Posted: November 26, 2021
Dr. Laura Brayton Interviews Carole Shipman, CNM
Listen to the podcast interview I had with Dr. Laura Brayton.
Posted: November 20, 2021
Delta Variant Updates
Posted: November 13, 2021
Boy born at 21 weeks sets world record!
A boy who weighed just 15 ounces at birth has been named by Guinness World Records as the world’s most premature infant to survive.
Posted: November 12, 2021
CDC Expands Eligibility for COVID-19 Booster Shots
For individuals who received a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, the following groups are eligible for a booster shot at 6 months or more after their initial series:
- 65 years and older
- Age 18+ who live in long-term care settings
- Age 18+ who have underlying medical conditions
- Age 18+ who work or live in high-risk settings
Posted: November 5, 2021
NIH to study long-term effects of COVID-19 in pregnancy.
The National Institutes of Health will support a four-year follow-up study on the potential long-term effects of COVID-19 on women infected with SARS-CoV-2 during pregnancy. The study will also follow their offspring for any potential long-term effects.
The effort is part of NIH’s Researching COVID to Enhance Recovery (RECOVER) Initiative(link is external), which aims to understand why some individuals who have had COVID-19 don’t fully recover or develop symptoms after recovery. Known as post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC), or more commonly as Long COVID, these conditions affect all ages. Long-term effects include fatigue, shortness of breath, difficulty concentrating, sleep disorders, fevers, anxiety and depression.
Posted: October 30, 2021
Breastfeeding is Safe After COVID-19 Vaccination
THE FACTS: A misleading article circulating on social media suggests infants are developing blood clots by drinking their vaccinated mothers’ breast milk. But it presents no solid evidence to support the claim.
GreatGameIndia, which published the article, has a history of publishing misinformation about COVID-19.
Health experts, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, recommend that breastfeeding mothers get COVID-19 vaccines.
Posted: October 22, 2021
COVID-19 and Pregnancy: Women regret not getting the vaccine.
With just 31% of pregnant women nationwide vaccinated, the CDC issued an urgent advisory on Sept. 29 recommending that they get the shots. The agency cautioned that COVID-19 in pregnancy can cause preterm birth and other adverse outcomes, and that stillbirths have been reported.
Dr. Akila Subramaniam, an assistant professor in the maternal-fetal medicine division of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, said the hospital saw a marked rise in the number of critically ill pregnant women during July and August. She said a study there found the delta variant of COVID-19 is associated with increased rates of severe disease in pregnant women and increased rates of preterm birth.
Posted: October 16, 2021
Tribute to Chesterfield Midwife
Lyn Guerriero died on Friday after a long illness. She started work at a hospital trust 50 years ago and helped deliver many of her own family members.
Colleagues are planning to take part in the Ashgate Hospice Sparkle Walk 2022 in her memory.
Trust chief executive Angie Smithson added: “Lyn was respected by all and always had time to listen.
Posted: October 8, 2021
How Afghan Midwives Are Challenging Taliban Strictures on Women
Insults are just one challenge faced by legions of Afghan midwives since the archconservative Taliban seized control of Afghanistan in mid-August. How Afghan midwives fare will be a key metric of how far the Taliban will accept the much-expanded role of women in society since the jihadis were ousted from power in 2001.
“Under the Taliban right now, midwives are like frontline health care providers,” says an Afghan midwife who received death threats and is no longer in the country, but remains in daily contact with colleagues inside.
Still, there are some glimmers of hope. They include those of the UNFPA, the U.N.’s agency for reproductive health, which operates 172 “family health houses” in 10 of Afghanistan’s remotest provinces.
Posted: October 2, 2021
Pregnancy and Vaccination
Vaccines and pregnancy – everything the CDC recommends.
Posted: September 24, 2021
Home Births Gain Popularity
From 2009 to 2019, the proportion of births nationwide outside hospitals rose from 1.01% in 2009 to 1.56% in 2019. Nationwide data for 2020 and 2021 is not yet available.
