Posted: October 18, 2020
By: Deanne King
Local Midwife Works to Combat Racial Disparities
The only Hispanic-owned midwife practice in Hillsborough County is working to combat the racial disparities in childbirth care and pregnancy mortality rates. Her experience, accompanied by her realization of race issues within the healthcare system, led her to become a midwife.
“We need to make sure all women are in a high-quality system and that protocols are in place when red flags occur.”
As a Hispanic woman, Ruiz is able to connect with her minority clients in a closer way, and being bi-lingual she is able to connect with her Hispanic clients on a personal level.
“I’m not being judged by my ethnicity or my race,” Santagama said.
Posted: October 10, 2020
National Midwifery Week
National Midwifery Week was created to celebrate and recognize midwives in America. Midwives believe every person has a right to equitable, ethical, accessible, quality health care. The midwifery model of care empowers individuals and communities, creates compassionate partnerships, and personalizes care based upon everyone’s life experiences and knowledge.
Posted: October 3, 2020
Midwife vs. OB-GYN: Who’s Right for You?
While midwives and OB-GYNs offer similar services, they may offer different philosophies about labor and birth. And in some settings, and if certain circumstances arise, you may be working with both a midwife and an OB-GYN.
Finding a patient-centered care provider you trust and who makes you feel comfortable is important, no matter the approach and no matter what the titles are of the people who will be taking care of you and your baby.
Posted: September 19, 2020
By: Jacqueline Howard, CNN
COVID-19 & Preterm Delivery
Pregnant women with Covid-19 who are hospitalized may be at an increased risk of giving birth prematurely, a new study from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests.
Posted: September 12, 2020
By: United Nations
Midwives Support Pregnant Women During Pandemic
The worry of giving birth alone is one that midwives take very seriously. More so than usual, they feel that their role is also to provide emotional support for pregnant women, as well as women with newborns, at a time when they are being asked to keep physical contact to a minimum. “I find this difficult as I value the face to face interactions with women,” says an Irish midwife. Instead, they now talk on the phone more often or leave voice messages to maintain contact.
The work of midwives has changed dramatically within a matter of weeks. Their work ethic, however, has not. It is clear that the pandemic has not deterred them from supporting women to the best of their ability, with creativity and determination, in difficult times.
Posted: September 6, 2020
By: Kristen Schorsch
Two Midwives Want to Change Birth Options on The South Side
Facing a hospital closure on Chicago’s South Side next year in the middle of a pandemic, two midwives are hoping to fill part of the void for mothers-to-be.
They want to open a freestanding birth center, where women could deliver their children in a full-size bed at a place that feels like their home — not inside a hospital. Birth centers are small facilities, with usually just a few beds.
The initiative is ambitious. It took at least 20 years of advocacy to make freestanding birth centers legal in Illinois in 2008, but there are still bureaucratic and financial barriers to opening them here. So far there are just two centers open in the entire state, and none are in Chicago.
Posted: August 29, 2020
By: Erica Rodeffer Williams
More and More Moms See the Benefits of Midwifery
Midwifery has been around for hundreds of years. And while today it might be more common for a woman to give birth in a hospital with a doctor, midwifery has been a huge part of how women give birth in America since colonial times. The word midwife means “with woman.”
Today’s nurse midwives are highly skilled, specialized medical professionals who cater to healthy women having normal pregnancies.
What kind of education do most nurse midwives receive? Most start out as registered nurses, then complete a two- or three-year master’s degree program in midwifery.
Posted: August 22, 2020
By: Rebecca Malachi
I have loved you from the start.
You are a tiny miracle
Laying closely to my heart.
Each day I feel your presence,
Each day you quickly grow,
Each day your heart beats softly,
As only I could know.
So, I’ll keep this in a special place
And remember each year through,
Of this special time in my life
In the months I carried you.
Posted: August 16, 2020
By: Jan Weingrad
The Hands of a Midwife
These are my hands
Through these hands I have come to see the world.
These hands have measured the growth of life
and documented the stalling of time.
