Having a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) could help you have an empowering birth experience. No, they won’t make your birth beautiful. But most CPMs believe in the ability of women’s bodies instead of the medicalization of childbirth.
That’s why you should join The Big Push. This consortium of birth activists and midwives is fighting for a voice in the health care debate. From the press release,
All women deserve access to midwives no matter what their economic status, and adding Certified Professional Midwives to the Medicaid Providers list will help expand access to those who otherwise could not afford it.
A key member of Congress has said that 10,000 signatures for their petition would make a big difference. We’re about halfway there. Read on to find out the particulars of the campaign and pass it on!
Here are the points on the Big Push petition:
1) Certified Professional Midwives are the only maternity care providers in the United States who must undergo specialized clinical training in out-of-hospital settings to confer expertise in the provision of out-of-hospital maternity care.
2) The definitive study of home birth published by the British Medical Journal [ BMJ 2005;330:1416 (18 June)] confirms that babies delivered to low-risk women planning a home birth under the care of Certified Professional Midwives experience outcomes equal to those of low-risk women giving birth in the hospital, but with far fewer costly and preventable interventions, including a five-fold decrease in cesarean section. (A more recent study from the Netherlands said that the infant mortality rate for hospital and home births were almost equal.)
3) Research also shows that babies delivered under the care of Certified Professional Midwives have reduced rates of prematurity and low birth weight, two of the leading contributing factors to racial and ethnic disparities in birth outcomes and to the costs associated with long-term care.
4) Across the country in rural and urban communities, CPMs are meeting the needs of pregnant women and their infants who have nowhere else to go. The more barriers that there are to prenatal care — travel distance or length of wait to obtain appointments — the less likely a woman is to pursue care. Community-based CPMs provide thorough and personalized maternity care at a time when many other many other maternity care providers have abandoned these communities to practice in more affluent suburbs and exurbs.
5) David Anderson, Professor of Economics at Centre College with a specialization in the costs of out-of-hospital maternity care, calculates that increasing use of Certified Professional Midwives and of out-of-hospital maternity care by less than 10% would result in savings of $9.1 billion annually, while actually improving outcomes.
6) The state of Washington reports a savings of $3.1 million over a period of two years to the state Medicaid system when women experiencing healthy, low-risk pregnancies give birth with licensed midwives instead of in the hospital.
7) The CPM credential, issued by NARM, is nationally accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), which is the accrediting arm of the National Organization for Competency Assurance (NOCA). The NCCA accredits more than 200 professional credentials such as nurse-midwives, nurse anesthetists, nurse practitioners, and critical care nurses.
8) Certified Professional Midwives meet the international midwifery educational standards promulgated by the International Confederation of Midwives, which:
- Recognize and support multiple routes of entry into midwifery that result in a variety of educational programs based on the needs of member nations
- Require that midwifery instructors are skilled and current in their theory and clinical practice
- Recognize the vital role that continuing education plays in the safety and currency of midwifery practice.
Ready to sign? Click here…and pass it on!
Image: jenaynay on Flickr under a Creative Commons License.
Susan Jenkins says
Thanks for the support, Cate. I’m legal counsel for The Big Push for Midwives and want to express our great appreciation for the push you have added today to our efforts to get CPMs and OOH birth included in federal health care reform and Medicaid. We also welcome members from throughout the birthing/midwifery community. Since we are a coalition of state consumer groups and midwife groups, it would be just stellar if your readers would go to the page on our website that lists our member organizations
and find the consumer/midwife group in your state. If your state’s not there, let us know and we’ll help you find the local midwives association and/or consumer activist group. Come push with us at the state level, too, where we work for licensure and regulated practice of CPMs and for practice autonomy for CNMs as well as CPMs.
Love to all,