Hello, my name is Courtney and I’m a certified nurse-midwife. I moved to Hlotse, Lesotho in January 2019 with my husband, Jonathan, who is an Obstetrics and Gynecology (OBGYN) physician. We are part of a team of volunteers from Boston Medical Center working with local doctors and nurses to improve their clinical skills and to share our knowledge and experience with them. I am thrilled to be here!
A few words about myself. I became a midwife after being a Peace Corps volunteer in West Africa and worked for two years with an incredible midwife. She taught me how a smile, polite stubbornness, and dedication to maternal and child health can have such a profound impact on a community. I am incredibly excited to be back in Africa and to be able to play a role in improving the healthcare women and their newborns receive in Lesotho.
I’m not yet able to work as a midwife in Lesotho as I have to pass a nursing exam in order to be registered as a nurse-midwife in Lesotho. Those exams are held every couple months throughout the year - my test will hopefully be in March so wish me luck! Until then, I get to “shadow” nurses and midwives on the Labor and Delivery ward at the local Motebang hospital to provide support to the women who are ready to give birth and who have just delivered babies.
On a recent busy morning, I had the immense pleasure of being with two women during labor and delivery. Neither one spoke much English and I don’t speak much Sesotho, the language of Lesotho. But I held their hands, rubbed their backs, supported their necks in pushing, and tried to encourage them with my calming presence and smile. Both women did an amazing job pushing hard during labor, had beautiful births, and very handsome baby boys.
It was a treat to be able to be on the labor support side of a birth, as normally I’m the one focusing on getting supplies ready and making sure from a medical point of view everything was proceeding as it should. Given the wonderful student midwives and midwives caring for the women, I didn’t have to think about any of that, but just was able to be there 100% for the women. It was great! I look forward to being a registered nurse-midwife here so that I can continue to support the women of Lesotho.