Saturday, March 30, 2013

Our Final Campaign Day!

Dear Friends,

Today marks the final day of our campaign.  What an amazing demonstration of support you have all put forth.  As of this morning, we have reached 85% of our goal to build an educational website that will enable families to make more fully informed, and ultimately safer choices in birth.  

Every penny raised is a testament to the need for higher standards, safer practices, and better options.  Your support is also a tribute to every life lost or child injured that inspired this project.

We aren't far from meeting our goal.  Help us with one final day of campaigning by visiting our Indie Go-Go Campaign. 

You can share this link with your friends and family on Face Book or through email.  Please know that every contribution, no matter the size, gets us one step further.

Many thanks for your outstanding support

The Safer Midwifery for MI Team
  

Friday, March 29, 2013

Tote Bag Friday



 We're launching a $50 challenge today.  Every contributor that donates $50 or more, between now and the end of the campaign will receive a lovely Safer Midwifery for MI Tote Bag!


Thursday, March 28, 2013

Today is "Match" Day!

For those of you who have been watching, sharing and supporting our campaign, we're excited to share with you our biggest event yet!  
  
"Match" Day!  



An anonymous contributor has offered to match every donation made, up to $700!  That means your donation will go twice as far!  

With only two days left to reach our goal, we need your help. 

There's no better day to make your donations count.  
Please help us spread the word far and wide.  
Visit the Indie Go-Go Campaign today. 


Wednesday's Give Away Winner!


  

Anonymous Donor


On behalf of the Safer Midwifery for MI Team, I'd like to congratulate an anonymous donor as our most recent Give-Away winner!  She will receive a darling Knitted Wise Owl! 

A sincere thank you for your contribution to our campaign, and thank you to Knitty Bitty Kiddies for your generous sponsorship.   We hope you enjoy your prize, and we hope you know that your contribution helped us make a difference.

Watch for more "Match Day" today our Indie Go Go campaign!!  Only 2 days left to make your contribution. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Tuesday's Give Away Winner!


  

Kristy Kenyon


On behalf of the Safer Midwifery for MI Team, I'd like to congratulate Kristy Kenyon as our most recent Give-Away winner!  She will receive two free hair cuts, just in time for spring! 

A sincere thank you for your contribution to our campaign, and thank you to Kristin's Hair Studio for your generous sponsorship.   We hope you enjoy your prize Kristy, and we hope you know that your contribution helped us make a difference. 

Watch for more "Give-Away Days" on our Indie Go Go campaign, all week!!  You can "follow the campaign for updates, "like" our Face Book page, or check back on the blog.

Monday's Drawing Winner

  

Kristin Ritchie


On behalf of the Safer Midwifery for MI Team, I'd like to congratulate Kristin Ritchie as our most recent Give-Away winner!  She will receive a fabulous Mary Kay gift basket value at $150!  

A sincere thank you for your contribution to our campaign, and thank you to our friend and independent Mary Kay Consultant, Valerie Bohmert.   We hope you enjoy your prize Kristin, and we hope you know that your contribution helped us make a difference.  

Watch for more "Give-Away Days" on our Indie Go Go campaign, all week!!  You can "follow the campaign for updates, "like" our Face Book page, or check back on the blog.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Sunday's Give Away Winner!!

  
Laura Moynihan


On behalf of the Safer Midwifery for MI Team, I'd like to congratulate Laura Moynihan as our most recent Give-Away winner!  She will receive an Amazon Giftcard for $25!  

A sincere thank you for your contribution to our campaign, and thank you to our anonymous donor for your sponsorship.   We hope you enjoy your prize Laura, and we hope you know that your contribution helped us make a difference.  

Watch for more "Give-Away Days" on our Indie Go Go campaign, all week!!  You can "follow the campaign for updates, "like" our Face Book page, or check back on the blog.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

☆ 4 days of giveaways ☆







It's time for more giveaways! This contest features a series of give away prizes on 4 consecutive days!  Our fabulous sponsors include: 

(Sunday) Anonymous donation for a $25 gift card to Amazon to spend as you please.

