Monday, May 21, 2012

I am a Midwife Campaign

MANA has a great educational campaign going on right now called I am a Midwife. The campaign involves a series of short videos released once a week about a variety of topics. More than just a general education campaign, each video includes a variety of different women--midwives, mothers, public health activists, maternity care activists, authors---speaking out on important topics in maternity care. Each woman also identifies, "I am a Midwife." This week's video is about health disparities in maternity care, which is a very important and too-often ignored topic. It raises the concern that African American women and their babies are more likely to die than their Caucasian counterparts even when other variables are equalized (i.e. same socioeconomic status, same education, etc.) and moves into wider discussions about racism and the treatment of minority group members. It then focuses on the value and role of midwifery care in addressing these concerns.

As MANA states in relationship to this campaign: "For midwives, sharing is daring. We dare to challenge the status quo. We dare to speak up for women's innate wisdom in pregnancy and birth. We dare to assert that there is a better way for our babies to be born. And we dare to insist that birth belongs to families."

Absolutely! The I am a Midwife public education campaign is extremely powerful. I have to confess that when it originally launched, I didn't personally make time to watch the videos right away, somehow assuming that they were "generic" videos with a "rah, midwives!" type of message. Don't make the same mistake I did. These are quality videos with important messages, powerful voices, and essential education and information. You will definitely learn something from watching them!

CfM Blogger

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Answer Ina May's Call: This Mother's Day, Support A Woman's Birth Choices

“{I am calling] for greater involvement of women in the formulation of maternity care policy and in the education of young women and men about birth. Women who are fully informed about the capacities of women’s bodies should lead the way, and all women who care about social justice and human rights should be involved.”
– Ina May Gaskin, Birth Matters: A Midwife’s Manifesta

Happy Mother's Day!

Here at Citizens for Midwifery, we have been heeding Ina May’s call for more than 16 years, providing women with evidence-based information about pregnancy and birth, and supporting state and national efforts to secure access to midwifery care for all women.

And we need your help! We can’t do it alone!

US Birth statistics and maternity care present many challenges:

One in three US babies are born by cesarean section, a rate more than twice that recommended by the WHO, a rate that results in harm to mothers and babies.

Racial disparities in birth outcomes remain a tremendous problem. For example, African American infants are 2.4 more times likely to die in their first year than white infants, and African American women are more likely to have cesarean sections, and nearly twice as likely to experience preterm labor or give birth to a low birthweight baby. Midwives providing individualized care have been successful in reducing these disparities.

In countries with lower c-section rates and better maternal and infant outcomes than ours, midwives provide primary care for all healthy pregnancies and births.

Access to midwives and the Midwives Model of Care in the US is limited. CPMs are licensed or legally recognized in just 27 states, and CNMs are restricted in the care they may give by practice agreements and supervision requirements in 23 states.

In the US in 2009, only 8.1 % of births in all settings were attended by midwives.

Citizens for Midwifery is working to meet those challenges, with information and action.
  • Through our website and educational materials, we provide women and birth advocates with high quality, consumer-focused information.  Our website reaches many women every day (over 66,000 every year!), who download materials or find midwives and advocates in their area.
  • Citizens for Midwifery represents consumers as essential stakeholders and elevates the importance of the consumer voice in key national forums on the future of midwifery care.  As part of the MAMA Campaign, CfM continues to work actively to achieve federal recognition for CPMs, so that more and more women of all income levels will eventually have access to the Midwives Model of Care.
  • CfM has been at the forefront, using the internet and social networking to reach more women and families than ever before with solid information that is helpful when making maternity care choices and for advocating for the Midwives Model of Care. We have one of the most active Facebook pages reaching consumers, with over 5,000 people on our page and lively exchanges occurring on a regular basis.

Now we need YOUR financial support so we can do more and even better! Times and technology are changing, and we need your help to update our infrastructure so we can reach more women even more effectively.

Your donation today will help us to:
  • Update our online infrastructure to more effectively communicate with women and activists.
  • Launch targeted educational campaigns and materials to meet the diverse needs of women and birth advocates.
  • Maintain a consistent consumer presence representing women at critical moments and decision points in the evolution of US midwifery.
With your support we can reach more expectant women and advocates and do more to advance the Midwives Model of Care than ever before!

Please make a donation today!
Donate Now        
Visit the CfM Fundraising page at And please share this letter with your friends and family on Facebook, Twitter and email listserves.  Mothers and babies, now and in the future, will love you for it!

Thank you!

Nasima Pfaffl

P.S. Your donation, of ANY amount at, will help us answer Ina May Gaskin’s call to equip women with the information and tools to improve maternity care in their communities.