Midwives interviewed said they’ve heard from far more women in recent years turning to home births to avoid epidurals, induced labor and other invasive procedures common in hospital delivery rooms.
“I think people are looking to be more empowered in their birth…”
Births away from hospitals usually take place with the help of licensed midwives working at the homes of clients or at free-standing “birth centers.” In either setting, expectant parents typically meet with midwives several times during the pregnancy to get comfortable, express their hopes for the pregnancy and learn about the birthing process.
Posted: September 18, 2021
Fertility Doctor’s Unique Way of Announcing Pregnancies Warms Hearts
Dr. Lawrence Werlin and his team at Coastal Fertility Medical Center announce positive IVF test results with a special phone call. Whenever the fertility clinic has a positive test result, Werlin, 72, dials up his patient and gives his staff a signal to cheer, “You’re pregnant.” He added, “The most heart-wrenching response is tears, when we tell them ‘you’re pregnant!’ and they cry.”
Posted: September 11, 2021
COVID-19 Gives Birth to a Rise in Home Deliveries
When Twon LeDet gave birth to her first daughter more than five years ago, she opted for a hospital birth. But the experience felt impersonal, as if the staff was trying to get her in and out as quickly as possible, she said.
When she became pregnant again, this time during the pandemic, LeDet decided to look into at-home births, not just because she wanted a more intimate experience but also because she didn’t want the hospital limiting the support people she could have on hand during the delivery….
In addition to increased freedom during birth, such as being able to walk around and eat when she wants, Ledet is glad she’ll be able to be surrounded by her daughter, her husband and the midwife when it comes time to deliver her daughter in October, she said.
Posted: September 4, 2021
Afghan Midwives Lose Work
Kabul midwife said, “Taliban’s rule over Afghanistan means women lose all freedom.”
Posted: August 28, 2021
Midwives ask state to end physician oversight as home births rise.
“The state is really regulating the options that women have and taking this choice to have a birth with experienced, licensed midwives away from them,” Shipman said. “Without a collaborative agreement, I cannot continue to catch babies in the hospital or my home birth practice. Unless the state tells physicians they have to collaborate with us, our hands are tied.”
Posted: August 21, 2021
Pregnancy and Vaccination
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday announced new evidence that it said strengthens its recommendation that pregnant people get vaccinated.
“CDC encourages all pregnant people or people who are thinking about becoming pregnant and those breastfeeding to get vaccinated to protect themselves from COVID-19,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in a statement about the updated guidance. “The vaccines are safe and effective, and it has never been more urgent to increase vaccinations as we face the highly transmissible Delta variant and see severe outcomes from COVID-19 among unvaccinated pregnant people.”
Posted: August 14, 2021
Midwives Step up to Help Black Mothers
The coronavirus has wreaked havoc on many women’s birth plans, forcing them to adjust to quickly changing hospital policies, and in some cases labor in isolation and even opt for home birth. The pandemic has been especially hard on mothers like Stokes, who even before the pandemic had been part of terrifying statistics that show Black women in the U.S. have more than a three times higher risk of dying during pregnancy and childbirth than White women.
Many of LA County’s programs focus on addressing the consequences of intergenerational racism on the health of Black women.
Posted: August 7, 2021
Rare Set of Triplets
A rare set of identical triplets was born at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. “They’re from the same egg, sharing the same placenta with three separate amniotic sacs,” said Bodgrog. “It’s so rare. There are hardly any case studies on it.”
Posted: August 6, 2021
Midwifery Training Helps Many in China
Midwifery training is not just for midwives. In fact, many kinds of health professionals can have midwifery skills – the medical knowledge and techniques necessary to facilitate safe childbirth.
Posted: July 31, 2021
Video: Midwifes During Pregnancy
Vanessa Daou, a certified nurse midwife at Hartford HealthCare’s Midstate Medical Center in Meriden, shares more about having a midwife during pregnancy.
Posted: July 24, 2021
More Women Are Choosing Midwives
More and more women are choosing a midwife to assist in their childbirth experience. Watch a video interview with Erin Bane.
