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.