Childbirth in Haiti follows a system of behavior determined by local beliefs, traditions and attitudes, and is also affected by economic conditions and limitations of available health care facilities. In Haiti, infertility carries a negative social stigma; women are expected to bear children. The period of pregnancy and birth is viewed as a happy, celebratory time for a family, not a medical health problem. Pregnant women are expected to fulfill their work obligations up until their delivery. It is normal for pregnant women to experience an increase in salivation and to spit frequently, since they do not believe in swallowing their excess saliva. Women may sometimes carry a spit cup with them and feel no embarrassment in using it in public. Pregnant women are restricted from eating spices, which they believe may irritate the fetus. However, they are encouraged to eat vegetables and red fruits, which are believed to build up the blood of the fetus.
Higher power shower: Voodoo worshippers wash themselves under Haitian waterfall in annual ritual
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Sixteen-year-old Darlene Etienne had apparently been taking a shower when the earthquake struck and brought down rubble on top of her. When rescuers found her, she was weak, but very much alive. Fuilla said the girl was stuck in a space barely bigger than her body. I'm deeply convinced she would not have made it another night. The fact she was in the bathroom at the time of the quake may have saved her life, because she had access to small amounts of water. William P. Scientists say a pound person can only afford to lose about 20 percent of his or her water weight. The body sheds five or six cups of water a day. So without access to water, it's rare to last more than three or four days. After 14 days, a pound person would have lost nearly 60 cups of water, or one-third of their water.
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Photographer Nadia Todres created this series of portraits of young women in Haiti. Each is holding food or a related item that's a symbol of their challenging lives in the island country, which has been rocked by protests and food shortages. Todres asked each woman to write about her struggles. I am scared because I don't know what will happen. We can't find water and food. I feel our future is threatened because I don't know when we will go back to school," wrote Abigaelle Mezidor. Courtesy Nadia Todres. I feel so sad when I witness the bad choices being made and how we are killing the future of our children," Bianca Lucien wrote.
Haiti's portion of Hispaniola is significantly more mountainous than the rest of the island, with successive mountain chains running east to west on both peninsulas. The northern Massif du Nord is part of the island's backbone, which Dominicans call the Cordillera Central. The southern peninsula boasts the Massif de la Hotte and Massif de la Selle.