photo by Yasuyoshi-Chiba
Tuesday at 8pm EDT! MSF Delivers: Join MSF for an online discussion of the challenges of delivering life-saving obstetric care to women in the countries where we work. The panel will include MSF obstetrician/gynecologists and a nurse-midwife who have worked in countries throughout Africa as well as in Central and South Asia and Oceania.
Register now! http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/events/public/event.cfm?id=564

Photo by Yasuyoshi-Chiba

Tuesday at 8pm EDT! MSF Delivers: Join MSF for an online discussion of the challenges of delivering life-saving obstetric care to women in the countries where we work. The panel will include MSF obstetrician/gynecologists and a nurse-midwife who have worked in countries throughout Africa as well as in Central and South Asia and Oceania.

Register now! http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/events/public/event.cfm?id=564

Photo by Jacob Zocherman
These two women in the maternity ward of Bria hospital in Central African Republic have just had miscarriages. One of them must recover on the floor because there are so few beds in so few health facilities in the area. This photo was taken shortly before MSF opened an emergency project in Bria.

Photo by Jacob Zocherman

These two women in the maternity ward of Bria hospital in Central African Republic have just had miscarriages. One of them must recover on the floor because there are so few beds in so few health facilities in the area. This photo was taken shortly before MSF opened an emergency project in Bria.

Photo by Anna Surinyach
An MSF midwife examines a patient. Most maternal deaths in South Sudan’s Western Equatoria State are due to postpartum hemorrhages; women living in isolated rural communities are often unable to reach a health center when complications arise.  Read more

Photo by Anna Surinyach

An MSF midwife examines a patient. Most maternal deaths in South Sudan’s Western Equatoria State are due to postpartum hemorrhages; women living in isolated rural communities are often unable to reach a health center when complications arise.  Read more

Photo by Marjie Middleton/MSF
"We’ve heard stories of women left to deliver on their own in a tent. Such stories are very upsetting to me as a midwife, because I know how dangerous it is and how awful it must be for a mother to give birth scared and alone.” - MSF midwife in Lebanon working with pregnant Syrian refugees  Read the story 

Photo by Marjie Middleton/MSF

"We’ve heard stories of women left to deliver on their own in a tent. Such stories are very upsetting to me as a midwife, because I know how dangerous it is and how awful it must be for a mother to give birth scared and alone.” - MSF midwife in Lebanon working with pregnant Syrian refugees  Read the story 

Iran: Helping Women Survive in One of Tehran’s Toughest Neighborhoods
Photo by Mohsen Sheikholesl
Doctors Without Borders has been providing medical assistance to drug addicts, prostitutes and street children in Tehran’s Darvazeh Ghar neighborhood. See more photos: http://bit.ly/130aNPH

Iran: Helping Women Survive in One of Tehran’s Toughest Neighborhoods

Photo by Mohsen Sheikholesl

Doctors Without Borders has been providing medical assistance to drug addicts, prostitutes and street children in Tehran’s Darvazeh Ghar neighborhood. See more photos: http://bit.ly/130aNPH

Photo: Midwife Cathy Janssens calms and assists a patient as she attempts to deliver her baby by natural means at the MSF hospital in Northern Syria. Syria 2013 © Nicole Tung
In Syria, A Midwife On Call
“Women often give birth at night and so after a full day-shift, usually a full night-shift would follow. I would spend most of the daytime doing consultations, frequently being called away to assist a delivery. There were two Syrian assistants to help me, but they had no medical training, let alone specific obstetric skills. I had to teach them so much from scratch, and I couldn’t leave them to do consultations or deliveries alone. So I had to be present at each and every consultation, and rush back and forth each time there was an alert that a woman was going into labor.
So, a heavy workload, and extremely tiring. But you find the energy from somewhere. The women were incredibly grateful. They would hold me in their arms, hug me, and thank me over and over.”
Belgian midwife Cathy Janssens on her MSF assignment in Syria.

Photo: Midwife Cathy Janssens calms and assists a patient as she attempts to deliver her baby by natural means at the MSF hospital in Northern Syria. Syria 2013 © Nicole Tung

In Syria, A Midwife On Call

Women often give birth at night and so after a full day-shift, usually a full night-shift would follow. I would spend most of the daytime doing consultations, frequently being called away to assist a delivery. There were two Syrian assistants to help me, but they had no medical training, let alone specific obstetric skills. I had to teach them so much from scratch, and I couldn’t leave them to do consultations or deliveries alone. So I had to be present at each and every consultation, and rush back and forth each time there was an alert that a woman was going into labor.

So, a heavy workload, and extremely tiring. But you find the energy from somewhere. The women were incredibly grateful. They would hold me in their arms, hug me, and thank me over and over.”


Belgian midwife Cathy Janssens on her MSF assignment in Syria.

Midwife Rebecca Ullman: Having To Make Difficult Decisions

Doctors Without Borders midwife Rebecca Ullman talks about having to make difficult decisions when treating women with high-risk pregnancies. 

