I am a Friend of Michigan Midwives | Bring Birth Home

Home Birth Advocacy

I am a Friend of Michigan Midwives

2 Comments 23 October 2012

I recently joined the board of Friends of Michigan Midwives as the Regional Coordinator of Kalamazoo, MI.

Because I believe in this organization and our cause, I’d like to take a moment to introduce you to Friends of Michigan Midwives and what we’re currently working on.

Friends of Michigan Midwives, or FoMM, is a non-profit organization dedicated to educate and inform the public about the Midwifery Model of Care, promote and support the profession of midwifery as well as safe and legal access to out-of-hospital birth for families in the state of Michigan.

We at FoMM support licensing midwives and are currently in the throes of supporting Senate Bill 1310, companion to House Bill 5070, a bill that will license Certified Professional Midwives.

While I’ve only had a handful of opportunities to talk with consumers directly about this bill is important, I’m proud to report each acquaintance has walked away in support of of SB 1310!

Over the next year, I will be hosting several local fundraising events. Keep an eye out, SW Michiganders!

I’d like to take this great opportunity to share why I support licensing midwives with you.

Personally, I am in support of SB 1310 because I know many midwives, doulas and birth advocates have put in countless hours over the past few years crafting it.

When it comes to my health care options, I want to be able to trust the bill in place was written with me in mind, by people who know me. I trust the bill because I trust the women and families who have been working on it’s careful wording. I love knowing my midwife – the woman who helped bring our two precious babies into this world from the safety of our home – will be protected by law with the passing of SB 1310. She currently is not recognized by law, and that makes me feel uneasy.

Licensing makes midwifery an accredited profession attractive to midwives and consumers alike.

Those who are inspired to become a midwife in the future will know their career choice is viable and respected in our state. Licensing will set a standard of training. Right now, Direct Entry Midwives, (DEM) may go through long periods of time without studying the most recent evidence-based practices. While some may be up to date, there is no real way to know.

Midwives who have earned the CPM credential are required to earn continuing education credits, and licensing will ensure that all midwives meet that requirement.

This means a great deal to families interested in finding and hiring a midwife, as licensing CPMs will set into place a trustworthy, respected base of knowledge. I value accountability and training, and take those things into consideration when hiring any care provider whether they be a chiropractor to massage therapist, pediatrician or dentist.

Take action to provide state recognition to midwives and enhance the profession of Midwifery in Michigan today by visiting the official Friends of Michigan Midwives website.

Please click the link to visit their site and learn more and take your own action steps to support licensing midwives. The profession of midwifery in Michigan will grow and this bill will ensure families the right to birth where they choose.

If you feel strongly about this issue and would like to volunteer your time, energy or donate to the FoMM, please email me, (Kaitlin) at [email protected] and we can talk! 

Your Comments

2 Comments so far

  1. Kate Nolan says:

    I agree, Kaitlin–and thank you for this important work! I know that the issue of DEMs will always be a thorny one, but I agree with your assessment about certifying the education and recent updating of it.


  1. I Get By With A Little Help From My FriendsOctober 29, 2012

    […] and invited me to gatherings, asked me to be a member of a panel discussion, voted me in as Kalamazoo Regional Coordinator of FoMM and gently nudged me to take a few more steps toward postpartum doula […]

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“Birth Story: Ina May Gaskin & The Farm Midwives” Review | Bring Birth Home

Home Birth Advocacy, Reviews

“Birth Story: Ina May Gaskin & The Farm Midwives” Review

0 Comments 09 December 2012

My eyes welled up more than a few times while watching Ina May Gaskin’s new documentary, Birth Story: Ina May Gaskin & The Farm Midwives. I felt emotional throughout, for several reasons, which I’ll explain in this article and review of the film.

Last week, Birth Kalamazoo and Birth Alternatives Midwifery held a benefit screening of the film with proceeds to Friends of Michigan Midwives.

The women behind the scenes making the event happen were my friend and two-time doula, Jessica English, and midwife Linda Healey (who also happened to by my two-time midwife). As SW Regional Coordinator of FoMM, I helped out by gathering silent-auction items from local businesses.

That night, I was surrounded by the energy of 50+ local birth-advocate women and their families. I felt the full room. Safe to say this was an integral factor in my emotional state.

In the film, three natural home births were depicted beautifully, which were woven seamlessly within the story of how The Farm came to be.

Ina May Gaskin was of course a reocurring character. One the audience couldn’t get enough of. We felt lucky to be guests into her past through iconic photographs and film footage of the most famous midwife in the United States. Coming in and out were scenes was her husband, Stephen Gaskin.

And those two lovebirds are the next reason why Birth Story was a big tear-fest. When Stephen said, (paraphrasing) “I’m glad just to be her Sherpa. The Sherpa gets to join you on your way up the mountain.” ?? Enough. said. #meltmyheart

I learned plenty of lessons, some of which I was learning all over again, and some for the first time.

  • As always, natural birth is so stunning, it takes my breath away and fills my heart
  • Peace and love, and not just in that hippie cliche, (but also that) helps babies come out
  • Passion + a good cause + hard work = incredible, life and world-changing results (I want to be like the go-givers in this film!)
  • Birth is a normal and natural process
  • Women are so f*ing powerful!
  • I happen to work best in large groups when I have a task – that night, I sat at the greeting table, accepted donations and re-secured sharpie lids while welcoming each person into the room. I got to say hello to everyone without stumbling drunken-sailor style around the room. Score!
  • We need more positive films like this one. Rather than make me mad, I felt inspired and courageous

Make it to a screening of Birth Story or host your own. I highly recommend it. Watch the Birth Story trailer here.

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