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10-MINUTE MANAGER: Andrea Jordan


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10-MINUTE MANAGER: Andrea Jordan

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Andrea Jordan is managing director of Rites of Passage Midwifery Care Inc.

Are you where you’ve always wanted to be?

Yes I am where I’ve always wanted to be! I was born in the United Kingdom to Barbadian and Guyanese parents, and I made the deliberate decision to emigrate to Barbados almost ten years ago to live and work here as a midwife. In relation to my mission, there’s still a long way to go!

What is your biggest professional challenge?

My biggest professional challenge is that the work of midwives and midwifery care is not taken as seriously in Barbados. Midwives are seen as specialised nurses here, whereas in many other countries midwifery is a profession in its own right, which gives midwives and the mothers they represent, more status and more of a say in maternity care provision.

What is your biggest life challenge?

Keeping the best balance between my home life with husband and two young children; a community midwifery practice, a breastfeeding support business and two charitable organisations; and making sure that within this mix there is adequate time for me!

When you look to the future, what do you see?

I see Barbados leading the way in the Caribbean with a top quality woman/family centered maternity care system, where mothers do not fear birth because they are the main decision makers in their care and have many choices in where and by whom they will be looked after. That there is a midwife-led birthing centre where they can experience water-birth and very gentle, empowering and respectful pregnancy and birth care; or choose to have a home delivery with midwives they know and trust with obstetrician and hospital back-up. This is proven to be safer for low risk mothers to be.

What is your favourite pastime?

Family time! Enjoying my spouse and two children and the satisfaction on their faces when we take time as a family to do something extra nice together, something as simple as going to the beach.

What is your favourite meal?

My favorite meal is a nice big fresh, crispy, colorful salad and a succulent piece of grilled fish to accompany it; and a mouth-watering slice of cheesecake for dessert.

On Saturday nights, where are you likely to be?

You’ll probably find me on my way home from the supermarket with bags of groceries and a takeaway meal to share.

What upsets you the most?

What upsets me the most is still hearing many mothers saying that their births were unpleasant, dis-empowering or traumatic because of not being allowed to eat or drink, move about freely in labour or have their chosen support persons in the birthing room with them throughout the experience.

What is your guiding philosophy?

My guiding philosophy is that God is in control no matter what, if you can conceive it you can achieve it, and if you align yourself in service of others, you can never fail.

If you had the chance to manage Barbados for a day, what would you do?

I would redirect funds into health care, in particular the maternity services. Crime rates are soaring and getting a handle on this in a more meaningful long-term way is essential. This is the future. Research is showing a connection between delinquency, high crime and birth trauma; studies also show that fully utilising midwives for the care of all pregnant women improves on outcomes and satisfaction of birth, meaning less trauma experienced by women and babies and less caesarean deliveries which in turn saves Government lots of money!

I would also invest in agriculture. We need to be promoting organic farming and growing our own good quality health foods to reduce our importation and health bills.

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