(Monday) Independent Mary Kay Beauty Consultant Valerie Northcutt 
This awesome give away includes:
Satin Lip set:  $18,  Travel size Satin Hands set:  $17,  After Sun Replenishing gel: $13,  Simply Cotton Eau De Toilette Shower Gel: $15,  Simply Cotton EDT Body Lotion: $15, Simply Cotton Cologne Spray, $25,  Mint Blossom Complete Pedicure Set (Foot Fizzies, Foot Scrub, Foot Gel, Pumice Stone, Emery Board, Tote Bag) $30.  Nail Base/Top Coat: $8, Nail Lacquer $9.   Total Retail Value:  $150.00!


(Tuesday) Kristin's Hair Studio
Spring is the perfect time for a fresh look!  Kristin has generously donated two free haircuts in her studio, located in Okemos, MI.   

(Wednesday) Knitty Bitty Kiddies
This adorable knitted Wise Owl could be yours!  Knitty Bitty Kiddies has offered this hand crafted toy that is sure to delight. 

To be entered to win simply head over to our Indiegogo campaign and make a donation of any size between now and Wednesday night.  The daily winner will be drawn at random and announced here on the blog the following morning.


With only one week left to go in our campaign, now is a great time to show your support! Visit our Indiegogo headquarters today and donate to make a difference.




Thursday, March 21, 2013

It's Bump Up A Perk Day!



Check out the perks at our Indie Go-Go Campaign.  
Today only, you can upgrade to the next perk level with your donation.  For example, a $50 donation earns all the lovely perks of a $100 donation! Don't miss your chance to get "Bumped".


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Our Latest Give Away Winner!!

  
Lisa Miller
in honor of Mary Beth Chapman


On behalf of the Safer Midwifery for MI Team, I'd like to congratulate Lisa Miller as our third Give-Away winner!  Lisa asked to dedicate her contribution to honor Mary Beth Chapman.  Her thoughtful gesture reminds me that we will have a space on the new website to dedicate to a lost or injured child.  Thank you Lisa for keeping our little ones at the center of this project.  She will receive a beautiful pearl and crystal necklace and earring set, courtesy of Emily Rose Handmade Jewelry!  

A sincere thank you for your contribution to our campaign, and thank you to Emily at Emily Rose Handmade Jewelry for your sponsorship.   We hope you enjoy your prize Lisa, and we hope you know that your contribution helped us make a difference.  

Watch for more "Give-Away Days" on our Indie Go Go campaign, coming soon!!  You can "follow the campaign for updates, or check back on the blog.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Campaign Give-Away Days ★ No 3


It's time for another giveaway! This contest features a classic freshwater pearl, crystal and 14K gold fill pearl collar and matching drop earrings, courtesy of Emily Rose Handmade Jewelry.

To be entered to win simply head over to our Indiegogo campaign and make a donation of any size between now and Tuesday night. The winner will be drawn at random and announced here on the blog Wednesday morning.


With only two weeks left to go in our campaign, now is a great time to show your support! Visit our Indiegogo headquarters today and donate to make a difference.



Saturday, March 16, 2013

Dear Legislators...Data Matters

Dear Legislators,
   
The Big Push for midwives is funding lobbyist work aimed at licensing CPMs and out-of-hospital (OOH) midwives all over the country.  Michigan is no different.  The political landscape is heated with arguments of choice, erroneously exaggerated cost savings, and supposed safety.    In this letter, I would specifically like to address the issue of safety as it pertains to data.  

In Michigan's case, I'm tremendously concerned about the startling lack of data as it relates to legislation and potential law.  At present, the State of MI does not collect any data on outcomes in planned out-of-hospital birth.  There is no analysis or approximation of safety, deaths, or injuries.  It is therefore extremely difficult, and even more importantly, irresponsible, to make assumptions about the safety of OOH birth.

Other states have taken a proactive initiative to purposefully collect data on outcomes before further making decisions on licensing, standards of practice, and educational requirements.  These states were uncomfortable with legislation licensing OOH midwives without the data to back up claims of safety, and rightfully so.  They demonstrate responsible legislative process, and intend to base potential laws upon evidence.  


    "In 2011 the Oregon House Health Care Committee amended the direct-entry 

    midwifery —“DEM”—law to require collection of information on planned place 
    of birth and planned birth attendant on fetal-death and live-birth certificates 
    starting in 2012.
 

    Oregon now has the most complete, accurate data of any US state on outcomes 
    of births planned to occur in the mother’s home or an out-of-hospital birth center."

