Welcome to the last post in the series. This post is all about promoting midwives and I’ve got 10 tips on how to promote midwifery from exactly where you are.
If you missed the other 2023 State of Midwifery posts, catch up here:
- 2023 State of Midwifery: The 10,000 Foot View of the Profession
- 2023 State of Midwifery: The Key to Making More Midwives
- 2023 State of Midwifery: Become A Postpartum Warrior
- 2023 State of Midwifery: 10 Tips to Support Physiologic Birth
I’ve also been working on some coffee mug stickers/car decals and the sneak peaks are posted throughout the post 🙂 See what you think…would you put one of these on your coffee mug or water thermos? Or your car??
I’m putting out the feelers to see if I should print some 🙂
1. If you’ve had midwifery care, tell all the people you know about midwives.
There are a lot of people that still don’t know what a midwife is – or even a doula! That has to change. I still have families ask “Are we going to see the doctor?” when I’m in the hospital. Or, “When do I meet the doctor that is going to deliver the baby?”
These questions don’t bother me. I use it as an opportunity to explain what midwives are and what the midwife model of care can offer people and their families.
Most people love midwifery care. They appreciate being a part of the decision making and not being told what to do. They appreciate the respect midwifery has for pregnancy and birth and postpartum as normal processes in a woman’s life.
If someone wants midwifery care, they are going to have to seek out midwives. Midwives aren’t available in every city, state or obstetric practice. The choice starts with you and your family!
2. Consider sharing your birth story on the blog.
A theme among the birth stories is that pregnancies and births attended by midwives have a higher quality of care and patient satisfaction than those of births attended by OBGYNs.
You’ll see that when you read the birth stories posted on the blog.
It’s really important to share your birth story or at least journal it somewhere. People forget things over time. And generations today are learning about birth in different ways than prior generations, i.e. your grandmother and til tok are telling really different stories.
If you’re interested in sharing your story, send me an email at email@example.com.
3. Use your voice and your data footprint. Follow midwifery, birth, breastfeeding and parenting accounts on social media, sign up for newsletters, and stay involved in the birth world.
Looking for accounts to follow? Check out the STATE RESOURCES page to follow initiatives in your state and across the nation.
Look at the accounts followed by A Midwife Nation on instagram. I follow all sorts of midwives, birth, breastfeeding, etc. accounts around the world.
Sign up for newsletters. I love the newsletter that the United States Breastfeeding Committee sends out weekly. It’s packed with content.
There’s not one small thing that helps midwifery – it’s a consistent, steady effort to stay up to date on efforts to improve maternal health nationwide.
4. Use the templates.
The latest templates have information and links to find midwives and doulas. Why? Because no one is going to tell who is the best provider for your pregnancy, birth and postpartum care. You need to do the research and figure it out for yourself!
All of the templates have this info:
And the 16 week template explains the different types of providers that can offer care during pregnancy, birth and postpartum:
But Jamie, why is this info on there? Don’t most people know the different types of providers that can care for you during pregnancy and birth?
Nope, most people don’t. And people assume that midwives are easily available. Or that their community has doula care.
Education is the first stepping stone to awareness and choice.
My hope is the templates become a standard of care in the United States.
Even if midwifery care isn’t something you choose, it should be included or offered to you at some point in your care. This doesn’t happen in the United States because a lot of practices don’t employ midwives in the hospital setting.
But healthcare is a business at the end of the day and is the consumer (YOU) is demanding midwifery care, obstetric practices will start adding midwives to their provider teams and insurance companies will start covering home birth.
The demand starts with you.
5. Be a mentor. A lot of people move into the midwifery profession because they love birth or had a great birth experience.
Walk alongside these people where ever they may be in their journey. I try to offer free wisdom, advice, midwifery mentorship whenever people ask for it at whatever stage they are at. Try to do the same with whatever knowledge you have. Don’t keep that knowledge close, by freely sharing it, you’re making birth better for everyone.
6. Take a student.
The most basic part of making more midwives, doulas, lactation consultants….is that we have to teach the next generation. A common theme in midwifery if there is always a call for preceptors across the country.
I’ve written a lot on students and precepting. If you’re able and you’re in the mental space to teach and pour your wisdom into someone else, please consider doing so. That doesn’t mean you have to have a student all the time, but try to have a few students a year. Work with your credentialing. and education departments to make this as seamless as possible.
7. Practice like you’re in it for the long game: Don’t stop reading. Stay mentally sharp. Exercise. Eat well. Recharge. Prevent burnout.
Medicine changes fast. Life is getting faster and more distracting than ever more. Evidence changes every 6 months. News guidelines publish without notice to the frontline providers.
You are responsible for all of this information at the end of the day.
But outside of midwifery, you need to stay sharp in your family, mental and physical capacities too. I try to talk about the side of midwifery that isn’t catching babies.
I try to evaluate what is working and what isn’t working every few months in my personal and working life. What was working before might not be working now.
This year I’ve read three books that are helping me to be better and more efficient:
- Habits for the Household: Practicing the Story of God in Everyday Family Rhythms by Justin Whitmel Earley
- Redeeming Your Time: 7 Biblical Principles for Being Purposeful, Present, and Wildly Productive by Jordan Raynor
- Tranquility by Tuesday: 9 Ways to Calm the Chaos and Make Time for What Matters by Laura Vanderkam
I’ve added these to the BOOKS page. Check out the page for other good reads to add to your TBR this year. There’s a whole section for students and parents too.
8. Get a bumper sticker that promotes birth or midwifery. Disneyland is great. Birth is magical too.
Do you guys like the coffee mug/bumper sticker ideas? Would you put them on your car?
If there’s some interest, I’ll get them printed! Give me all the feedback and if I can get them into the SHOP I will.
9. Master your elevator speech.
An elevator speech is a 30 second information, inspirational presentation to offer someone who didn’t know much about a topic the basics, the hook and the question of support for your cause.
I’m rounding the corner to 10 years as a midwife and I’ve had to give this speech hundreds of times.
You will too.
Mine sounds like this.
“Midwives are trained as experts in normal pregnancy, birth, postpartum and women’s care. Midwives can practice in the home, birth center, clinic or hospital settings. They have the same or better outcomes than physicians in the literature and evidence. Midwifery puts the patient and their family at the center of all decision making with a heavy emphasis on shared decision-making for ALL decisions. Most midwives can practice autonomously without physician oversight but physicians are an integral part of managing anything outside of the scope of midwifery. In 2022, midwives only attended about 13% of the births in the United States. Midwifery care is a solution to the maternal mortality crisis in America and a long term solution towards better maternal and infant health for the future of the United States. Would you like to hear how we can make more midwives?”
10. Follow A Midwife Nation.
I’m trying my best to what I can from where I can. When you follow the blog, tell someone about the templates or newsletter, share your birth story…all of that puts the word “midwife” or “midwifery” out into the greater world. Thank you for your support. Thank you for your recommendations that you pass along to others. We’re in this together.
That wraps up the 2023 series! If you’re looking for more, check out the other series on the MAKE MORE MIDWIVES page.
I collect information year round for the next series…if you have something of interest please send it my way!
And don’t give up the battle for more midwives. It’s the people that get up everyday, fight the same fight, and don’t give up, that see progress.