Midwife of Lorie Village

Bernadette Joseph is a  traditional Haitian midwife working in the Lorie Village area of northern Haiti.  The following is from an interview I did with her last week.

 

Q: What’s your name and what do you do?

A:  They call me Bernadette Joseph.  When the women are pregnant I deliver the babies.

Q: How long have you been a midwife?

A: For a very long time.  More than 10 years.

Q: Why did you become a midwife?

A: When I was a young girl there was an old lady who used to do this, and I used to watch her.  That’s how I learned how to deliver babies.

Q: How many babies have you delivered?

A: All those babies over there (pointing to the closest row of people in the clinic – photo above), I delivered all of them.  In a month, on average, I have about 4 or 5 babies that I deliver.  I have babies that I have delivered that now are pregnant.  Everybody calls me because they know how well experienced I am.

Q: What kind of training did you do to become a midwife?

A: I learned from the old woman in the village when I was young, and by myself, and with the help of god.  Nobody (formally) taught me anything.  There are others who are beginners, but I am the most qualified in this area.

Q: Where are the babies delivered?

A: I deliver the babies at the patient’s house.  Then I have to give them a bath; the baby and the patient.

Q: What do you like most about being a midwife?

A: I’m the type of person who likes to do good for everybody and that satisfies me.  They don’t pay me to do this.  I like to do this so much that the whole community calls me Grandmother.

Later in the day after speaking with Bernadette, I past by her house and took this photo with her husband and three of their five children.

Copyright 2011 Adam Bacher, All rights reserved. Absolutely NO usage without prior authorization.


This entry was posted in Elders, HACAOT, Haiti, Health Care and tagged , , , , .

One Comment

  1. Elmo Oslow, Ph.D. November 18, 2011 at 2:48 pm #

    Adam:
    Your photography of the people of Haiti is stunning. This photo and journalistic piece on Bernadette Joseph is unique, but probably repeated in developing countries the world over. Kudos to our lemonade boss, Jan T, for her life-long committment to midwifery.

    love and all the best from Briny Pond,
    Elmo

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