Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Upset with SB 1208? Call Upon Your Midwife

If Senate Bill 1208 has your stomach in knots, call upon your midwife.  If you're concerned for CPMs and their future in Michigan, call upon NARM and the organizations that support them.  

Ask them why there are not consistent standards for education.  Ask them why there is no defined scope of practice.  Ask them why those among them who like to take on risky births, and brag about them later are worshiped.  Ask them why dead babies are ignored and the "allegations" department offers only "peer review" with NO mandatory changes in practice.  In fact, NARM doesn't even ask that the "notes" be turned in after a peer review.   Ask them why midwives who carry and use illegal drugs are not sanctioned or monitored.  Ask them why they don't report their outcomes.  Ask them what their risking out criteria is.  

Call upon your midwives to make their standards for education consistent and in line with international standards at the very least.  Tell them you care about midwifery and its future and you'd like the option of home birth to be as safe as it possibly can be.  Tell them you want safer options and a higher standard of care.  Tell your midwives  you want a licensed, insured, accountable care giver to serve the women of Michigan.  

If midwives were doing their jobs well enough, there wouldn't be a need for any bill, Senate or House.  Problems need to be addressed and women who value midwifery need to have higher expectations.  Midwifery as a profession needs to hold themselves to higher standards.  Ladies, we can do better.  

Perhaps consumers should take a moment to consider what midwifery looks like in other countries, and then start to ask more questions.  

"I have to thank the home birthers for trumpeting the Netherlands study results constantly. Once I asked and discovered what the standards of care were in the Netherlands, it gave a fantastic contrast to how home births are handled in the United States. It also gave us a model of care to use in asking for change. After all, the MIDWIVES like the results so obviously they would be more than happy to support the process, right? 

Maybe we need to start asking: Why don't we have two midwives at a home birth? Why don't we have better trained midwives? Why don't midwives work with OBs so that transfer of care can happen smoothly whether it's at 20 weeks or 41 weeks? Why don't midwives carry insurance to protect themselves and their patients?

Why are we using the Lone Ranger model of midwifery care where the midwife can ride off into the sunset at any time, for any reason?" ~ Anj Fabian

I leave you with these questions, Why is our current model of midwifery in Michigan acceptable?  If there really is a need for excellent midwives and a crisis in maternity care, why aren't our CPMs and lay midwives filling that gap with appropriate training and standards for practice?  Why do we tolerate sub standard care that would literally be unacceptable in any other first world country?  Why is it wrong to ask more of our midwives?  Time to raise our standards Michigan, and demand ethical, responsible practices of our midwives.  

1 comment:

  1. I would add NACPM and MANA to this list of organizations to complain to. Though these two groups might just spend their time passing the buck between each other. Hard to know who is accountable for the profession of midwifery.

    There is no reason why a professional organization can't advocate for better (more stringent) credentialing standards by NARM.

    Except that the separate-ness of these organizations (NARM, MANA, NACPM, etc etc etc, blah blah blah) is largely an illusion.