Letter from the MMA President,
Greetings and salutations!
I wish to thank the membership for electing me to the office of president of the Michigan Midwives Association. For my first letter I really wanted to write something big and profound and it has led me to procrastinate. I think how often the desire to do something great can prevent me from starting to do what needs to be done. Inevitably I do make a start. It is not as overwhelming as I thought if I take one step at a time and choose to do the next right thing. The same is true of the goals the new board has for our organization. We want greatness for our organization! After our first board meeting we have come up with an ambitious agenda for MMA that I believe in. If we work together, take one step at a time, and do the next right thing, before we know it we will achieve the goal of a great organization that serves the membership.
Our Goals include:
To current members — we wish to encourage their voices and participation so that they can become a more vital part of of MMA.
To grow our membership by doing more outreach to new students and people working with women during the childbearing year.
To midwives who have felt disenfranchised by MMA, we are open to reconciliation, to hearing their voices, and continuing the conversation.
Board members who are heading the Outreach Committee are Connie Perkins and Stacia Proefrock
Continuing Education and Conferences
In the past year we have had some great conferences but have had a hard time getting the word out in a timely fashion so they have not been well attended. Our goal is to improve notification and promotion so it will be easier for you to plan on attending. We have a great spring conference planned with our guest Ida Darragh. She is a board member of the North American Registry of Midwives. We are looking forward to her presence and teaching. No matter how you feel about NARM, I encourage you to come with an open mind to hear, learn and challenge any preconceptions you may have about NARM.
Board members heading conference planning are Wendy Pinter and Christa Bartley
Updating MMA Bylaws and Constitution
Our goal is to assure that the bylaws and constitution reflect current practices and that the board is functioning within the limits of the rules set forth in the constitution and bylaws of the organization. At our first board meeting we as a board, read through them all and proposed updates and amendments. We will publish an updated copy of both of these documents for membership to read and give input in the spring newsletter. A vote on the changes will be held at the Spring conference General Membership Meeting.
Board members heading this project Kate Mazzara and Nicole White.
After much feedback and discussion MMA is going back to a paper newsletter. We are excited to have a new editor heading our newsletter: Nicole White. At our board meeting we set new deadlines for submissions and mailing. We hope this will ensure a smoother and more timely newsletter for our membership.
We need you!!! We are looking for stories, poems, editorials, as well as upcoming events to provide content for the newsletter.
Heading the newsletter Committee is Nicole White with special layout support from Karen Griggs.
Our fundraising items are now available on-line. We will also be looking into grant writing. We are open to other ideas for fundraising so if you have any ideas please contact the committee chair, Audra Post.
Website and Social Media-
We are in development of a members only section to our website and our goal is to have that up and running within the year. We will continue to develop our MMA presence on Facebook as well. Committee lead on this is Laurie Zoyiopoulos with support from Paul Howell.
As I share some of MMAs goals I know that all the midwives are busier than they ever have been. That means midwifery in Michigan is growing and we as an organization have to grow too! We need your help to make our organization one we all feel a part of and one that makes these goals a reality. We are looking for members to donate some of their precious time to share their talent on any one of these committees. If you are willing to do that please contact the person heading the committee that you have an interest in. No contribution is too small.
Well, as this letter comes to a close I feel the weight of the procrastination lift and a sense of relief come over me. Now I am going to the next right thing for today, which is to go make a warm pot of soup, watch the snow fall and enjoy some time with my family.
Happy New Year!
This meeting will interest you if:
- You are interested in broadening and strengthening the RJ dialogue among academics, activists, and advocates
- You are an academic working on reproductive justice who wants to collaborate with other scholars and advocates
- You are an advocate or activist working in the RJ movement who wants to partner with academics in specific research and practice areas
ACOG Condemns Homebirth; Advocates Issue Rebuttal
On February 6th 2008, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) reaffirmed their staunch anti-homebirth stance in a new statement. Among the first advocacy groups to issue a rebuttal was the recently launched organization The Big Push for Midwives. Reprinted below in its entirety, it can also be accessed in PushNews:
ACOG: Out of Touch with Needs of Childbearing Families
Trade Union claims out-of-hospital birth is “trendy;” tries to play the “bad mother” card
(February 7, 2008) – The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), a trade union representing the financial and professional interests of obstetricians, has issued the latest in a series of statements condemning families who choose home birth and calling on policy makers to deny them access to Certified Professional Midwives. CPMs are trained as experts in out-of-hospital delivery and as specialists in risk assessment and preventative care.
