Tag Archives: midwives

Mommie Dearest: Pregnant Women In The U.S. Deserve Access To Midwives

Mommie Dearest: Pregnant Women In The U.S. Deserve Access To Midwives

Earlier this month, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), a U.K. organization that provides national health care advice and guidance, released a report on the care of healthy women and their babies during childbirth. The report stated that low-risk women would actually be safer delivering with a midwife — either at a birth center or at home — than with a physician at a hospital.

Ever since the report came out, there has been a lot of discussion as to how it might impact birth here in the United States. In fact, this week, The New York Times published a statement from their Editorial board, asking “Are Midwives Safer Than Doctors?”, and suggesting that many women would benefit from midwifery care. Like the Times, I too hope that NICE’s report will have an impact on the care received by those who are pregnant. I should note that I have a double stake in this issue. I’m currently working on my second book, this one delving into the concept of the “Perfect Birth.” I’m curious about the way we think about, talk about, and experience birth. I’ve teamed up with Deborah Wage, a Certified Nurse Midwife currently practicing at a university hospital. Together we’re looking at the research and data already out there on birth in this country as well as gathering our own, along with the stories of those giving birth to see how it all weaves together. The stories I have heard so far that span the spectrum of birth experiences is overwhelming. The way we treat women in this country is only magnified during the birth experience, where any semblance of control and autonomy is ignored, and marginalized women are treated poorly, resulting in poor birth outcomes for themselves and their babies. Just look at the basic facts and you can’t help but understand we have a problem. The U.S. spends the most when it comes to birth in the world, despite the fact that we’re the only developed nation whose maternal mortality rates continue to rise. Clearly, there is a systemic issue that needs to change.

But my interest in this is also personal. Keep reading »

12 Reasons I’m Obsessed With “Call The Midwife”

I'm A Doula
Miriam explains how she helps women through childbirth as a doula. Read More »
Midwife Mantra
"Suck up the pain and deal" is midwife Denis Walsh's mantra. Read More »
Men Do Childbirth
Watch these men experience child birth. Watch »

If you have been in a one mile radius of me anytime in the past few weeks, you have probably heard me tell you all about how I love “Call The Midwife,” mention I’m going home to watch “Call The Midwife,” or suggest you watch “Call The Midwife.” That is because — yup — I am obsessed with the PBS drama “Call The Midwife.”

The premise is this: Jenny Lee (actress Jessica Raine) is a 22-year-old midwife in the 1950s hired for her first nursing job in an impoverished section of London’s East End. She’s had a privileged, sheltered upbringing and the poverty she sees in Poplar is like nothing she’s ever experienced. Nurse Jenny lives at  Nonnatus House, a convent run by nuns who are also nurses, with three of her other 20something midwives: Nurse Trixie is the house glamour girl who loves boys, dancing and gossip; Nurse Cynthia is the thoughtful, quiet one, and Chummy is a gawky, awkward nurse from a titled family who is an embarrassment to her parents but finally finds a place in life working amongst the poor.   Keep reading »

Today’s Lady News: NY Midwives Lose Home Birth Rights & Sarah Palin Talks About Bears

  • New York City midwives have lost the right to deliver babies at home, as a result of the closure of St. Vincent’s Hospital. Since 1992, the progressive Manhattan hospital provided the approval required under NY law for at home midwifery services. [Guardian U.K.]
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics says a “ritual nick” to the genitals of newborn baby girls might “save some girls from undergoing disfiguring and life-threatening procedures in their native countries.” NPR explains more about this new policy statement and what it actually means. [NPR]
  • Sarah Palin warned during a speech today that “mama grizzlies” are going to “take this country back” during the November elections. Whatever that means. [Salon]

Keep reading »

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