In March, 2013 the state of Oregon released their data collected on OOH birth deaths (not just limited to DEMs, but including all OOH births and outcomes).  (Note: this does not include injured babies or babies that died interuterine, such as post dates babies, etc.)  The statistics for OOH birth in Oregon are startling to say the least, coming in at a whopping 8 times more dangerous than hospital birth.  The report was compiled by a well respected midwife, and advocate for OOH birth, Judith Rooks, CNM.  

     "My name is Judith Rooks. I’m a certified nurse-midwife, a past-president of the 

     American College of Nurse-Midwives, and a CDC-trained epidemiologist who has 
     published three major studies of out-of-hospital births in this country.


Ms. Rooks states in her review:


    "...out-of-hospital births are not as safe as births in hospitals in 
    Oregon, where many of them are attended by birth attendants who 
    have not completed an educational curriculum designed to provide all 
    the knowledge, skills and judgment needed by midwives who practice in any 
    setting...currently the collective practice of these midwives is not safe enough."

Sound familiar yet?  

A Deadly Trend
Oregon's data is not alone.  In 2012, Colorado released data on planned out-of-hospital births to find that home birth was over 11 times more dangerous than hospital birth.   Midwives Washington has collected research on this very topic in recent years from a variety of states and sources.  No state that has taken the responsibility to collect their own data, has found that birth attended by a midwives in the OOH setting, to be anywhere near as safe as a hospital birth.  It's important to note here that this is separate entirely from CNMs (and CMs in some states) who are delivering babies in hospitals and hospital-run birth centers. 

The deadly trend in licensing dangerous care providers without doing adequate research, is costing lives...not offering better options.  Michigan legislators have a responsibility to pay close attention to the mistakes other states have made, the data they have collected, and to refrain from putting lives at greater risk. 
   
What's going on in MI, and why does this data matter here?? 
There are several reasons every Michigan citizen should be alarmed.  We will focus on two here:

1) MI does not even bother to collect data on outcomes, and has no evidence or basis for claiming OOH midwives are safe.  Without data we cannot adequately predict safety, nor can we appropriately draft legislation that would improve safety. 

2) MANA's (Midwives Alliance of North America) lobbyists are working hard to push legislation
to license the same kind of OOH midwives in MI, as you see in these other studies.  They are making claims that cannot be backed up with facts to persuade legislators...such as, "home birth is as safe or safer than hospital birth."  Current MI bills regarding OOH midwives fall far short of improving safety.  Instead, the root issues that pervade OOH birth are being manipulated for the advantage of the midwives themselves, not the safety of the people they serve. 


MI Legislators must look closely at trends and data in other states.  Nowhere have they licensed OOH midwives, saved money, and had outcomes remotely close to safe. In fact CPMs, or the lesser educated DEMs/lay midwives, would not be considered competent to practice in any other first world country.  Let's not cost more lives, let's draft legislation that would actually make OOH birth safer instead of worse.  Before legislation goes anywhere on this issue, we need data and evidence on which we base those decisions. It is unethical to draft any law or legislation without data behind it, and our legislators have an obligation to draft responsible law.  After all, lives are at stake.  These are not just numbers and data, these are children whose lives were cut short. 


What About "Choice"? 
Frankly stated, out-of-hospital birth should be an option.  The data presented here is not intended to be an argument to eliminate OOH birth, nor was that the message of Judith Rooks in her report.  The data demonstrates an appalling track record, indicating need for better guidelines in educational training and practice for OOH midwives.   

Other countries have successfully embraced midwifery outside hospital walls as an alternative for low-risk pregnancies.  Unfortunately, many OOH midwives in MI pride themselves on normalizing high risk, and ignoring risk factors all together.  Other countries have determined minimum standards for educational training that far surpass that of standards set forth in the US for midwives practicing OOH.  These countries also have specific risking out criteria, transfer of care protocols, and they collect data on outcomes to properly evaluate safety in practice.  Embedded in these systems of midwifery are mechanisms for accountability, and reliable structures for safer OOH birth options, neither of which is the case in Michigan. 


Please take time to consider the responsibility that rests upon your shoulders as leaders in our great state.  Govern with a conscience, take the time to gather all the data you need to inform legislative efforts, and require mandatory reporting of outcomes.  Mothers and babies deserve safe options in birth, and there is a way to preserve choice while improving safety.  We count on you to protect the people of this state.  

