225610 How one gives birth, and how one is born, matters deeply

Monday, November 8, 2010 : 5:30 PM - 5:50 PM

Geradine Simkins, CNM, MSN , Midwives Alliance of North America, Maple City, MI
The main objective of this project was to provide a descriptive record of the lived experience of being a long-standing midwife in contemporary America, using personal memoirs narrated authentically, powerfully and accurately in order to generate lessons learned, explore best practices and illuminate common wisdom. The life histories of 25 seasoned midwives reveal an essential truth: how one gives birth and how one is born, matters deeply. In a new anthology of memoirs, midwives who are over 50 years of age and have been in practice for 25 to 40 years provide keen insights into what really matters in maternity care. Collectively, they have about 800 years of experience and have assisted in approximately 35,000 births. By exploring the politics and power struggles that have shaped maternity care, and contrasting the midwifery model and the medical model, potent implications for healthcare reform and healthcare delivery are revealed. Midwives hold the key to transforming a broken maternity care system into a healthcare model that works better, saves government and taxpayers' money, reduces disparities, and satisfies clients. Midwives reveal why the ethics of love, respect, justice and autonomy must be woven into the fabric of healthcare. Midwives demonstrate that it is possible to meet the psychosocial needs of women and families while ensuring good pregnancy and birth outcomes. Midwives emphasize that a paradigm built on empowerment rather than fear and profit will return the soul-nourishing aspects to the childbirth experience—to those giving birth, those being born and those celebrating births.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Provision of health care to the public

Learning Objectives:
1. List three ways in which the content of the midwifery model and the medical model differ. 2. Discuss three lessons learned about women's preferences and what matters to them in the childbearing year.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I have completed the research and manuscript on which the presentation is based.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.