Saturday, January 30, 2010

Grassroots Network: MAMA Campaign Update

Dear Friends,

Just in case some of you haven’t signed up with the MAMA Campaign, below is the latest e-mail update. Regardless of your opinions about the existing Health Care (Insurance) Reform bills, they include some things that are good for mothers and midwives. What Congress will do with health care reform is still up in the air, but we can all communicate to our Congress people that maternity care is still an urgent issue that should not be ignored in the midst of the political hoopla. We still need real care, access to midwives, and birth practices that are based on evidence, not legal fears or economics.

Susan Hodges, “gatekeeper”


A Call to Arms for Women and Families!

Now is the time to call and write to your legislators for women and families!

The political landscape of health care reform changed dramatically last week with the election of Scott Brown to fill Ted Kennedy’s seat in the Senate, but women’s needs for maternity care reform did not!

  • Women in the many counties across the nation with no maternity care provider at all need access to care for their births
  • Women whose previous cesarean section is deemed a pre-existing condition by insurance companies need access to reimbursement for their birth
  • Women being pressured to have an induction at 40 weeks or to undergo other unnecessary interventions need access to evidence-based care
  • Women who are part of the 32% cesarean section rate in the US need access to VBAC
  • Women need access to normal birth options, increasingly rare in the US
  • Women insured by Medicaid need access to birth centers
  • And women need access to the care of CPMs if maternity care is to be reformed in the US!
With health care reform in jeopardy, the hard-won provisions that benefit childbearing women in the bills are in jeopardy, including:
  • Senator Cantwell’s provision that would effectively require the payment of the provider fee for CPM births in birth centers
  • The mandate for Medicaid to reimburse the facility fee for birth centers
  • Childbirth Connection’s provision requiring the implementation of maternity care performance measures – a crucial step towards evidence-based maternity care
  • Equitable reimbursement for Certified Nurse Midwives
Whatever your politics, please call your House Members and Senators today! If you are in favor of health care reform, let your legislators know today! Even if you are not in favor of the health care bill, tell your legislators to provide for the needs of childbearing women by preserving the above provisions in legislation!

Where is MAMA now?
MAMA is determined to look for every opportunity to see that the needs of childbearing women for improved quality and access to care are addressed by Congress.
MAMA representatives were on the Hill to the last possible moment advocating for CPMs in the current health care reform legislation. As our lobbyist, Billy Wynne, told us, CPMs made more progress on the Hill in these last eight months than most provider groups new to the Hill make in 3-4 years! MAMA is extremely pleased with the extraordinary support gained from key Congressional leaders – thanks to all of your calls and letters to your legislators! And MAMA is especially grateful to Senator Cantwell for her determination to find a way to “get the ball rolling” for CPMs and for her provision in the Senate bill that would have the effect of requiring reimbursement of the provider fee for CPM births in birth centers. MAMA is grateful for these accomplishments and is determined and well-positioned for the next steps as we move forward into 2010.

Now is the time to regroup, evaluate and plan for success in 2010 for Federal recognition for CPMs. And MAMA is doing just that. The Campaign Steering Committee will soon:
  • Meet in Washington, D.C. to capture all that we have learned so far and to solidify a strategy for 2010
  • Hold a webinar for supporters about the progress of the campaign to date and to engage you in next steps for CPMs and mothers

Your Dollars for MAMA Make a Difference!
We are so close to our fundraising goal to finish out this phase of the campaign for Federal recognition for CPMs. We are so grateful for your support! Midwives and mothers, parents and grandparents, state midwifery associations and state consumer advocacy groups, have made possible this historic fundraising success! We need to raise just a few thousand dollars to reach our goal. Can you help? Any amount will make a difference. Please donate today. Thank you!

How to be Social With MAMA
In order to tell more people about our efforts, MAMA has been exploring the world of social networking! We not only have an active MAMA Campaign Group on Facebook, but we also have a MAMA Campaign Cause (sponsored by our non-profit fiscal agent, Foundation for the Advancement of Midwifery.) We want all of you to join the Facebook MAMA Campaign Cause and then let your friends know about it as well! It will only take a few minutes and we promise it will only hurt a little.

Easy Step-by-Step Instructions for joining Facebook and the MAMA Campaign Cause:
  1. Get a cup of tea, a piece of chocolate...whatever relaxes you.
  2. Turn on your computer...which is already on if you are reading this so go back to step one and then skip to step 3.
  3. Go to your Internet search engine and type in "facebook"... if you are already a member of facebook then skip to step 6.
  4. Join facebook by filling out the form clicking the button that says "sign up"
  5. Get distracted for a little while trying to set up your profile (this is the painful part).
  6. Type in and hit enter.
  7. "Bookmark" this cause so that you can find it again
  8. Click the button to “Join the Cause.”
Congratulations! Now, invite your Facebook Friends to the Cause:
  1. Now that you are a member of one of the most elite causes on the Internet (just kidding), you can invite a select group of your friends to join as well (actually, invite all of them).
  2. When you first sign up, Facebook will prompt you to invite your friends; or as a member of this cause you can scroll down on the home page and see two incredibly important green buttons. One says "donate" (self-explanatory) the other says "Tell Friends"
  3. Click on "Tell Friends" and you get an opportunity to post to your profile.
  4. You can select up to 60 of your friends (popular people will have to do this over again for a few days) and then send them a message asking them to join the cause. Here is a sample message that you can use: “The Midwives and Mothers in Action (MAMA) Campaign now has a Cause page (sponsored by the Foundation for the Advancement of Midwifery) at I’ve joined the Cause because… (insert your own personal reason). So please spread the word and tell your friends. Help support federal recognition of Certified Professional Midwives.”
  5. Now don’t forget to click on the “Donate” button on the Cause. The MAMA Campaign is within a few thousand dollars of our campaign fundraising goal. Here is your opportunity to help MAMA over the top! Any amount, $10, $20, $50 will make a big difference to the Campaign. Go ahead and give a little…
  6. You're done. Now get off the computer and do something in the real world for awhile. Thanks for your time and attention.
MAMA Is Blogging Health Care Reform, visit our blog the Grapevine.

If you have any questions, concerns or comments please contact the campaign at

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