Carline Jean-Gilles is a Skilled Birth Attendant (SBA) at St. Therese Hospital and mother of four. We recently sat down with Carline to learn more about why this work matters to her…
Tell me about your family.
My husband left several years ago. I live with my mom, children and some other family members. My mom has been disabled for four years. I have four kids (ages 21, 18, 13, 7). It’s because of Midwives for Haiti that I can provide for and take care of them.
Why do you like being an SBA?
Before becoming a Skilled Birth Attendant I used to see people catching babies alone and I always wondered if I could do that, too. Now, when a person is laboring I know that it’s not that complicated and that I have the skills to do a whole normal birth without help.
Why is your job at St. Therese Hospital important?
Often, at St. Therese Hospital we have patients from very rural parts of the country. The Midwives for Haiti mobile clinic mobilizes and takes care of women from the countryside and then they are very frequently referred to our hospital. I’m glad that I get to work with people from rural places because they have fewer chances to get care or access to care elsewhere. So, at the hospital I’m decreasing maternal and fetal death.
What is the biggest challenge in keeping moms and babies healthy?
The high rate of pre-eclampsia here.
I learned a lot of skills from MFH about taking care of babies and counseling moms to make them feel comfortable, safe and good about taking care of their babies (like breastfeeding technique, for example). Last week there was a baby that wasn’t crying or wanting to breastfeed. I had taken care of the mom as she labored the whole night before and now the baby was having a hard time wanting to suck. I prepared the baby after the birth and carefully helped the mom to get a latch and breastfeed. Even the father was impressed by my work and so thankful. I was very proud of that birth.