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Midwifery Related News

"Midwifery Matters" - biannual magazine by Birthwise Midwifery School

Birthwise Midwifery School has started a biannual magazine called "Midwifery Matters” committed to publishing student and midwife-led research and writing, providing resources to practicing midwives, and fostering a space for dialogue within the midwifery community. This first issue features an article about Washington’s Quality Management Program and interviews with Marge Mansfield, LM, CPM and Peggy Thurston, LM, CPM. Check out this great article and many others by clicking here.

Delivering Joy: Midwives Are the Key to a Future With Healthy Mothers And Babies

I had no choice but to become an advocate for maternal health. Four years ago, if it were not for the skilled professionals by my side when I developed an amniotic fluid embolism, I would have died. This experience led me to act, speak and stand in solidarity for all women's reproductive health. No woman should die during pregnancy or childbirth, especially when the survival and health of mothers and their babies can, in fact, so often be saved. After reading the findings of a breakthrough report published this month, I had to speak out in support of midwives. Read More

ACNM responds to ACOG's new statement on Water Birth

The American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) affirms that:

  • Warm water immersion hydrotherapy during labor provides comfort, supports relaxation, and is a safe and effective non-pharmacologic pain relief strategy that promotes physiologic childbirth.
  • High quality research demonstrates the use of hydrotherapy for pain relief during labor does not increase risk for healthy women or newborns when evidence-based, clinical guidelines are followed. READ MORE from the complete ACNM Position Statement - Hydrotherapy During Labor and Birth

Flaws In Recent Home Birth Research May Mislead Parents, Providers

A recent press release by the authors of a new study raised alarming headlines in a few media outlets, suggesting that babies born at home had a 10-fold higher death rate than babies born in the hospital. I’ve written previously about reliability concerns with the use of birth certificates in this study. In this post, we’ll go more in-depth with some of its other flaws. Let’s start with the fact that the authors did not examine stillbirths...Read More

Health Care of the Future: Midwives deliver growing share of babies in state, U.S.

No longer perceived as the domain of hippies or alternative-culture pregnant women, midwifery has become increasingly mainstream, and may be more so in years to come.

Midwives remain a popular option nationwide and in Washington state, based on the desire of many women for a more personalized approach to childbirth.

Even President Barack Obama’s health care legislation, the Affordable Care Act, encourages midwife deliveries ... Read More

Obstetricians Claim Homebirth is Unsafe…Again. Where’s The Evidence?
by Wendy Gordon, LM, CPM, MPH, Midwives Alliance Division of Research

Today, midwife and researcher, Wendy Gordon, LM, CPM, MPH, Midwives Alliance Division of Research, takes a look at the recent article in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology that shared the authors’ view of the appropriate professional response from obstetricians when counseling and discussing home birth with patients. Was this article based on good science? Accurate and accepted studies? Did the authors selectively choose their sources and ignore other research that may have supported a different viewpoint? Wendy shares information and research that invites consideration and discussion of the validity of the authors’ opinion. – Sharon Muza, Community Manager, Science and Sensibility. Read More

Black Moms Are Raising Volume on Breastfeeding

"Fear. Indifference. Disdain. These are the emotions that too many African American mothers feel regarding the decision to breastfeed. Instead of having the cheerful "breast is best" line sung to them from family members, colleagues and even physicians, some black mothers have to fight through a host of assumptions, ill-informed statements and unsupportive banter...Read More

GMO Crops May Affect Pregnant Women and their Families By Molly Gray, ND LM

I encourage all pregnant women and families with young children to avoid GMO crops. I make this recommendation because of the increased amount of pesticides used with GMO crops. Research is continually demonstrating the toxicity of pesticides to human health and the environment. Crops that are commonly genetically modified include: corn, soy, potato, sugar beets, canola, and cotton...
Read More

Maternity Care in a "Majority Minority" Country

Two weeks ago the news from the Census Bureau that non-white children make up the majority of those... Read More

The Gentle Warrior: 2011 CNN Hero of the Year Robin Lim

"You wouldn’t think it at first blush, but 2011 CNN Hero of the Year Robin Lim has led a very colorful life... " Read More

Mommy Wars: The Prequel

Ina May Gaskin and the Battle for at-Home Births. Read More

Call the Midwife,” a popular six-part drama about midwifery in 1950s London, opened PBS’ fall schedule on Sept. 30, 2012.

