May is for Mothers and Midwives!

May is for Mothers and Midwives! May is for Mothers’ Day (May 13), International Day of the Midwife (May 5) and Support AB 2682 (Burke) to remove physician supervision from Certified Nurse Midwife practice

The beauty of natural childbirth is nestled and dormant inside of every woman and becomes the cascade of physiology of pregnancy, birth, and lactation. Everything needed is present as always in female DNA. This includes the inherent knowledge of motherhood.

As a midwife for 40 years I never cease to be in awe of the depth of knowledge possessed by women. Case in point– the wish to delay umbilical cord clamping. So frequently asked that it became the common practice of midwives. Women wanted to slow the transition from fetus to newborn—to enjoy cradling their little one during this time. Who would know that modern evidence would show that this practice enhances the well being of newborns– most especially the preterm newborn.

Women have long and repeatedly asked for practices that have been proven by evidence to benefit them and their babies. Some of these are:

· Midwife care

· Avoidance of episiotomy

· Birthing in water

· Avoidance of cesarean section

· Freedom of mobility and untethered labor

· Preference of intermittent fetal heart beat monitoring over continuous
electronic fetal monitoring

· Unrestricted presence of partner, family and friends

· Desire for vaginal birth after prior cesarean

Midwives, by listening to women and respecting normal birth physiology, have evolved the best practices for normal childbirth. Based on evidence, women’s wishes are the best childbirth practices and the midwife model of care produces the best outcomes. The midwife model needs to be acknowledged alongside medicine and obstetrics.

AB 2682 (Burke) will remove physician supervision from Certified Nurse Midwife practice in California. If you support a woman’s right to choose a midwife call the appropriations committee at 916-319-2068 and ask for the bill to be passed.

Roberta Frank, CNM, Founder of Best Start Birth Center

Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013;8:CD004667.