Posted: July 16, 2021
11-Pound Home Birth Without an Epidural
In January, Natalie Bancroft delivered her third child in a home birth without an epidural, according to TODAY. Although every mom is an actual hero regardless of her birth plan, Natalie deserves a cape after laboring for four tough hours through raw pain she described as “all encompassing” to push out a particularly large infant: Although the average baby’s birth weight is just 7 1/2 pounds, Natalie’s baby boy weighed 11 pounds and 2 ounces.
Posted: July 10, 2021
Nurse-Midwives Arkansas Law
Even before the global pandemic forced health care into the spotlight, the world had been steadily more dazzled by advancing medical technology and treatments. Except, that is, in the delivery room, where one of the oldest forms of medicine — midwifery — is enjoying a spike in popularity.
In Arkansas, midwifery is also making important legal strides.
During the recent General Assembly, lawmakers passed Act 607, which gives certified nurse-midwives full practice authority in gynecological, prenatal, delivery, postnatal care and reproductive health cases. The law changes the long-held stipulation that a nurse-midwife be contracted to work under the supervision of a physician.
Posted: June 25, 2021
Which Specialist is Right for You? Doula? Midwife? OBGYN?
While selecting nursery colors and baby names may be among your first thoughts after discovering you’re pregnant, there’s another important choice to make. Who do you want on your health care team for this 40-week journey?
With 211 million pregnancies across the globe annually, a lot of women make that decision daily. Expectant moms may choose an obstetrician gynecologist, commonly referred to as an OB-GYN, a family physician or a midwife to bring a baby into the world. You also may add a doula to your care team.
But what are the differences and how do the different disciplines influence prenatal care and a baby’s delivery? Three Michigan Medicine specialists explain the nuances of each.
Posted: June 18, 2021
South African Woman Gives Birth to 10 Babies in Pretoria
Gosiame Thamara Sithole’s husband says they were astonished by decuplets after scans only showed eight in the womb.
“It’s seven boys and three girls. I am happy. I am emotional. I can’t talk much,” her husband Teboho Tsotetsi told Pretoria News after the birth.
A family member, who did not want to be identified, told the BBC that Ms. Sithole had had 10 babies – five via natural birth and 5 via caesarean section.
Guinness World Records told the BBC it was investigating Ms Sithole’s case.
Posted: June 12, 2021
ACNM Award Winners
Posted: June 6, 2021
Black Midwife Delivered 6,000+ Babies
The women came from all over rural south Georgia to have their baby delivered by Beatrice Borders, a Black midwife known as “Ms. Bea.”
When Borders ended her run as a midwife, she had helped bring into the world as many as 6,000 babies at what is the only known birthing center of its kind for Black women in the region during an era of Jim Crow.
Posted: May 28, 2021
Midwives Save Lives
The Lancet series on midwifery revealed that midwives could prevent 83% of maternal and neonatal deaths by providing perinatal care and family planning services to low risk women (ten Hoope-Bender et al, 2014).
Posted: May 22, 2021
CDC Expects COVID-19 Vaccine Data on Pregnant Women This Summer
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials said Wednesday they are expecting data from trials testing Covid-19 vaccines on pregnant women this summer and on children as young as 6 months old by the end of the year.
Posted: May 15, 2021
Bringing Midwifery Back to Black Mothers
Video: In the face of disproportionate childbirth mortality rates, activists are fighting to make midwifery more available to Black mothers in the South.
Posted: May 9, 2021
A Mother’s Love
A Mother’s love is something
that no one can explain,
It is made of deep devotion
and of sacrifice and pain,
It is endless and unselfish
and enduring come what may,
For nothing can destroy it
or take that love away,
It is patient and forgiving
when all others are forsaking,
And it never fails or falters
even though the heart is breaking,
It believes beyond believing
when the world around condemns
,And it glows with all the beauty
of the rarest, brightest gems,
It is far beyond defining,
it defies all explanation,
And it still remains a secret
like the mysteries of creation,
A many splendored miracle
man cannot understand
And another wondrous evidence
of God’s tender guiding hand.