They guide my ears to places where I hear
The watch-like beat of tiny hearts.
My hands have felt the hard bony framework of passages
and the softness of muscles
Which will bulge like petals of a rose.
My hands have opened windows to the energy
Of the souls of those I have touched.
They have felt the frigid rigidity
Of steel instruments and the softness of a friend.
There are stories in these hands,
read from the pages of the work of women.
With my hands I felt the power
Of the strength it takes to grow
and release a new spirit.
My hands were born with the knowing of touch.
The journey has added the how and when
and the time to ask for help.
Teaching hand engulfed mine
until they were ready to fly.
My hands are joined in a circle which is
Unbroken through time.
Sometimes my hands do nothing.
Their most important work
will be still with fingers laced
The “art of doing nothing” has been passed
from one generation to the next.
Mine have been taught by some of the most powerful hands
to watch and wait.
This is perhaps the hardest for
hands born to touch.
If I have nothing else to give to you, let me
teach you how to see with your hands.
How to open the windows of life, and close
the door softly when it is time.
In the darkness
It is your hands that will light the way.
These are my hands.
These are the hands of a midwife.
Posted: August 9, 2020
By: Melissa Smith
Increase in Home Births
Having a baby at a hospital versus at home is always a case by case basis and one that involves not only the health of the baby but the mom as well. Both options offer different resources and medical staff and involve personal decisions. “It was scary not knowing if the hospitals would be open, whether my husband would be able to be there with me, what the impact was on COVID-19 for pregnant women,” says Mueller.
“Midwifery care and out of hospital birth has really exploded in the last 10 years. Since COVID-19 there’s been a major switch over to home birth and every midwife has seen an expansion of her practice to cover that. I think that’s a huge reason why women have looked for out of hospital birthright now during COVID-19, wanting to make sure who they want at their birth is able to be there,” says Shook.
Posted: July 31, 2020
By: University of Vermont
Reopening Schools Safely
A commentary published in the journal Pediatrics concludes that children infrequently transmit COVID-19 to each other or to adults and that many schools, provided they follow appropriate social distancing guidelines and take into account rates of transmission in their community, can and should reopen in the fall.
Posted: July 25, 2020
By: Allison Pohle
How The Coronavirus Has Affected Family Planning
Many young women intend to delay childbearing of have fewer children. “This public health crisis has impacted people’s lives.” “What’s the right thing for you and your family?”
At this moment, it is considered SAFE for women to attempt pregnancy, provided they take proper health precautions.
Posted: July 19, 2020
By: Nada Hassanein
Tallahassee Midwifery Sees Increase in Home Births Amid COVID-19
The coronavirus seemed to be the tipping point for those who were on the edge of deciding alternative birth. “What I ended up realizing is the first spike of people were the people who contemplated home births to begin with, and felt like coronavirus was the sign,” she said. This past spring, soon-to-be moms began switching from hospitals and booking appointments ahead of their due dates: Since April, she’s seen a 17% increase in clients.
Posted: July 11, 2020
By: Cassie Carlisle
San Diego Midwife on a Mission to Help Minority Moms
When Nikki Helms isn’t hosting community dinner or volunteering her time to help Haitian immigrants navigate racism in America, she’s walking families through the miracle of childbirth. “I want my LGBTQ brothers and sisters to know they have options. I want my immigrant families to know they have options, that they don’t have to go to the hospital,” she said.
Posted: June 27, 2020
By: The Guardian
Birth in Lockdown: A Doula Photo Essay
Photographer Alicia Canter has been investigating how people have been coping with pregnancy and birth during the coronavirus lockdown, photographing doulas, and new and expecting parents
Posted: June 20, 2020
By: Michele Munz
Ferguson Midwifery Clinic Hopes to Change Health Outcomes for Black Moms
In the weeks leading up to the Friday grand opening of a new midwifery clinic in Ferguson, protests against racial inequity raged across the city and around the nation sparked by the police killing of George Floyd, a black man.
The protests helped shine a light on the new Jamaa Equal Access Midwifery Clinic, whose mission is to reduce stark racial disparities in maternal and infant health outcomes.
