Friday Five (#33)

Yay Friday! Doesn’t this little guy just make you smile?!

What a week though. We had another sick babe this week (the four year old this time) and all the things that come with trying to take a kid to see the pediatrician. Has anyone else had to hold down a toddler while they are COVID tested? It’s a joy. Everyone was better after a few days and we returned to normal schedules!

Let’s do the Five….

1. This quote: “Wherever women and babies are, whatever their circumstances or the health system in place, their survival, health, and wellbeing can be improved by midwifery care.”

Enter the Decade of the Midwife. COVID-19 ruined a little bit of 2020 – it was supposed to be the year of the nurse and the midwife, not the year of a global pandemic. But, we’ll march on. I’ll take a decade of spotlight over a year any day! The International Confederation of Midwives is working on an action plan for the decade. But the goal of the campaign is to reduce maternal deaths outlined in Sustainable Development Goal 3.1: “By 2030, reduce the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100,000 live births.” I haven’t been able to find an action plan from the ICM yet but I’ll keep an eye out!

2. This podcast from Journey to Midwifery. Amber interviewed one of my dear friends and mentor from Virginia – Catherine. She is an amazing midwife and it was an honor to work with her. She is one of those midwives you work with and you just want to be a sponge around them and absorb all their wisdom and guidance. She offers a heartwarming story with some great life lessons as she reflects on her career. Catherine recognized self care and work-life balance before it was in the spotlight it is now.

3. These great book recommendations from Read Aloud Revival. I generally love 95% of the book recommendations from this site. My tip is to help out some bookstores nationwide and order these books “USED” from amazon, while saving you a few dollars here and there. Some of our favorites on the list are: Sheep in a Jeep, The Seven Silly Eaters, Frog and Toad, and I’m Grumpy (ironically, the two year olds favorite book). We recently received This is Not My Hat and It Could Always be Worse and have loved them! Even my husband laughed out loud while reading It Could Always be Worse.

4. The Obstetric Team Debriefing Tool from ACOG. The longer I practice as a midwife, the more I realize the value of debriefing. My husband spends a considerable amount of time debriefing in his job and I try to learn lessons from him about how to do feedback or debriefing successfully. When a postpartum hemorrhage, a shoulder dystocia, or a hypertensive issue inevitably happens, it’s important that certain interventions are employed quickly, efficiently and timely. In my experience, I learn something every time I participate in a debrief. And if anything, a well conducted debrief helps to improve everyone’s care for the next emergency. I think anyone on the care team should be able to ask for a debrief and that every person should be involved. Another important factor is to make sure everyone is offered an opportunity to say something!


5. Arkansas HB 1215 was passed through the Senate and the House by a group of 10 CNMs without a lobbyist this past week (way to go LAUREL!). Their efforts resulted in a bill to give CNMs full practice authority in the state of Arkansas. Well done! Read the bill here if you’re interested. This is a huge step forward for midwifery – especially in a southern state!

If you have a moment, send Arkansas’ Governor Hutchinson an email of support for the bill here:

And if you’re still in a lobbying mood, don’t forget to email Virginia’s Governor Northam too about HB1817:

Who doesn’t want an email saying “support midwifery!” and “please help give women and children access to midwives.” I tell myself that all the Governors do.

Other goodies this week…

  • The COVID Mothers Study. This international study was conducted to find out about COVID infected mamas and their experiences. Mamas were able to participate if they had suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infections prior to their infant’s first birthday. The study did a couple of really neat things. One, the mamas weren’t able to fill out the first postpartum survey until the infant was one month old – the thought is that this allowed for a full assessment of thoughts, care and feelings during the postpartum period and how COVID-19 affected the mama and her baby. Two, the study was conducted in 10 different languages! Lastly, the study asked specifically about separation of infant from mother due to infection or precautions and the mother’s perception of this separation. The authors found some really distressing things in the surveys:
    • 69% of women that were separated from their infants felt “very distressed”
    • 29% of women were unable to breastfeed after being reunited with their infants
    • The authors concluded that restriction of skin to skin, rooming in or direct breastfeeding may be harmful and unnecessary.
  • The annual letter from the Gates foundation. If you follow global health at all, you know that Melinda and Bill Gates are behind the scenes. I always like to read their annual letters because it gives me a glimpse of their efforts, thinking and dreams for public health.
  • The Treating for Two initiative from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. You guys know I love a good handout and I especially love a good infographic! These infographics would be great for a provider’s exam room, a waiting room, or a new OB packet! I also like how they put together a page on common conditions in pregnancy (asthma, nausea/vomiting, depression, pain…). There is a lot of room to improve when it comes to educating women on medications prior to conception, during pregnancy and during the postpartum period.

That’s a wrap for the Five! I’m hoping to finish the preconception tool this weekend and/or the initial OB post…alas, I always have great goals but the babes and the husband come first!

Stay well, go outside, read some good children’s books. Until next time…


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