Posted: May 7, 2021
Malian Woman Gives Birth to Nine Babies
Halima Cissé gave birth to the nonuplets in Morocco. Mali’s government flew her there for specialist care. Two sets of nonuplets have previously been recorded – one born to a woman in Australia in 1971 and another to a woman in Malaysia in 1999 – but none of the babies survived more than a few days. World record holder Nadya Suleman’s octuplets have grown up and are now 12 years old. She conceived them through in vitro fertilisation.
Posted: May 1, 2021
International Day of the Midwives
International Day of the Midwives was first celebrated May 7th 1991, and has since been observed on May 5th in over 50 nations around the world.
Posted: April 25, 2021
Debunking COVID-19 Vaccine + Pregnancy Claims
Claims that the COVID-19 vaccines cause infertility in women have been debunked by USA TODAY.
“There is no pattern to suggest an elevated risk of miscarriage related to exposure to the COVID-19 vaccines in pregnancy,” the MHRA said in a statement to Reuters.
Posted: April 17, 2021
‘Medical Marvel’: Mom Got Pregnant While Already Pregnant
British mom Rebecca Roberts shares her story of giving birth to twins she conceived three weeks apart, a rare condition called superfetation.
Posted: April 10, 2021
FL Baby Born w/ COVID-19 Antibodies After Mother Vaccinated
Two South Florida doctors have published a study about what’s believed to be the first reported case of a baby being born with COVID-19 antibodies after the mother was vaccinated.
The Boca Raton pediatricians, Dr. Paul Gilbert and Dr. Chad Rudnick, said the pregnant woman, a healthcare worker, had received a single dose of the Moderna vaccine in January.
Three weeks later, she gave birth to a healthy baby girl. The doctors said they tested the baby’s cord blood, which had the COVID-19 antibodies.
Posted: April 5, 2021
Virginia Passes Two Bills Increasing Access to Midwifery Care
Posted: March 27, 2021
Posted: March 20, 2021
Nurse Midwifery Doctoral Program to Become Option at UT
The University of Tennessee Health Science Center’s College of Nursing is now offering a Doctor of Nursing Practice Nurse-Midwifery option – the only such program at a public university in Tennessee.
The UTHSC College of Nursing has received a four-year pre-accreditation from the American College of Midwifery Education and anticipates admitting its first cohort in August.
The only other option for nurse-midwifery education in Tennessee is Vanderbilt University.
Posted: March 12, 2021
After 40 years, Fauquier Health’s Newest Midwife is Still Catching Babies
Posted: March 6, 2021
Decade of the Midwife
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Health Organization extended the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife into 2021 in Europe, to celebrate and recognize the hard work of nurses and midwives fighting the pandemic. The American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) supports this decision and hereby extends this recognition to the United States.
The COVID-19 pandemic has showcased the critical role midwives play in keeping people healthy across the lifespan.
Posted: March 1, 2021
A Powerful Breastfeeding Ad Aired During the Golden Globes
On Sunday, February 28, a commercial by a postpartum company called Frida Mom depicted two mothers wrestling with lactation, latching, raw nipples, and deeply rooted society expectations that leave women feeling inadequate.
The entire “Stream of Lactation” commercial is emotional, raw, and somewhat controversial, as it clearly depicts women’s breasts—nipples and all. In fact, another commercial by Frida Mom was reportedly rejected from the 2020 Oscar Awards over “partial nudity” and for being “too graphic.”
Posted: February 28, 2021
URGENT – Midwifery in NJ Needs Your Help!
“New Jersey Licensed Midwives (CNMs, CPMs, and CMs) provide homebirth services to many New Jersey families in the state safely and respectfully. People have many reasons for choosing homebirth.
The pandemic creates a need to deliver babies outside of the hospitals.
The ability to continue to provide home birth is in jeopardy due to the decreasing number of supportive physicians and we hope you will help us ensure that homebirth will be available in the future with or without a collaborating agreement with a physician.
