Last week, I had a chance to talk with Michelle, Ob/Gyn nurse on Rosebud and Debbie, Wanblee public health nurse on Pine Ridge, both ladies are in charge of the baby projects in their respective areas. Both are very busy but the type of work they do is different. All of Michelle’s work is done at the Women’s Health Clinic in Rosebud, dealing with women’s health issues, while Debbie does home visits to new mothers and elders, holds immunization clinics in different locations in her area, teaches health education to different age groups and is currently the acting school nurse so a good deal of her day is spent on the road, outside of the clinic.
Michelle says the Women’s Health Clinic in Rosebud has been very busy the last couple of months. They usually expect about 10 deliveries a month but August and September’s number has almost doubled. They also recently sponsored a “Women’s Health Blitz”, inviting women to come in for a pap smear and mammogram. Quite a few women participated in the clinic and they’re hoping future events will encourage even more women to take advantage of this opportunity to improve their health.
More good news at the clinic, they’re adding a new female midwife soon with the possibility of another to be added. Currently they have 2 male obstetricians who alternate every 2 weeks, they’re perfectly competent doctors but most women on and off the Rez feel they relate better to females when dealing with female issues. Michelle is hoping more women will use their services once word gets out about the new addition/s and is especially pleased the new midwife supports education and prevention too.
The most exciting news from Rosebud (for us) is Michelle can now start advertising her prenatal incentive program once again, made possible by all the donations we’ve sent! She sends a huge thanks to all of you for your generosity. This incentive program gives women that extra little “push” some of them need to come in for prenatal care which is especially important on the Rez as infant mortality is 3 times higher there than the rest of the country. You can read more about the program here.
With the huge success of the program and the increase in births, Michelle is running very low on diaper bags to put all your goodies in. We know some bags are on their way but if the current increase in the birth rate continues, she will not only need bags but everything else too. She would also like board books, cloth books and other books for kids up to age 5 so she can give them out to moms and encourage them to read to their children. She says more women are leaving the hospital breastfeeding but the continuation rate of at least 6 months hasn’t changed.
Everyone pat yourselves on the back for a job well done! We are so grateful to our generous donors for helping to make life a little better for new mothers and their children on the Rez. Now for those of you with a little energy left, let’s see what we can do about getting those diaper bags and books to Michelle.
If you can, make an item to support Hopeful Thread’s “Babies and Mamas of Pine Ridge and Rosebud”, we are their chosen project for the month of October. Take a look at what has been made as of today. Information about the project can be found on our last blog.
Look for a report on Wanblee happenings tomorrow. Thanks from Sew For Kids.