In one week, the clinic raised $40,000 in donations and signed up sponsors to outfit each of the clinic’s 24 spaces.
Inside the new 4,000-square-foot space across from the public library, women will receive prenatal and postpartum care with a midwife, mental health services, parenting and childbirth classes, breastfeeding support, massage and chiropractic care.
Posted: June 13, 2020
Research Analysis on Newborns & COVID-19
Global research analysis suggests newborn babies catching coronavirus (COVID-19) within the first four weeks of life is low.
The research analysis, published in the BMJ Paediatrics Open Journal, is the first global analysis of existing scientific studies related to COVID-19 and newborn babies.
The analysis considered 200 research papers which included 75 newborns, with 10 cases of newborns reportedly testing positive for COVID-19 within the first four weeks of birth but did not require further treatment.
In these cases it was found there were no significant effects on the health of newborns as a result of COVID-19.
Of the 10 newborn babies that tested positive for COVID-19, two contracted the virus while still in the womb.
Posted: June 6, 2020
By: Natalie DeSouza
Year of the Midwife
Posted: May 30, 2020
By: Carrina Stanton
Born to be a Midwife
With no pun intended, Renee Terralumina believes she was born to be a midwife. When asked what she enjoys about the business of helping parents welcome babies into this world, she was matter of fact.
“Everything,” she said. “I almost feel like I was put together in my mother’s womb to do this.” Besides her own passion to become a midwife, Terralumina said she felt it was the right time to move into the field because she noticed a need for additional midwifery services .
The practice supports home, hospital or birth center births from prenatal care all the way through postpartum visits. Childbirth education classes are also offered.
A higher number of women have been choosing home birth during the COVID-19 pandemic. Higher demand on hospitals, a risk of infection for mothers and babies, having to give birth alone and even just difference in care standards because of a risk of infection are all reasons some women are looking at different options.
Posted: May 23, 2020
By: Sandee LaMotte, CNN
COVID-19 Appears to Attack Placenta During Pregnancy
A small study of 16 pregnant women who tested positive for COVID-19 found evidence of injury to the placenta, the organ that acts as the gut, kidneys, liver and lungs for a fetus during pregnancy.
Posted: May 16, 2020
By: Wendy Kline and Hermine Hayes-Klein
COVID-19 Exposes the Need for Midwives
May 5 is the International Day of the Midwife, and the World Health Organization designated 2020 as the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife. With the Coronavirus pandemic, midwives have never been more essential as many pregnant women are reconsidering whether they need to be in a hospital to give birth. Midwives trained in home and birth-center delivery, according to one recent New York Times article, are experiencing a “surge in demand.”
Posted: May 4, 2020
By: Insider NJ
New Bill Requiring Home Birth Coverage in Response to Pandemic-Related Challenges
Over the past several weeks, as hospitals limit visitation to prevent the spread of COVID-19, many mothers have had to give birth alone or with only one other person present. The significant number of infectious patients being treated in hospitals for COVID-19 has put a tremendous strain on the healthcare system and caused many mothers to worry about the risk of infection.
“Some pregnant women are so concerned about going to hospitals that they are even thinking of giving birth at home without any medical professionals. To help ensure the comfort and safety of mothers, I believe families should be supported in their option to plan a homebirth with a licensed midwife.”
“I introduced this legislation as a way to ensure home births are an option for more than just the wealthiest mothers who can afford to pay a doula or midwife,” said Timberlake. “As a mother who personally prefers natural birthing methods, I believe every woman deserves the right to choose where and how she will have her baby. By guaranteeing coverage for home birth-related services, it will become a more realistic option both during and after this pandemic.”
Posted: May 2, 2020
Midwifery in Zambia
Midwives are a strong pillar of obstetric care worldwide. In a country like Zambia, that has a relatively weak healthcare system owing to, among other things, shortages of OBGYNs, midwives are at the frontline of maternity care.