I didn’t know I had the kind of skills needed for this kind of work before I started, but you learn from mission to mission.
Photo: Sam Perkins, MSF midwife, in the Masisi conflict zone in Democratic Republic of Congo. DRC 2011 © Yasuyoshi Chiba

Caring for Women Trapped by Violence

Photo: Sam Perkins, MSF midwife, in the Masisi conflict zone in Democratic Republic of Congo. DRC 2011 © Yasuyoshi Chiba

Caring for Women Trapped by Violence

DRC: “I Got on the Motorbike With the Midwife”

Doctors Without Borders makes it a priority to provide life-saving, emergency obstetric care in both acute and chronic humanitarian crises. Fifteen percent of all pregnancies worldwide will experience a life-threatening complication. The most critical moment is delivery: the majority of maternal deaths occur just before, during, or just after delivery, often from complications that cannot be predicted. It is at this point that the provision of quality obstetric care is vital to save women’s lives. The majority of maternal deaths are avoidable when access to emergency obstetric care is ensured.

View MSF’s International Women’s Day video on Haiti.

View the International Women’s Day video on South Sudan.

View MSF’s International Women’s Day video on Pakistan.

Pakistan: Delivering in the Dark

The next video in MSF’s International Women’s Day series takes us to MSF’s birthing unit in Kuchlak, in Pakistan’s Balochistan Province, to which women travel long distances for crucial care they’d otherwise go without.

View MSF’s International Women’s Day video on Haiti.

View the International Women’s Day video on South Sudan.

A Day in the Life: MSF Midwife in Pakistan (pt 6)

Evening -

4:00 PM:

The office manager tells me that there have been two bomb blasts in Quetta, two kilometres [1.2 miles] from our house. The first was in the bazaar and the second was 15 minutes later in the same place. The result: 42 people dead and 250 wounded. All MSF staff, national and international, are safe, but some are struggling to get home and others struggling to get to the nightshift, which starts at five during Ramadan.

4:30 PM:

I ask one of the day shift LHVs if she can stay on tonight as one of the LHVs is definitely not going to be able to make the nightshift. I head home for the day. I greet a newly arrived international staff member from Islamabad on his way to the flood zone. He’s the ninth person in two weeks to arrive to assist in the flood relief work.

5:30 PM:

The Logistician and Project Coordinator come home. The Head of Mission has put us on a higher security alert and therefore only the minimal number of staff will work tomorrow. I phone LHVs and make sure I will have only two members of staff on duty and that they can get to work. I phone the referral nurse who visits our patients transferred to hospital. I make sure she’s safe and that she only visits patients she really has to.

7:00 PM:

I have dinner with my housemates and we watch a movie.

11:00 PM:

Bedtime. I’m allowed a lie in tomorrow, as I’m not allowed to go to work or leave the house really. I’ll study and work from the house. It’s hot but I fall asleep to the buzzing of the fan which I know will go off in a couple of hours when the power cuts out. I’m on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—as I will be for the next 9 months. I am not sure the LHVs are going to manage to phone me when they need to because the cell phone reception has been on the blink recently. I hope they’ll be okay.

A Day in the Life: MSF Midwife in Pakistan (pt 5)

Afternoon -

12:30 AM:

All the antenatal clinic patients have been seen. Noor Bibi delivers and both mother and baby are well. Two hours later she’s on her way home. She can’t wait any longer. Her taxi is waiting outside to take her home.

1:30 PM:

Back in the minivan to go back to the office in Quetta. I text the Project Coordinator and Office Manager to say I’m leaving.

2:00 PM:

We arrive at the office. Text again. I go straight back to the house for lunch which is two houses down from the office. I have lunch with two of my housemates, the Logistician and Project Coordinator.

2:45 PM:

Back to the office. I finish off my monthly reports and email them to the Medical Coordinator.

Check back soon for the conclusion of our “A Day in the Life” series!

A Day in the Life: MSF Midwife in Pakistan (pt 4)

Late-morning -

11:00 AM:

I’m shaking—but there’s no time to sit about. The antenatal clinic activities continue. We prescribe antibiotics yet again, as many women have urinary tract infections at the moment, as with fasting for Ramadan they became dehydrated. I send another woman for an ultrasound to a private doctor in town as she tells me she’s had bleeding today and yesterday.

We have only one woman in labor. Her name is Noor Bibi. She has had more than five pregnancies. She is dilating and keeps pointing to her thigh. She wants us to give her an oxytocin injection to speed up her labor. This is a common but an illegal practice in Pakistan that claims hundreds of lives every year. We encourage her to walk and drink some juice.

11:30 AM:

A woman comes in with her baby to be seen by us. The baby is four days old and jaundiced. It’s lost too much weight for a newborn but other than that looks well. We find out she’s only been breastfeeding two to three times a day (it’s advisable to breastfeed six to eight times a day). We give her breastfeeding education and tell her to come back on Wednesday so we can check up on the baby and in order for both to be vaccinated. I get a phone call from the LHV who accompanied Yasmin to hospital; she has been seen by doctors.

To be continued…