Midwifery Wars

The American College of Certified Nurse Midwives (ACNM) and Midwives and Mothers in Action (MAMA) and other organizations that support Certified Professional Midwives (CPM’s)  appear to be having quite a tif.

In July, the ACNM submitted a letter to members of congress opposing Federal Recognition of CPM’s for serving Medicaid and Medicare recipients.  At first glance this might seem like a cat-fight, so I thought I would highlight the issues.

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No Pain, Less Gain.

I have quite a few friends who never considered birthing without pain management.  They share stories of playing card games and reading magazines until it was time to push.  Their births were a big ‘ol party.  Heck, I have attended many such births when I worked in Women’s Services at St. Vincent Hospital.  On a 12 hour night shift, I would be lying if I didn’t say that sometimes I though epidurals were a blessing.  As a nurse, it’s not nearly as hard to attend an epiduralized labor.  You can leave the room, and usually the birthing woman could care less.

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Bad Reporting on Prime Time TV!

The Today Show aired this video, badly named “The Perils of Home Birth” on September 11th 2009. Wondering how much they were paid by the ACOG (American College of Obstretricians and Gynecologists)?

Even though the ‘special investigation’ concluded what many studies have shown….that home birth or birth with a midwife is as safe, or safer than hospital birth, the slant of the story was hideously skewed and the main interviewees were a grieving family who lost their daughter to cord compression after a particularly arduous labor.  My favorite line of the whole ‘report’: “Homebirth had become almost the equivalent of a spa treatment for women, that it was this sort of hedonistic concept of birthing.”

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Reiki Touch to Ease the Pain

I have a friend whom at a particularly dark and lonely period in her life once boarded a crowded bus just so she could be touched by another human being.  That story has stuck with me all these years and reminds me to touch people who seem to need a boost. We simply don’t touch each other enough in this culture.

In nursing school and then later on when I worked at the hospital, heavy emphasis was put on wearing gloves whenever you touched a patient.  I could never quite get the hang of it.  Granted, I really hate latex and non-latex gloves alike, but my feeling always was, if I’m not dealing with bodily fluids, why do I need to wear gloves?  I felt that part of caring for, and taking care of people required that I touch them-skin to skin.  It’s not something I thought much about, but it just seemed in some way better for me, and better for the patient.

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H1N1 and Pregnancy. Get the shot?

The first priority group for the H1N1 flu vaccine will be pregnant women.  The outbreak in pregnant women is quite a bit higher than the general population and there have been a greater number of deaths in the pregnant population-all were in women who had developed pneumonia and subsequent acute respiratory distress syndrome requiring mechanical ventilation.

Pregnant women typically have weakened immune systems due to the pregnancy and have less lung capacity because the growing baby is taking up space.  These factors make them more vulnerable to pneumonia.  Pneumonia can lead to systemic infection and possibly death.  I don’t mean to be alarmist, but this is serious business.

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Home Delivery. Not Just For Pizza Anymore!

August 31, 2009 was a great day for midwifery and home birth.  Another study was released by the Canadian Medical Association comparing midwife assisted home birth with hospital birth.

Interpretation: Planned home birth attended by a registered midwife was associated with very low and comparable rates of perinatal death and reduced rates of obstetric interventions and other adverse perinatal outcomes compared with planned hospital birth attended by a midwife or physician.

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