Thursday, December 30, 2010

"Birth Witnesses" Guest Post

I very much enjoy maintaining the Citizens for Midwifery Facebook page. I share relevant quotes there almost every day and really appreciate the dynamic, vibrant responses I get from the various "likers" present on the page. Recently, I shared this quote:

“Please, choose your birth attendant and place of birth carefully. Search hard for the attendant that you connect well with. You and your baby deserve to be treated with utmost respect and dignity. There are attendants who believe in the sacredness and sanctity of birth. You may, however, need to act as a detective to find them.” –Janice Marsh-Prelesnik (The Roots of Natural Mothering)

This quote resonated with me because of the final line—I am very familiar with that feeling of needing to be a “detective” in order to unearth the kind of care needed/desired/deserved by my family. The quote then prompted some great comments about the value of inviting women (other than formal birth attendants) to witness our birth experiences—sisters, friends, nieces. A commenter named Bonnie shared her ideas that one of the very best ways for young women to learn what birth is really like is to be invited to witness a real birth. And, that this may be one of our most transformative keys to making true and lasting changes in our current birth culture. I was fascinated with her ideas and invited her to write a guest blog post about them. She graciously agreed and her wonderful article on the subject is now available to read here.




CfM Blogger

Monday, December 20, 2010

Happy Holidays!

As you gather with your family for the 2010 Holiday Season, we wish you love, joy, and memories to last a lifetime, and we thank you for your support of Citizens for Midwifery. As we greet 2011, we hope every day brings new wonders and a promise of a more peaceful world for birthing women, babies, and families around the world.

Warmest Wishes!

CfM Blogger

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

CfM e-newsletter & FREE membership!

Citizens for Midwifery is pleased to have launched our new e-newsletter! You can read the newsletter online here. A printable version is available here. You can also subscribe to the newsletter via Facebook by going to the CfM Facebook page and clicking on the tab that says Email Signup.

An especially important announcement from this first edition is that membership in Citizens for Midwifery is now FREE! Here are the details:

Anyone who signs up with CfM either on our signup page, on Facebook, or CfM’s “Grassroots News” yahoo group will now all be considered members of CfM and will receive the free CfM e-news. In this day and age of social networking the concept of CfM membership needed to evolve to include all the ways people communicate and participate in CfM’s activities. We hope you will be excited by this open membership structure and will encourage all your friends, clients, Facebook friends and associates to sign up for a free membership with CfM today.

Membership is now free, but CfM still needs your financial support. Please donate today! We are so grateful to all the individuals and midwifery practices who have been paid members with CfM over the years. Many of you have been faithful members for years. Your support has made all our work on behalf of consumers, midwifery, and the Midwives Model of Care possible. We hope you will continue to support CfM with an annual donation. If you are a midwife who has been giving “Gift Memberships” to your clients we hope you will continue to make a donation to CfM in honor of each of your clients and encourage your clients to sign up for free with CfM. Donations of any amount are greatly appreciated!

Your donations are fully tax deductible. Donate at our suggested giving levels, or in any amount you can. Donate today on the CfM website or by mail Thank you for your support.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Grassroots Network: Effective Health Care Program Update: New Draft Key Questions and a Draft Review Are Now Available for Comment

Dear Friends,

The federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is preparing a review document about “interventions” that are effective in reducing cesarean sections, and all of us have a chance to give input!

ARHQ has drafted 4 key questions for members of the public to answer on-line, plus you can also upload a document. Go to: < >.

Scroll down below the questions to read the draft review (not too long). This will help you to see where they are starting from. For example, the word “intervention” is really used to denote any action (or non-action) that is being studied for its effect on reducing cesarean rates, even if you don’t normally think of it as an intervention. Also, it is apparent that routine hospital practices (that we know can interfere with labor) aren’t really mentioned in the list of “interventions”…

NOTE: The deadline for comments is December 29!

Wonderful that AHRQ is looking seriously at the topic of how to reduce the cesarean section rate, and that they are inviting comments from the public! I would encourage you to be respectful and informative in your comments, so that they are helpful and useful for the purpose of this review.

Please feel free to pass this on to other relevant lists you may be on!


Susan Hodges, “gatekeeper”
For CfM

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Grassroots Network: Premature birth rate down

Hello Friends,

We hope you all enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!

This grassroots news message contains good news! According to March of Dimes analysis of 2008 birth data, the United States rate of premature births, or babies born before 37 weeks gestation, has declined for the second year in a row. This two-year decline comes after a 30-year increase in the rate of premature births. In 2006, the rate was 12.8% and in 2008, the rate fell to 12.3%.

Below is a link to a report from USA today that offers a more detailed description of the decline. We also include the link to the March of Dimes news source that not only notes the decline in premature births for 2008, but also includes an update on the state of births in 2010 as well as information on efforts to further decrease the number of babies born prematurely in the US. As you'll see in both articles, the decline is largely attributed to policy changes that prevent cesarean sections and labor inductions before 39 weeks gestation.

USA Today:

March of Dimes:

We hope you all continue to send us information that you wish to share with the group. We can be reached at

Stephanie Hucker for Citizens for Midwifery