The first person in maternal care is a midwife. If Zambia wants to reduce maternal mortality, we have to look at the midwife. That is the value of midwives. They are the key to obstetric care. Here in Zambia, we have very few doctors especially in rural areas. Midwives are therefore instrumental in antenatal clinics especially educating the population.
It is important to mention that most women and girls are not aware of their reproductive rights, as such are victims of unwanted pregnancies and unsafe abortions, which are fatal at times. However, midwives are doing a good job to educate and sensitize women and girls about reproductive health and rights.
Posted: April 18, 2020
By: Kendria LaFleur
Expecting Mothers Turn to Midwives During Pandemic
With the pandemic weighing on their minds, out of hospital birth is something that’s adding less stress to their pregnancy. It’s so important for a woman to feel cared for and supported during her birth. To be considered for any midwife services, you must be a healthy, low-risk, pregnant woman.
Posted: April 11, 2020
By: ABC News
Video: Hospital’s Midwife Performs “Lean on Me”
Hospital’s midwife performs ‘Lean on Me’ for hospital staff during COVID-19 pandemic.
Posted: April 4, 2020
By: Patricia Jakel, MN, RN, AOCN
2020: WHO’s International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife
The World Health Organization (WHO) has designated 2020 as the “International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife,” in honor of the 200th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth.1 Nightingale was a visionary nurse and leader, and we are thrilled to honor her in 2020 with this initiative. The Year of the Nurse designation by the WHO highlights the push to increase the global nursing workforce. Nurses and midwives make up more than half the healthcare workforce worldwide.
Posted: March 28, 2020
By: Lauren Walsh
Surge of Women Considering Home Birth
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBMA) — Alabama midwives saying they’re getting a surge of calls from pregnant women interested in home deliveries during the COVID-19 pandemic.
There’s still limited data on how COVID-19 can affect pregnant women and their babies. The CDC says it does not know at this time if COVID-19 would cause problems during pregnancy or affect the health of the baby after birth.
Her hospital, like many in the hospitals in the Birmingham area, is limiting visitors right now and only allowing one support person in labor. Some hospitals aren’t allowing doulas right now. Brown says the home option is safe for women who are healthy and low risk.
Posted: March 20, 2020
By: Samantha Schmidt
More Opting for Homebirth as Hospitals Prepare for COVID-19
As pregnant women across the country wrestle with anxieties about the potential impact of the pandemic, midwifery practices are reporting a significant uptick in requests for alternatives to deliveries in hospitals.
About 1 percent of all births in the country take place at home, and about 9 percent are delivered by certified nurse midwives, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But the option of delivering at home or in a birth center has suddenly become a comforting alternative for scores of pregnant women who are worried about the spread of the virus in hospitals.
Posted: March 14, 2020
By: Nathalie Raffray
Midwife at Northwick Park Hospital Saves Cleaner’s Life
Sade Oluwaleimu, who works in Northwick Park Hospital’s maternity department, was called to help a domestic worker found clutching her chest.
The 29-year-old from Kingsbury, spent more than a year working in A&E before retraining as a midwife. She took the cleaner’s blood pressure which was less than half it should have been. Her quick action and transport to a doctor saved the woman’s life.
Posted: February 29, 2020
By: Sydney Shadrix and Jeff Wright
East Texas Hospital Adds Nurse-Midwife Positions
CHRISTUS Trinity Clinic and CHRISTUS Good Shepherd Medical Center have announced the addition of a new midwife group and a team of certified nurse-midwives (CNM), who will begin seeing patients in late February.
While certified nurse-midwives provide expert care during labor and delivery, their support of new mothers and children after birth is a specialty that makes midwives unique. These nurse-midwives often help answer questions concerning specialized subjects, such as lactation support and advice in caring for a newborn.
Posted: February 22, 2020
By: Sarah Surette
How to Deal with Common Complaints
Everyone is created unique and beautiful. Pregnancy is a process and our beautiful, unique bodies go through it differently. No matter how a woman’s body responds to pregnancy, someone will have something to say about her weight gain, lack of weight gain, size, shape, how she’s carrying the baby, where she’s carrying it, and so on.