Please join us as we request an emergency executive order from Governor Murphy which allows out-of-hospital birth to be available during the Pandemic.”
Posted: February 27, 2021
The Pros and Cons of Becoming a Midwife
Ontario, Canada Midwifery
“The midwifery continuity of care, and of establishing relationships with your clients, especially perhaps those in marginalized or vulnerable communities, allows me to provide a level of care that I just don’t think you can replicate with any other model,” Hana Lang says.
Drawbacks? “It comes down to a general lack of support from the government,” Lang says, noting that midwives don’t have paid sick leave, on top of the fee-for-service model many have to follow.
Posted: February 20, 2021
VNA Health Care Now Offering Midwife Services
Aurora-based VNA Health Care announced recently that it is adding midwife services for its obstetric patients.
A recent study reported in The American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology shows that midwife attended hospital births in the U.S. are increasing despite the overall decrease in the total number of American hospital births, according to a press release from VNA Health Care.
The new VNA service is being offered with this increased national demand.
Posted: February 17, 2021
More Moms Turning to Midwives to Help Birthing Process
“We are the primary caregiver, so we take care of women from conception all the way up through their birth itself, their labor and then post-partum into their well woman care, as well,” says White.
“I had an amazing, very calm, beautiful birth and then they also provide a lot of postpartum support, which was really critical and crucial to me,” says Katerba.
Midwives are present for a mom’s annual exams, and help out with issues like birth control.
For moms like Katerba, it’s comforting collaboration. “It’s a lot like a partnership. Appointments were calm and relaxed and kind of like having a conversation with a friend. They remember my kids’ names and what was going on in my life,” says Katerba.
Posted: February 6, 2021
Nurse Midwife Aims to Help Nurses Identify Human Trafficking Victims
Nurses in particular, play a unique role in helping to identify and rescue victims of human trafficking. Being aware of the realities––and myths––about human trafficking can help nurses and other healthcare professionals become more adept at recognizing who may be a potential human trafficking victim.
- Call the 24/7 National Human Trafficking Hotline: 1-888-373-7888.
- Text the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 233733.
- Chat live on the National Human Trafficking Hotline website.
Posted: January 30, 2021
More Women Choosing Home Births During Pandemic
“One of the changes we’re seeing is women opting for a home birth who maybe came into midwifery care thinking they wanted to be in the hospital,” said Pace. “They started investigating home birth and making that change in their pregnancy.”
“Often, we see less interventions at home, we’re able to use different ways to cope with pain, often their stress levels are lower when they’re in their own homes,” said Pace. “And when they’re comfortable, women produce high levels of endorphins which help with pain. It comes down to feeling safe and relaxed.”
Posted: January 23, 2021
By: Ali Touhey
Fika Midwifery Sues Independent Health
BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — This is really an issue about choice and access to health care,” explained Fika Midwifery owner, Maura Winkler.
Winkler is suing Independent Health for defamation, interfering with her business, violation of numerous state laws, and conspiracy, after she said the insurance company stopped providing coverage for home births for her clients.
According to the 20 page complaint filed in State Supreme Court, Independent Health did provide home birth coverage for more than two years. But, it stopped in mid-2019 when Winkler no longer had a written collaborative agreement with a physician. That agreement is not required by state law.
Posted: January 16, 2021
By: Baraka Birth
Protect NJ Homebirth
Is homebirth safe and legal in New Jersey?
Yes! Out of hospital births (including home and birth center births) are safe and legal and thriving! In NJ, homebirth is available with Certified Professional Midwives, Certified Midwives, and Certified Nurse Midwives whose licensure and scope of practice fall within New Jersey Board of Medical Examiners Law & Public Safety NJ Administrative Code Title 13 Chapter 35.
I have heard that homebirth in New Jersey may not be accessible with licensed providers due to lack of “backup” physicians. Is this true?
