Post-Graduation, Juslène Regulus talks being a Midwife in Haiti
Haiti remains in our thoughts this week as we share the below post from the Midwives for Haiti staff on the work of recent midwifery school graduate, Juslène.
In the years we’ve been visiting and providing grants in Haiti, we’ve met countless dedicated healthcare workers who are committed to improving maternal health conditions for Haitian mothers. Juslène Regulus is one of our Midwives for Haiti (MFH) graduates who is now working as a Postnatal Care (PNC) midwife at Hôpital Ste. Thérèse. According to the World Health Organization, 50 percent of maternal deaths occur in the postpartum or postnatal period, making it a critical time for monitoring mothers particularly for hemorrhage and infection. In Haiti, approximately 380 mothers die for every 100,000 live births, which makes the lack of access to postpartum care particularly daunting. We asked Juslène to tell us about her life, her work and her career as a midwife in Haiti.
By: Midwives for Haiti staff
Juslène, Tell me about your family.
I grew up in a big family of eight in the Northeastern province and then moved to Hinche. I’m not yet married and don’t have any kids.
What were you doing before working for Midwives For Haiti?
Previously I was teaching children in primary school, K1 and K2. I always enjoyed working with families, especially moms and kids. When I began to understand the desperate need for care in rural areas, I wanted to become a nurse midwife. I graduated in the 6th class of (MFH) skilled birth attendants (among the first graduates who were sponsored by Every Mother Counts’ grant). For several months after graduating I did a prolonged volunteer clinical at Hôpital Ste. Thérèse, helping deliver babies.
Tell me about the new postnatal care program.
We are working with Haiti’s Ministry of Health and Population at Hôpital Ste. Thérèse and with two non-profits, Haiti’s Kids and Rockin’ Baby. The program, which is called the Postnatal Project, will make sure that every mother who delivers at Hôpital Ste. Thérèse and her baby are checked and given education before they leave the hospital.
It’s a new program, right? How’s it going so far?
We only started Project Postnatal in July of this year, but it feels like everything is going well so far. I think the program is really important because before, a lot of women were totally forgotten and were discharged without education. I gained so much from Midwives For Haiti last year, but learned even more detailed information during training for this program. Now I’m much more comfortable working in a postnatal care setting because I’ve reviewed and learned more about nutrition, danger signs, hygiene, healthy spacing of pregnancy and emotional and transitional support. These are the topics we provide education on to new mothers.
Who are you working with?
I do assessments with one other Midwives For Haiti graduate from class 6, Illa Philogene. It’s full time work for the two of us. There are a lot of women to see daily and a lot of unique cases because we don’t just see women that gave birth at the hospital. We also care for women who have birthed at home and have been referred by Matròns (local birth attendants).
What does a postpartum assessment include?
We have a process for each mom and baby. First we make introductions, get comfortable with each other and take vital signs. We talk about how everything is going. We ask, ‘how’s the baby? Is the mom in any pain?’ Then we evaluate or physically assess both the mom and baby. After making sure everyone is healthy we do an education session and then document everything in the mother’s chart. At the end of the visit we give the mom a ‘rendezvous’ card and have her come back after six days for a check-in.
Why do you think this program is important?
Before this program, there was no one at Hôpital Ste. Thérèse whose main job was to ensure that women were going home well. Often after discharge moms and babies can have problems and before, there was no one to see them if they wanted to come back after the birth and seek care if something was wrong.
Also, many Haitian women give birth at home and don’t know the potential danger signs for themselves or their babies after they give birth. Now we are talking with Matròns in the community about our care program and new post-natal options.
This program is really unique for this area. I’m very glad to be a part of something so special that will give wider care to women and their new babies. And I’m so happy to be working for Midwives For Haiti after graduating from their program.