We are thrilled to announce that RFM hospital in Manzini eagerly approved a doula project for their maternity ward. With adequate funding, they will hire a trainer from South Africa to train 4-6 women in the art and mechanics of doula work. They aim to hire 4 women full-time on staff to rotate shifts through the Labor Ward. These women would welcome laboring women, identify the highest risks, and work tirelessly to create a comfortable, safe, informed space for the mothers to labor and deliver in. In the event of no laboring women, they would help with the on-goings of the ward, like organizing supplies, following up with post-partum moms, collecting data, etc.
This fun blog shares a bit about WHY doulas are helpful and HOW they help – http://www.corigentry.com/blog/shoulda-had-a-doula.
I’m extremely excited about this project moving forward because it has the potential to change everything. Even reaching down to affect the mother-to-child-transmission rates of HIV – everything!
The big needs?
We need to raise $8,500 to fully fund this project for a year. These funds will cover:
- providing 4 on-staff doulas with the living wage of E1,800/month
- initial training costs
- quarterly in-service with speakers
- follow ups with trainer
- administration costs (petrol, manuals printed, advertisements, teaching materials, etc)
We aim to be fully funded by 15 January 2016, so that training can commence early 2016. It has taken time to get us to this point, but now that we have momentum, it’s time to move!
You can pledge your donation by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org
OR you can donate by:
- sending a tax deductible check to: Manna Global Ministries; PO Box 9240; Riviera Beach, FL 33419
– write the check to: Manna – Swaziland; please include a sticky note that says, “Doula Project”
2. clicking the link “Donate” on the sidebar of this page. Please note Paypal charges a 3% processing fee and is not tax deductible
Why I Believe in this Work:
It’s proven. Research shows that the presence of a doula at a birth increases breastfeeding success rates; significantly decreases interventions (C-sections, forceps delivery); decreased perception of pain; increased satisfaction with birth experience. These indicators are significant for Swaziland’s population because exclusive breastfeeding is safest for babies growing up in a developing nation with a high HIV transmission rate; decreased costs and complications for mother and baby; and obvious joy, peace, and confidence are invaluable outcomes.
It’s needed. With a hard-working, yet stretched midwife staff, other skilled hands are needed in the maternity ward. Additionally, RFM hospital has a poor reputation for it’s patient care in the Maternity Ward; however, RFM stands as a central location and is one of Swaziland’s 6 public hospitals, so you can see how essential it is that women feel safe and confident to birth at RFM. Lastly, with limited personnel and education happening in rural locations, many women know almost nothing about labor and birth, therefore, a skilled, knowledgeable doula will greatly expand the knowledge base of laboring women. Information about breastfeeding is highly desired, but not readily available.
It’s Kingdom-bringing. Childbirth is inarguably one of the most monumental events in a woman and family’s life. When a woman feels supported, safe, knowledgable and involved in her child’s birth (whether the first or the fifth), the course of her life can change. She feels equipped to mother, sacrifice, feed, and protect her child. Being a instrument through which peace, good news, information, and empowerment comes is the fulfilling work of a doula. There is little as powerful and beautiful as two women strangers to each other hours before, locked in an intimate gaze, as one leans her head against the other’s shoulder, breathing, relaxing, and fully trusting her guide. There’s nothing more humbling than having a stranger-now-friend trust you with her very thoughts, nakedness; vulnerability and strength as she bears life out of her womb. It’s an incredible ministry!
What Else Nicole Needs:
- I’m working on an application that the RFM stakeholders will complete in order to be qualified to recieve these funds we’re raising. My aim is that this application and the requirements there-in will set RFM up to apply for and receive permanent, or long-lasting funding from a larger NGO after 2017. Alternatively, the applications and data collected will prove to the Swazi government that doulas are an irreplacable component to maternal and child health, and therefore allocated government funds for the hiring and training of more doulas. I have LITTLE idea of how to go about writing this application that’s due in 10 days, or which data to include, so anyone who has experience, please message me.
- Prayers: for consensus in meetings and strong momentum for moving forward; wisdom in researching, and setting up this program; time – for Nicole to have to work on this project; logistics of the training days, orientation; doulas – women perfect for this job with integrity, compassion, and endurance; the Lord’s continued presence and guidance through it all
From Day One, this task felt larger than me. It has continued to be a humbling, scary, yet awe-filled experience. Once again, I feel completely overwhelmed about the task at hand. I’m confident in our direction, but unsure of all the steps to get there. So it is with my hands open, and heart eager to see the Lord that I walk forward, trusting grace and wisdom to meet us on our way.