In April 2014, The Birth Center at Southwest CARE opened their doors! The birth center is part of the Southwest Care Center non-profit organization that has historically served the HIV and Hepatitis C population and has more recently expanded to include family medicine and women’s health. The company is pleased to offer another birthing option to Santa Fe women in a community that up until now has had only hospital and home birth as available choices for birth.
The center is staffed by two Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNM), Maite Redondo Cladera and Lori Pearson Kramer. Maite was formerly employed as a Nurse Practitioner and CNM at La Familia Medical Center in Santa Fe, and was the first midwife to secure privileges at St. Vincent Hospita back in 2008. She is now the Associate Director of the birth center and has been instrumental in creating and implementing the vision. Lori was working as a CNM in Las Vegas, NM and had a small home-birth practice prior to the center’s opening.
Revolutionary news from a leading biomechanical scientist on pelvic floor integrity, and how to keep it. It’s not about Kegels (they’re actually bad) and it’s all about glutes and alignment. Another reason to say HELLO YOGA! Thanks to Kara from Mamasweat for this interview!
YAY! I started yesterday-three classes online, plus a TA position with a level 4 undergraduate class entitled Clinical Instruction for the Rural and Underserved. I started that class today and was glad to meet all the great men and women who are interested in serving rural populations in New Mexico and around the world. I will be assisting in facilitating their class while the professor takes some of the students to Bolivia for clinical training. I wish we had such a class when I was an undergrad (although I wasn’t in a BSN program) as these students are being given a great opportunity to apply their skills in an international setting. I know that participating in this class will give me the ‘refresher’ that I need (having been out of nursing for five years) and get my brain rolling again. Our professor really seems to have her finger on the pulse of learning opportunities that are available throughout New Mexico and I hope to be able to participate in some of these clinical experiences in the coming months.
St. Vincent Hospital was ‘extremely midwife friendly‘ and had an overall philosophy of ‘minimally invasive obstetrics.’ “The array of alternatives at St. Vincent’s, in Greenwich Village, was about as extensive as any pregnant women could want, whether you require a planned Caesarean or you want to give birth at home on your couch, it was geared for everything.”
Due to overwhelming commentary on the health care reform bill, I am attempting to read it all and highlight the main ‘talking points’. Although I agree that the bill has it’s flaws, it is a great step in the right direction.
The Constitutionality of the Health Care Bill
Opponents of the Health Care Bill, including the Attorney Generals of several states are planning to sue the government over the ‘unconstitutionality’ of the bill. “They are expected to sue over the bill’s mandate that requires everyone to buy health insurance” saying that it infringes on ‘state sovereignty’. Yet federal law always trumps state law.
Furthermore, under the commerce clause (Article I, Section 8 of The Constitution) Congress has the power to regulate activities that, taken cumulatively, have a substantial effect on interstate commerce. People not purchasing health insurance unquestionably has this effect. Everyone, at some point in their lives will need health care, and requiring people to have health insurance to offset the costs of taxpayers having to pay for people who don’t have health insurance creates a scenario where no one will be an undo burden on the government. You would think that republicans would like this as it is a lesson in personal responsibility.
Democrats were successful at passing the first major health care legislation since the New Deal. This is great news for moms and babies. The law has added the following provisions related to maternal/pregnancy and birth health care:
Medicaid reimbursement will be available for Certified Professional Midwives working in licensed birthing centers. I am hoping this will open up the door for midwives to open up birthing centers all across the nation, allowing low income women living in rural and underserved areas better access to midwifery-based maternal and child care. This is a win-win situation for women and midwives-hopefully providing choices in health care that more effectively address the cultural differences in the communities where these women live. When women feel honored, and are being cared for and served by providers that understand their culture, language and social norms, it will create an environment of support and empathy-rather than one that may leave women feeling scared and powerless at a very vulnerable time in their lives. Midwives can now effectively serve these women knowing that their work will be paid for by insurance.
In their statement, they say, “We have witnessed firsthand the impact of our national health care crisis, particularly its impact on women, children and people who are poor. We see the toll on families who have delayed seeking care due to a lack of health insurance coverage or lack of funds with which to pay high deductibles and co-pays. We have counseled and prayed with men, women and children who have been denied health care coverage by insurance companies. We have witnessed early and avoidable deaths because of delayed medical treatment.”
I usually don’t write too much about international stories as there is so much going on right here in the ol’ US of A, but this story really hit a nerve as it sheds some light on our own midwifery history.
Taiwan used to have a rich and thriving midwifery profession since at least the late 19th century and probably much before that. It is estimated that midwives delivered 400,000 babies annually up until the 1960’s. With the advent of economic prosperity in the 1970’s and the introduction of socialized health care in 1995, many proverbial nails have been put in the midwifery coffin, so much so that the state is planning to cancel the midwifery licensing exam all together as only 7 people in the entire country signed up to take it this year. Where there used to be 20 midwifery schools, now only one remains. Of the 300 registered midwives, only about 1/2 are practicing- delivering maybe a dozen babies a year. It’s very sad.
Kaiser Permanante, a large hospital chain, recently introduced a new nurse-midwifery program to their Hawaii hospital. The nurse-midwives work in a team with doctors where the midwives are assigned to women who are expected to have a normal, uncomplicated birth. The doctors are available should any unforeseen situation arise. So far, the birthing women love the new arrangement and the doctors are ‘ecstatic’. WOW! That’s just great! It’s just another example of how changes in approach and attitude can work wonders in the favor of birthing women, midwives and doctors. It didn’t hurt that the head of obstetrics at KP saw the integration of midwives as “a big dream I had from years ago.” He was partially trained by midwives while in residency, and midwives have been an integral part of the team at several hospitals he worked at.