Welcome to A Midwife Nation!
My name is Jamie and it’s fabulous to meet you. I’m a certified nurse midwife and walking with women through their pregnancy, birth, postpartum and beyond is my absolute favorite thing in the world. I feel so blessed to walk alongside any woman’s joy or hardship, and truly believe that together we are stronger.
I also feel frustrated that healthcare in the United States isn’t producing the patient outcomes that we’re capable of. I find myself wondering why we are failing to meet national and global goals for maternal and fetal health. I ask myself these questions frequently:
- Why is the United States continuing to fall to the bottom of lists for maternal and neonatal health?
- Why are women filled with frustration about their own healthcare, or worse, regret about their own birth experiences?
- Why do women feel like they don’t have a choice in their maternity care?
- Why is normal birth so medicalized?
- Why isn’t shared decision making the standard of care?
- Why are births attended by midwives holding at approximately 10% of births in the United States despite good evidence that outcomes by physicians and midwives are the same?
- And most importantly, why are women not sharing their stories?
These questions flash through my mind and all I can think is there is something more to do. Frankly, I’m tired of watching from the sidelines when I believe that I can reach more women than those just from my place of practice. That’s why I started A Midwife Nation.
A Midwife Nation’s mission:
To make midwifery the standard of care in the United States for women during pregnancy, birth and beyond.
A Midwife Nation’s vision:
Education. Inspiration. Empowerment. For every woman and midwife, nationwide.
How do we accomplish this mission and vision? By engaging women, families and midwives in an inspiring and educational conversation about pregnancy, birth and midwifery care in hopes that women seek and request midwifery care for their pregnancy; or, that women feel educated and inspired to advocate during their own pregnancy and birth regardless of the birth provider’s credentials. If women in the United States seek out midwives for their care, we can steer the direction of health care towards better maternal and infant outcomes simply by old school economic demand. It’s important to state that OBGYNs are essential for consultation and management of high risk pregnancies and that high risk pregnancies are a reality of our modern age. The idea is not to exclude OBGYNs and make midwives the sole providers for birth. The idea is to move management of low risk pregnancies to midwifery care and management, while still working together with OBGYNs to manage moderate to high risk pregnancies. After all, midwives are experts in normal and should be responsible for management of normal birth!
Why education and inspiration? First, education is imperative to learning. In our fast paced society, people are used to quick information at their fingertips. But birth isn’t always fast and pregnancy is a long, slow journey. I think we need to establish education as the foundation for pregnancy and birth. A single birthing class on the weekend is helpful but it’s not enough. We have to provide women with more education. Women aren’t alone though – midwives need continuing education and learning throughout their entire career. A Midwife Nation is here to provide education to both. (Want to get started on education now? Check out the BOOKS and RESOURCES pages.) Inspiration is also needed for women and midwives. Women without access to midwives need to learn about midwives and birth through other women’s stories. Women need to hear what birth is like through different lenses. I always tell people – every pregnancy and birth is different. Some experiences may be similar, but every single woman has her own experience. Women must start talking about their experiences in an effort to inspire other women and midwives. It is only through this education and inspiration that we can reach empowerment. I believe that women are the cornerstone of the family unit, and that women who are empowered, empower their families as well as other women.
Lastly, I leave you with this: I believe in change. I believe that women are ready for a change in the way they receive and participate in their health care. I’m going to make this blunt: I don’t have all the answers, and I believe the road ahead is long… but I believe I’m on the right path to finding answers and inciting change. There are 4 million babies born in the United States each year. My hope is that anyone involved in the welcoming of a baby or helping a woman during pregnancy recognizes the need for reform and uses their voice as the stimulus for change in their hometown or place of practice. I’m here to provide the spark to the fire. Together, we’ll keep the fire roaring bright.
So, in the spirit of change, in the spirit of your health, your babe’s health, and our great nation…we’re officially open for conversation. I’m delighted you found A Midwife Nation. Grab a cup of coffee or tea, take a second to explore, and let’s get started.
“Believe you can, and you’re halfway there.” – Theodore Roosevelt
“I am not a teacher; only a fellow traveler of whom you asked the way. I pointed ahead – ahead of myself as well as of you.” – George Bernard Shaw
“Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.” – Goethe