NJ state regulations require that licensed midwives have what’s called a “consulting agreement” with an obstetrician in order to practice. Over the past decade, fewer and fewer doctors are willing to serve officially in this role (however, many of us have unofficial relationships with many doctors, including OBs, Maternal-Fetal Medicine doctors, and pediatricians). Recently, we learned that one of the doctors who was in an official consulting role for several midwifery practices in the state is selling his practice and will no longer be able to officially consult with midwives. The NJ licensed midwives are requesting that Governor Murphy issue an Emergency Waiver that would suspend this portion of our regulations for the course of the pandemic. This would allow us to continue to serve families outside of hospitals at a time when many are concerned about the risk of COVID-19.
My midwife would like to be able to practice at a freestanding birth center in New Jersey, but as a Certified Profession State, our state, unlike most others, allows CPM practice home but not birth centers. Is this true?
Yes, in NJ, CPMs cannot work at freestanding birth centers. Most other states that license birth centers permit Certified Professional Midwives, Certified Nurse Midwives, and Certified Midwives to staff them. Why not ours? We are requesting a waiver pursuant to the provisions of the New Jersey Administrative Code Title 8 Chapter 43A “STANDARDS FOR LICENSURE OF AMBULATORY CARE FACILITIES” Please ask NJDOH Office of Legal and Regulatory Compliance to ADD Certified Professional Midwife to N.J.A.C. 8:43G-2.8 and N.J.A.C. 8:43A-2.9.
Is there anything I can do to help?
Yes! Please take the following steps to help us keep homebirth with a licensed midwife legal and safe in New Jersey:
Please contact your representatives, the office of Governor Murphy, and send them this letter and a copy of the Midwifery Waiver. Even if you have not had a homebirth, or would prefer to birth in the hospital, it is important that we preserve homebirth as an option for healthy families.
Share this request on social media.
Documents & Links:
Consumer Letter to send to representatives in government (.doc) – the text of the letter is included below
Dear Elected Officials and interested stakeholders,
I am writing in support of home birth midwives in NJ and to protect my right to have a safe birth where and with whom I desire. Home birth midwives have provided safe, compassionate and empowering maternity care for decades. The midwifery model of care at home birth supports normal physiologic birth for essentially healthy birthing people and their babies. Respecting the critical role of maternal health in NJ as a priority, we are asking for your immediate assistance for an NJDOH Midwifery Waiver (see attached) to ensure maternal health and safety.
During a pandemic, out of hospital birth (in homes and birth centers) is essential to minimizing transmission, maintaining health, and efficiently utilizing medical resources. NJ families have safely had births during the pandemic. In NJ, home birth is available with Certified Professional Midwives, Certified Midwives, and Certified Nurse Midwives whose licensure and scope of practice fall within NJ Board of Medical Examiners Law & Public Safety NJ Administrative Code Title 13 chapter 35.
As your administration has mobilized to make NJ the safest place to give birth and raise a child, through the Nurture NJ and First Lady Tammy Murphy’s Strategic Plan soon to be released, we need your immediate help in making a Midwifery Waiver under Covid-19 Temporary Operational Waivers and Guidelines. Without such a waiver we risk a continued increase in unassisted births and very poor outcomes.
X – your name here
Posted: January 9, 2021
By: Janet Jarman
Midwifery in Mexico
About 96 percent of births in Mexico take place in hospitals that are often overcrowded and ill-equipped, where many women describe receiving poor or disrespectful treatment.
A national movement has made determined but uneven progress toward integrating midwifery into Mexico’s public health system. Some authorities argue that well-trained midwives would be of great value, especially in rural areas but also in small nonsurgical clinics throughout the country.
The government encouraged state authorities to set up alternative health centers that could exclusively focus on births and be staffed by nurses and midwives.
Maternal health advocates have long said that Mexico’s obstetric model must change to center on women. If ever there were a moment for health authorities to fully embrace midwifery, now is the time.
Posted: January 2, 2021
By: Wellspan Health
Looking Back on The Year of the Nurse & Midwife
Designated by the World Health Organization, 2020 was named the Year of the Nurse and Midwife in honor of the 200th Birthday of Florence Nightingale. Watch our nursing executives across the system share their most memorable moment of the Year of the Nurse and Midwife.