“It will certainly come as news to the Amish and other groups in this country who have long chosen home birth that they’re simply being ‘trendy’ or ‘fashionable,’” said Katie Prown, PhD, Campaign Manager of The Big Push for Midwives 2008. “The fact is, families deliver their babies at home for a variety of very valid reasons, either because they’re exercising their religious freedom, following their cultural traditions or because of financial need. These families deserve access to safe, quality and affordable maternity care, just like everyone else.”
Besides referring to home birth as a fashionable “trend” and a “cause célébre” that families choose out of ignorance, ACOG’s latest statement adds insult to injury by claiming that women delivering outside of the hospital are bad mothers who value the childbirth “experience” over the safety of their babies.
“ACOG has it backwards,” said Steff Hedenkamp, Communications Coordinator of The Big Push and the mother of two children born at home. “I delivered my babies with a trained, skilled professional midwife because I wanted the safest out-of-hospital care possible. If every state were to follow ACOG’s recommendations and outlaw CPMs, families who choose home birth will be left with no care providers at all. I think we can all agree that this is an irresponsible policy that puts mothers and babies at risk.”
The Big Push for Midwives calls on ACOG to abandon these outdated policies and work with CPMs to reduce the cesarean rate and to take meaningful steps towards reducing racial and ethnic disparities in birth outcomes in all regions of the United States. CPMs play a critical role in both cesarean prevention and in the reduction of low-birth weight and pre-term births, the two most preventable causes of neonatal mortality.
Moreover, their training as specialists in out-of-hospital maternity care qualifies CPMs as essential first-responders during disasters in which hospitals become inaccessible or unsafe for laboring mothers. In addition, CPMs work to ensure that all babies born outside of the hospital undergo state-mandated newborn screenings and are provided with legal and secure birth certificates.
Currently, Certified Nurse-Midwives, who work predominantly in hospital settings, are licensed and regulated in all 50 states, while Certified Professional Midwives, who work in out-of-hospital settings, are licensed and regulated in 24 states, with legislation pending in an additional 20 states.
The Big Push for Midwives is a nationally coordinated campaign to advocate for regulation and licensure of Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs) in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and to push back against the attempts of the American Medical Association Scope of Practice Partnership to deny American families access to legal midwifery care.
NEW BIRTH CERTIFICATE INFO
For information on the new birth certificates, copies of the new worksheet, and instructions for filling them out, contact:
MI Dept of Vital Statistics
Ellen Anderson – Dunsmore
There is no place to put midwives’ names as the certifiers (9A). If you have been signing birth certificates and want to continue doing so, you will need to provide your name and contact info on the worksheets.
It’s also a good idea to contact each County Clerk’s office where you file birth certificates and ask them if they want any changes in how you get your home birth certificates filed.
Hot off the presses! Our new cookbook, WHOLE FAMILY RECIPES: For the Childbearing Year & Beyond, edited by Patty Brennan, is now available for purchase. Price $15.95
Whole Family Recipes For the Childbearing Year & Beyond is more than a cookbook. While being a guide to nutritious and delicious meals the whole family will enjoy, it highlights foods that are especially needed by pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, and their growing children. Adopting a playful tone, the book focuses on incorporating vitamin- and mineral-rich foods and good quality fats into the diet. It encourages parents to experiment with new foods as they transition to healthier food choices. In addition to yummy recipes, the book contains numerous tips for parents and a collection of essays devoted to nutrition during the childbearing year, including a unique piece on The Birth Marathon Food & Drink for Labor & Birth. The cookbook is a community effort. Contributors include midwives, doulas, moms, and dads, with illustrations by children. All proceeds from the sale of the book support the Centers programs to help moms and babies.
Buy multiple copies and give them away as gifts to the moms and soon-to-be moms in your life! Or consider selling the book as a fundraiser for your organization. You have three options for purchase:
- Stop by the Center for the Childbearing Year at 722 Brooks St., Ann Arbor, MI 48103 anytime we are open (for our fall hours, see http://center4cby.com/content/view/38/56/) and pick up your copy(ies). Often we are here beyond posted hours as well.
- Send a check to the above address. Cost is $15.95 plus $6 for shipping and handling. For more than one copy of the book, shipping costs will be billed.
- To use your VISA or Mastercard, call 734-663-1523 to place your order.
or… 4. Buy a copy from MMA at the next conference.