Most Sincerely,

The Team at Safer Midwifery for MI
 
Other Links:


http://oregonmidwifeinfo.com/research/

http://www.skepticalob.com/2013/03/oregon-releases-official-homebirth-death-rates-and-they-are-hideous.html

The Politics of Midwives, Medicaid, and Money (Post coming soon)  



Thursday, March 14, 2013

Influence

We'd like to share a guest post from a home birth mom, and former midwife apprentice: 

One of my friends lost a baby last year. For no explanation. She was healthy, her pregnancy was healthy, she was doing all the right things during her pregnancy.

Her baby just died. Just one day, the baby wasn't there anymore. And two days later, she was induced and she birthed a perfect baby. And no one knows why this baby died.

I cannot imagine the ache and heartbreak of losing one's child. I cannot. I do not think it is imaginable. I know how much I love my children - and the physical yearning I feel for them. I know the impossible and unreasonable love I felt for them when they were born. I cannot imagine birthing a baby who is not alive.

My heart hurts for my friend. I love her. I would never wish this for her, or for anyone. And I want to do something to take away her pain, to lessen her grief, to give her some sort of respite from her terrible reality.

I've spent hours in tears over my friend's loss. What a burden to bear. It seems when there is no explanation, and no answer, it is even worse. There was no negligent provider. No harmful technological intervention. No glaring abnormality or risk factor. There is no culprit; this is the unfairness and cruelty of life. It just happened. Sometimes babies die and we do not know why.

But sometimes, we do know why babies die. Sometimes there are things that surface during pregnancy and birth that risk the lives of babies.

Breech.
Prematurity.
Twins.
Postmaturity.
Cord-prolapse.
Shoulder dystocia.

Many of these births with these risks are celebrated in home birth circles - it doesn't take much searching online to see a blog post celebrating the "VBAC twin birth at home!" or the "homebirth at 43 weeks, and everyone was just fine!" or the "surprise breech AT HOME!" or any variation of these complications occurring seemingly without a hitch.

My own homebirths occurred with the presence of risk factors. And I do not readily share these details (and I will not now) because I do not want to normalize these risk factors. I do not want to lend credence to the fallacy that since my births with risk factors occurred at home with good outcomes, that all births with risk factors can occur at home with good outcomes. I know better. I understood the risks - and I still understand the risks - and because they were risks, I refuse to publicly celebrate them.

I come back to this -  I believe we must take responsiblity for the realities and myths that we perpetuate by sharing our birth stories.

What if my friend lost her baby to a complication of one of the risk factors I'd had during one of my labors?  What if I'd celebrated my triumphant birth, and touted it as 'proof' that risky birth at home is safe? What if she was influenced or inspired by my birth story? Who isn't inspired by a birth story? Who isn't ecstatic when babies are born living and breathing and crying and kicking and nuzzling and rooting?

But what if our birth stories perpetuate certain myths that birth is safe under circumstances when they are not? Is it worth it to have a homebirth under risky circumstances knowing that not all mothers and babies will be as lucky?

Can the joy of my homebirth be weighted against the pain of another mother's loss? Because I would happily forgo half of my joy to prevent another mother's loss. The loss of a child is too terrible a prospect. I would happily have given birth in a hospital for risk factors only, if I knew that if 1000 women did this, the deaths of one or two of their children would be prevented.

I would do that to prevent the agony of the needless loss of a child.

If we are compassionate beings - and I believe most of us are - we want to do what's best for the most of us and we do not want to do things that cause harm. What is best for most mothers and babies and families in home birth is not promoting her "informed choice" to have a risky birth at home, but to have risky births attended in the safest setting and by the most appropriate providers for that condition. This would mean that many women would have "normal, uncomplicated" births at the hospital. Births that, by the roll of the dice, would probably have ended up "just fine" at home. But, by doing this, the pain of the death of a few of these babies would be prevented.

I cannot do anything to take my friend's pain away. I listen to her express her grief. I replay in my mind her birth - with a live baby - I imagine her with a nursing child. I imagine her mothering her sweet baby. I want it to be different for her. The helplessness I feel makes me think of ways we are not helpless in preventing some newborn deaths. Even one death. Even one would be worth it, wouldn't it?

