Monday, July 25, 2011

Midwifery is NOT Medicine.

Midwifery is not Medicine

• does not belong under medicine's rule
should not be patterned after anything resembling the practice of medicine
LAST WORDS FOR A WHILE: I meant what I said and I said what I meant.....Birth belongs to mammas, 100%!
Why would we want to emulate anything we don’t want to be?  Instead of wanting to ride into the future on the medical model’s coattails  or asking to be part of their “club”,  why aren’t we pointing out to the most salient point in this debate of who should and should not be allowed to call herself a midwife?  Parents own their births.  Instead we are in a tug of war with the medical community over something that does not belong to us.  I think it is not only more noble, but has more long term potential for success for midwives to be striving to protect parents’ rights to birth at home with anyone or no one. The credentials and the titles are all minor pieces of the big picture.  I have been asking midwives for years to concentrate on the WHO they do this for rather than WHO is allowed to  call herself a midwife.

I am tired of midwives acting like they are medical mavericks, disobedient children who need new rules and regulations, sheep that have strayed. 

We have our own history  and our own identity that is not related to the group we seem to be seeking approval from. Midwifery's roots are not in medicine.  Midwifery's past is not a product of medicine......but if we don't do everything we can to disassociate ourselves from medicine, we will be swallowed up by it. 

I know it is NOT politically correct to say this......but if I were the medical community and I wanted to stomp out midwifery........well......I couldn't have thought of a better plan than what midwives have done to themselves in their effort to get legal recognition*, credentials and third party reimbursement.

Midwives are starting to see the light...... and I don't feel so alone
anymore.   In fact, I believe with all my heart that we are looking at a resurgence of the heartbeat of midwifery.....the desire to serve families who want to have their babies at home......midwifery as a service is very different that midwifery as a career option......and not many people are
saying that , but I am not afraid to.

We are the originals....not the copies.....don't forget that.

*note that legal recognition is not the same as being legal. It does NOT mean I think midwives should be illegal.  It means that midwives should be legal by virtue of parents owning the right to give birth anywhere they want with anyone they want.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

5 Things I Believe About Midwifery

#1 Midwives have no rights apart from serving parents. Nobody wants to hear it, but it is true. 

#2 Authentic midwifery is about serving mothers, not saving mothers or babies, from birth.

#3 Midwifery that incorporates, or is based on THE lie, is not authentic midwifery.  I am interested in honoring and saving authentic midwifery because it serves parents WITHOUT adding risk or diminishing safety. (THE lie is that birth is a medical event.  It rarely is.  When it is, thank God we have medical facilities and medical personnel.)

#4 Midwives who believe that their presence, or drugs or gadgets make birth safe don't believe the same things that I do about birth.  My beliefs are grounded in science and wholesale trust in the physiology of birth.  So, when we talk about midwifery, we are often talking about something different.

#5 I believe that if you are going to call yourself a midwife, that you need to invest in a comprehensive education that includes the history of midwifery, nutrition, anatomy, physiology, terminology, normal labor and birth, the newborn, counseling and communication skills, some basic biology and microbiology, complementary studies, possible complications and how to prevent them, possible emergencies and how to recognize and respond appropriately.  Of course there are many other things included in my curriculum.  However, I do not believe that midwifery students need algebra, composition, chemistry, pharmacology.