If the comment equates to a social faux pas in any other circumstance, it should be considered the same when said to a pregnant woman.
Posted: February 8, 2020
By: MASS Live
Midwifery in South Sudan
A midwife from a small town in Western Massachusetts is working to provide healthcare to another small community thousands of miles away.
Liza Ramlow joined Médecins Sans Frontières in 2010 and has felt privileged to have worked in Nigeria, Zambia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Republic of Burundi, across the Mediterranean and South Sudan three times. She’s currently supporting efforts to expand healthcare in Leer, a town in South Sudan.
Posted: February 1, 2020
By: Shari Rudavsky
Midwives Are What Women Want
Two area hospital systems — Community Health Network and Indiana University Health — are also listening to what their women patients want. And what pregnant women want, they believe, is the option of using a midwife to deliver their babies. Midwives have cemented their reputation for offering a natural, woman-centered approach to birth.
“Every hospital system should have midwives on staff delivering babies,” said Shannon Greika, a board member of the Indiana Midwives Association and a midwife on the south side. “I think moms are getting more fed up with how medical things have gotten with birth, and they’re seeking to go back to a natural experience.”
It’s not a matter of either a doctor or a midwife, but often the two professions working in concert with each other. . .
Posted: January 25, 2020
By: Medical News Today
What is an OB-GYN?
AN OB-GYN is a doctor who has broad and specific training in obstetrics and gynecology.
OB-GYNs provide a wide range of preventive care services, including pap smears, STI testing, pelvic exams, ultrasounds, and blood work.
They can answer a person’s questions about pregnancy, sex, reproductive health, infertility, and numerous other topics.
OB-GYNs are trained surgeons who can perform a wide range of procedures, including:
- cesarean sections
- instrumental deliveries during childbirth
- a hysterectomy
- removing growths, such as ovarian cysts and uterine fibroids
- surgery to repair pelvic organ injuries
OB-GYNs can also perform a wide range of routine and in-office procedures, including:
- pap smears to test for cervical cancer
- STI tests
- fertility treatments, such as egg retrievals for IVF or egg-freezing
- pelvic ultrasounds to check the pelvic organs and monitor pregnancy
- infertility treatments and counseling
- management of urinary issues, such as urinary tract infections and urinary incontinence
- treating common problems, such as anemia
- breast exams and breast health management, including mammograms and other breast cancer screenings
Posted: January 18, 2020
By: Anna Claire Vollers
The Success of Midwifery in Alabama
Nine newly licensed midwives delivered 98 babies in 26 Alabama counties last year, according to data compiled this month by the Alabama Midwives Alliance (ALMA), a group representing professional homebirth midwives.
“We thought it was important to get as much information as possible on the midwives working here,” said Laura Reeder, a licensed midwife in Cullman who worked to collect the data for ALMA. “This is the first full year we’ve had licensed midwives (in Alabama), so it’s good to see where we are.”
Until last January, it was illegal in Alabama to have a home birth attended by a professional, such as a midwife. Homebirths were legal, but only if they were unattended.
Last January, the state midwifery board issued Alabama’s first homebirth midwife licenses since 1976. As of this month, Alabama has licensed 15 homebirth midwives, according to ALMA.
Right now, Alabama’s 15 licensed homebirth midwives serve 41 of Alabama’s 67 counties, according to the ALMA data. Of those counties, many are rural and lack obstetrical services, said Reeder.
“Even though there are only 15 in the state so far, we can still cover so much ground and provide services to people that otherwise might have to drive a long way to a hospital,” said Reeder.
Posted: January 11, 2020
2020 is the Year of the Midwife
The World Health Organization has claimed 2020 as the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife. Nurses play a critical role in health promotion, disease prevention and delivering primary and community care. They provide care in emergency settings and will be key to the achievement of universal health coverage,” the agency states on its website. Investing in nurses and midwives is also economically smart—research from the United Kingdom has found “investments in education and job creation in the health and social sectors result in a triple return of improved health outcomes, global health security, and inclusive economic growth.