Read More

Washington Midwives Leading the Way at Historic 2012 CPM Symposium

The presence of Washington midwives was an undeniable force at the CPM Symposium, held at the Airlie Center in Warrenton, VA from March 16-20, 2012. Over the course of the trip, which began with a day of lobbying on Capitol Hill and ended with a day of work on the future of midwifery, the significance of the event was spoken but perhaps won’t be completely understood or appreciated for some time. The influence of Washington State was significant for the number of participants, presentations from and about Washington midwifery, as well as the active engagement of Washington midwives during the Symposium in critical discussions about moving our profession forward. Read More

Bailey’s bill to empower midwives, nurses signed into law

MAWS' successful legislative efforts this year included passage of House Bill 2186, a bill sponsored by Rep. Barbara Bailey that will remove barriers in the state’s health care system and empower midwives and nurses. By allowing midwives to direct nurses, this bill removes a major barrier to Licensed Midwives obtaining hospital privileges if they desire them. The bill also removes a barrier to LMs working in Federally Qualified Health Centers where they could serve even more low income women. Additionally, the bill enables midwives to hire nurses to work in birth centers and at home births. Read More

Washington Home Birth Rate Among Highest in the Nation: To reduce state health care costs and meet the growing demand for licensed midwives family advocates urge lawmakers to maintain the cap on midwife licensing fees.
Read More (PDF)

Homebirth Midwives and the Hospital Goliath: Evidence Builds for Disruptive Innovation
- Huffington Post

"Midwives have a central focus in our strategic plan. We are hoping Washington State can double out-of-facility births in the next two or three years."
The speaker was Jeff Thompson, M.D., MPH, chief medical officer of the state of Washington's Medicaid program. He spoke in a taped interview for Symposium 2012 -- Certified Professional Midwives and Midwifery Educators: Contributing to a New Era in Maternity Care. The gathering took place at Warrenton, Va.'s Airlie Center on March 18, 2012.

Read More

To read slides from a Presentation titled "Improving OB Outcomes by Enhancing Access to Quality Affordable Care: Multiple Strategies*** get you there faster!" by Jeffery Thompson, MD, MPH and Washington State Medicaid's Chief Medical Officer, click here (PDF)

For African American History Month, MAWS remembers Grand Midwife Gladys Milton who was inducted into the Florida Women's Hall of Fame in 2001

US House Rep. Roybal-Allard read the Home Birth Consensus statements into Congressional record on November 16, 2011.

Watch video
She also released a Press Statement

Midwives included in New Health Care Legislation

Midwife Robin Lim was chosen as one of CNN's Top Ten 2011 Heroes for the amazing work she is doing in Bali

"Does the world have a responsibility to all pregnant women, to each new baby? Yes," Robin Lim said. "Each baby, each adult deserves a clean, healthy, loving environment. ... Those things are basic. Those are a human right."

Read more and watch video here.

Maud Callen in Nurse Midwife (1951) by Photographer W. Eugene Smith see on right

W. Eugene Smith's report Nurse Midwife (1951) on the black midwife Maud Callen was produced against a background of racial discrimination and the brazen activities of the Ku Klux Klan in the Deep South. In developing the prints Smith adjusted the lighting so as to enhance the emotional atmosphere - during a birth, for example - and so arouse sympathy for the selfless efforts of the midwife. Smith, who was born in 1918 in Wichita, Kansas, and died in 1978 in Tucson, Arizona, first made a name for himself as a politically and socially committed photojournalist in the USA in the 1940s. His work was recently exhibited in Berlin, Germany.

Newly Trained Midwives are Saving Lives in Afghanistan

A group of young midwives in Afghanistan's remote central mountains is fighting against the odds to make huge strides in maternal health.

Read more

Exercising during pregnancy: How much is too much?

Midwife Robyn Carlisle, CNM who just ran a marathon herself comments on the woman who recently ran a marathon in her 39th week of pregnancy. Read her article published by The Clinical Advisor.

Erykah Badu Attends Summit for Better Birthing

Dozens of women gathered Friday at Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church to attend the annual Southeast Black Midwives and Healers Summit, which featured Grammy-winning singer Erykah Badu. Badu is the national spokeswoman for the International Center for Traditional Childbearing, a practicing doula and an aspiring midwife. She spoke about her own childbirth experiences, as well as the assistance she has provided other women during their pregnancies and birthing processes. An advocate of natural childbirth, healthy birth outcomes and breastfeeding for infant development, Badu speaks around the country for ICTC events.

Jennifer Block - Pregnancy-Related Articles

Jennifer Block has several birth and pregnancy-related articles published by the Daily Beast, Newsweek's blog, including "Birth As Performance Art?" on the rise of public deliveries including that of a Brooklyn artist who will give birth this month at a gallery in a controversial exhibit—while other women have started posting raw videos of their labor online. Jennifer Block's also written "The Disease Killing New Moms" and "Home Births Under Fire" for the Daily Beast. She writes frequently about women's health and is the author of the award-winning book Pushed: The Painful Truth About Childbirth and Modern Maternity Care. Read More Articles.

"Trends and Characteristics of Home and Other Out-of-Hospital Births in the United States, 1990-2006"

The report was published in March 2010 by the CDC and covered throughout the nation including USA Today, NPR's Health Blog, a press release from The Big Push (PDF), as well as by dozens of other news outlets who ran the story. It includes demographic characteristics of out-of-hospital-birth populations, data regarding states with the greatest and fewest home births and data demonstrating significantly reduced rates of pre-term and low-birth weight in out-of-hospital-birth populations.

Click here to read the full report from the CDC/National Vital Statistics.

News Releases and Media Alerts from the Big Push for Midwives

News and Events


Read the new Orientation Manual
for LMs (pdf)

including description description description. Click here to download pdf.

Eugene Smith

Nurse Midwife, W. Eugene Smith (1951)