Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 27th 2015 Contents | PROFILES |
Country Club | Maraval
10 am 6 pm
Health coach Paola Henderson
Healthy food samples
Trinidad IVF centre
Hypnobirthing, Massage Face painting
OB/GYN Sandra Boxill
Group exercise Belly henna & casts
Midwife Debbie Lewis
Bouncy castle Baby care product
In association with:
By Roslyn Carrington
ANNA LEVISEN, DANISH-BORN MIDWIFE and
maternity advocate, is busy setting up for her up-
coming 9 Months and Beyond Family Expo, which
takes place at Country Club, Maraval, on Saturday
October 3rd from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
WOW had a chat with Anna about her expo, as well
as her hopes for maternal care in T&T.
WOW: Tell us about your expo.
It's a health and educational exhibition; a family day,
with activities for parents and children. We're having
seminars on IVF, maternity, normal birth, newborn
baby challenges and how to maintain a healthy
lifestyle when starting a family.
The kids will enjoy face painting, kids' Zumba, a mini
zoo, and bouncy castles. Vendors will showcase belly
casting, family photography, baby slings, natural skin
products, baby/children's clothes and more. The
booths will have informative and educational mate-
rial: Midwives' Association, the Trinidad Autism So-
ciety, Family Planning Association, T&T IVF Clinic,
and Pampers, who are our main sponsors, will give
the latest updates related to baby care and fertility.
You can buy a variety of items for pregnancy and
WOW: Why are you doing this?
We need more information on how to start a
healthy family. Parents are looking for knowledge;
they go on the Internet and get information that
isn't always right. It's hard to navigate as new par-
ent, and I'm trying to set up a forum where they can
meet and get information from all the right people.
WOW: How long have you been here?
Two years. I like Trinidad, and I got the opportunity
to work in a birthing centre, Mamatoto, where
women deliver naturally with the care and support
from midwives and doulas only.
WOW: What one change you'd like to see people
in T&T make as far as pregnancy and childbirth is
We should focus on spending time with our families
in a healthy environment, and teach our children
these healthy habits. It's about educating and em-
WOW: Trini men tend to be very stand-offish
when it comes to childbirth. What about their
The father's role is very important; it's not only the
mother who becomes a parent, it's both of them. It's
a big responsibility that can seem overwhelming.
Even though the mother is breastfeeding, and she is
the one who is up during the night, he can help by
massaging the baby, changing the diapers, or a sim-
ple thing as holding the baby when it's crying. Fa-
thers don't always realise what a big help they are,
and I think women sometimes need to remind them.
WOW: What about his role during delivery?
A woman shouldn't have to go into a hospital to
have her baby alone; not in 2015. It's important for
the father to be a part of the birthing process. When
she is in labour, that's when she really needs him; the
emotional support means so much.
In T&T, many fathers are
not part of the birthing
process. Even during
check-ups in the preg-
nancy he should be in-
vited to come. When
they are excluded from
this process, fathers
don't feel welcome, and
that should change.
WOW: Do women still
listen to myths and su-
People keep saying, "...
.When I was pregnant,
this is how it was done."
But times have changed.
People believe you have
to go to the hospital to
have a baby. They think
birthing centres are airy-
fairy. But they forget
that back in the days
people gave birth at
home; both options are
safe and okay. Neither
should have a stigma.
WOW: What else
would you like to see?
Where I'm from, moth-
ers have a year of ma-
ternity leave. You get to
know your baby and
yourself as a mother.
Here, you only have
three months. You're
only now trying to es-
tablish your breastfeed-
ing. Then you start
thinking about express-
ing milk, and some
mothers give up and use
formula, because it's lo-
gistically hard to plan
the feeding. Fathers get
some time off but that's
not enough when you
are starting a family.
When you're not sup-
ported by society in
these little things, it's
hard for the average per-
son to focus on what is
healthy for themselves
and their families. Once
there is a good frame-
work for mothers and
fathers, they will hope-
fully have more energy
and patience to make a
lifestyle change. That is
probably the best invest-
ment you can make for
Links Archive September 26th 2015 September 28th 2015 Navigation Previous Page Next Page