It's time to move the risky births back to the hospital. This is the most compassionate thing we can do.



Monday, March 11, 2013

Announcing Another Drawing Winner!

  
Amy Arnolfini


On behalf of the Safer Midwifery for MI Team, I'd like to congratulate Amy Arnolfini as our second Give-Away winner!  Amy will receive a beautiful 1930's beaded clutch, compliments of Jean Jean Vintage!  

A sincere thank you to Amy for your contribution to our campaign, and thank you to Duff at Jean Jean Vintage for your sponsorship.   We hope you enjoy your prize Amy, and we hope you know that your contribution helped us make a difference.  

Watch for more "Give-Away Days" on our Indie Go Go campaign, coming soon!!  You can "follow the campaign for updates, or check back on the blog.  

Friday, March 8, 2013

Campaign Give-Away Days ★ No 2



It is Friday again, which means it is time for the second in a series of four weekend giveaways we are running to support our Indiegogo campaign.

This week our sponsor is Jean Jean Vintage, an online boutique stocking vintage and antique jewelry and accessories. When you make a donation of any size this weekend, you will be in the running to win a dainty, 1930s beaded clutch from the shop!


This wristlet-sized clutch is hand beaded with tiny Czechoslovakian white glass beads. A top flap snaps opens to a lined interior with a roomy side pocket. This would make a great everyday change purse or keepsake bag, not to mention an elegant evening clutch!

   
The winner of the givaway will be drawn at random and announced here on the blog on Monday, March 11th. 
 

Visit our campaign now through Sunday to be entered to win - WE APPRECIATE YOUR SUPPORT!



Thursday, March 7, 2013

Thinking About Hiring A Midwife?


Thinking about hiring a midwife?  
It's more complicated that you might think.  

Check out our 
Prezi presentation 
to learn more...



(Note:  When you view the prezi, use the arrow keys at the bottom of the presentation to move through the sequence.)   


23 days left to contribute to our Indie Go-Go campaign, and help families have the resources they need to make safe decisions about birth! 


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Campaign Update Video: "Unless..."


Together, our contributors have raised $2,605.00.  We’ve nearly met half of our total goal in the first week of our campaign!  That’s truly amazing work, and a real testament to the need for this website resource.  

Check out our update video for an expression of gratitude, and more about what's coming up!  

video


We need your help to fund this project and get the website started, and we have 25 days left to do it!  Visit our campaign today to make your contribution!  

Thank YOU for caring, "a whole awful lot"!  




Monday, March 4, 2013

We Have A Winner!


 Judy Jones


On behalf of the Safer Midwifery for MI Team, I'd like to congratulate Judy Jones, of Lansing, MI as our first Give-Away winner!  Judy will receive her very own "Living Locket" from Origami Owl, and three charms of her choice!  

A sincere thank you to Judy for your contribution to our campaign, and thank you to Kim at Origami Owl for your sponsorship.   We hope you enjoy your prize Judy, and we hope you know that your contribution helped us make a difference.  

Watch for more "Give-Away Days" on our Indie Go Go campaign, coming soon!!  You can "follow the campaign for updates, or check back on the blog.  



Friday, March 1, 2013

Campaign Give-Away Days ★ No 1




What are Give-Away Days?

We are delighted to announce an exciting series of giveaways in conjunction with our Indiegogo campaign. In addition to our regular campaign perks (decals! bracelets! tote bags!) we will be hosting giveaways here on the blog every weekend this month. If you choose to make a donation of any size to our campaign cause Friday through Sunday, you will be entered to win a special gift. Winners will be drawn at random and announced here on the blog on Mondays! 

When you make a donation this weekend, you will be in the running to win the first of four Give Away Prizes - a customizable "Living Locket" from Origami Owl.

Origami Owl's Living Lockets are a fun and meaningful. They are double sided pendant lockets, magnetized for easy opening and designed to hold "charms that tell the story of your life and represent the things you love." The winner of our giveaway will get to choose a medium locket and three unique charms to put inside. Over $50 value!
(Chain sold separately.)

Visit our campaign now through Sunday to be entered to win - WE APPRECIATE YOUR SUPPORT!

 A sincere "thank you" to the team at Origami Owl for donating such a lovely and generous prize ♡