Th following information is from DeeAnne Domnick, a CPM from Louisiana. She is working with the evacuation of pregnant women and families with small children from the devastated areas of Louisiana and Mississippi. She has asked to spread the word about what she is doing, and the help that is needed, to the midwives on the internet.
DeeAnne has a 501 C-3 non-profit organization called Barefoot Doctor’s Academy that has been around for many years and works to provide medical care to low income families in Louisiana and in South American and Hawaii. Her organization has teamed up with others to assist in the care offered to the evacuees.
She says that pregnant women in late pregnancy are being airlifted to medical centers in other states, and the pregnant women who are not near term are being taken by Amtrak to Illinois. They are looking for midwives who will volunteer to ride on these planes and trains to provide care during transport. It is not the intent to do births in transit, but it is likely to happen. On the longer train rides, she hopes that midwives will give prenatal care and provide childbirth education, and assist new mothers who are traveling with small babies. The same services could also be provided in some of the shelters before transit. Volunteers should bring their own supplies (births kits and prenatal bags) and provide their own transportation. It would be wise to bring a supply of personal food and water, and bedding in case it is needed. They prefer midwives with credentials and experience since few of these births will be low-risk, but will find a place for midwives of any background to help.
The central base DeeAnne is working from is Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The planes are flying out from there. The trains are beginning at various points in LA and MS, and are traveling up through Memphis toward Chicago on the Amtrak lines. Volunteers can come to Baton Rouge, or can meet trains at other stops to finish the ride.
In addition to volunteer work, they are accepting financial contributions through their 501 C-3 which are tax deductible to the giver. Donations may be sent to the Hurricane Disaster Project, Barefoot Doctor’s Academy, P.O. Box 371, Hawi, HI 96719. The funds kept there are accessible for their work in Louisiana.
There is a website for the non-profit organization, though they do not have much information up yet on the hurricane relief project.
To find out more about becoming a volunteer, you may call DeeAnne at 808-987-8213, or e-mail her.