Some Midwives in Canada and America have fallen prey to the notion that birth is a medical procedure to be managed and controlled. I will not argue that having a midwife attended birth is far better than being dominated and suppressed by omnipotent doctors with a tee off time, but we need to ask ourselves: is "Better" good enough? Shouldn't we be striving for "best"? Many of our licensed midwives do the best they can working within the parameters that they are "allowed", but when those parameters are set up by oppressive medical associations that both fear and loathe free thinking women and uncontrolled birth, how are they to truly empower women to take charge of their births? I have met so many wonderful midwives and been horrified by their stories of how hospital administrators and staff undermine their autonomy at every turn, throwing continuous obstacles in their way and raising the hurdles with every passing year. "Jump through this hoop or else!"..... is it any wonder that there are so many medwives now practising in our two countries?
The time has come to break the cycle of control. The time has come for midwives to take back their power and use it to empower the women they serve.
MEDIA RELEASE: The Licensed Midwife Problem
by Claire Hall on Wednesday, 24 November 2010 at 18:09
Claire Hall invites the Trust Birth Initiative and all those who trust birth to end our medicalised midwife problem. It has been insidious in its encroachment of a woman’s right of autonomy over her own body, birth and baby. “The pervasive need for licensure creates a one dimensional view of birth – that of treating everything as a potential life threatening emergency – while at the same time creating a legal mine field for practitioners and trampling underfoot the basic human rights of women,” said Claire Hall, a midwife and protector of women’s knowledge.
For decades, women have been subjected to navigating the above ground medical system and myriads of tests and interventions, all the while taking it on faith that their care provider is skilled at attending births. Our current birth statistics indicate clearly that they do NOT possess such skills. Recent statistics in Australia alone indicate that 67% of women undergo some form of chemical induction/augmentation or major abdominal surgery. Depression and Post Traumatic Shock Syndrome statistics are continuing to rise, and mother/baby dynamics lay shattered all over the industrialised world. This disaster is has lifelong negative implications for the baby, for the mother, for the family, and ultimately for society. We need to address this issue before the deceptive mantra of “licensed equals’ safety” permanently permeates the public’s conscientiousness.
These statistics reflect a common misconception that birth is inherently dangerous, and that a licensed professional in attendance eliminates this danger. This belief leads women into the hands of a medicalised system that does not understand or respect the true nature of physiological birth without ever realising that the true power and safety lies within themselves. The knowledge of pregnancy, birth and mothering is the right of ALL women, and it has been progressively hidden from women by the medical profession with protocols and technology.
It is abundantly clear that legislation needs to be introduced to protect women and babies from such assaults and trauma, and all birth attendants must undergo accreditation from lay midwifes in how to sit on hands, and treat birthing mothers with the respect and authority they deserve. It is the goal of Claire Hall, The Trust Birth Initiative and other representative bodies of women’s rights to ensure women all around the world – not just the 50 states of America – have equal access to safe and affordable pregnancy and birth choices.
Ensuring all birth attendants have a trust and sound knowledge of true physiological birth is the only way we can address this medicalisation of midwifery. The licensed Midwife problem is a pressing issue that needs to be dealt with as a matter of urgency, as true autonomy for women disappears conversely as the amount of licensed Midwives rise.
“It is tantamount to the future of this country, and indeed the world, that the knowledge and authority over birth be returned to the individual woman so that she may choose the safest option for her and her family,”said Claire Hall.
But there is HOPE!!!!
Gloria Lemay is holding midwifery classes- classes that will no doubt teach the true empowerment of women and the real necessary training and skills needed to be a MIDwife!!! Her courses start in December and will cover these topics:
Dec 2 Female Pelvis-anatomy and physiology
Dec 9 Medical Terminology
Dec 16 Prenatal Clinic visit
Jan 6 Palpation, Blood pressure
Jan 13 Rh negative blood type
Jan 20 Fetal circulation
Jan 27 Pregnancy Induced Hypertension
Feb 3 Cervix—effacement, dilation
Feb 10 Confident nutrition counseling
Feb 17 Gestational diabetes prevention, screening
Feb 24 Anemia and blood work
March 3 Water birth
March 10 Genetics for midwives
March 17 Perineum, preventing tears
March 24 Newborn exam
March 31 Placenta (cut and clamp cord, examining)
April 7 Twins and breech presentations
April 14 Teaching childbirth education
And are you ready for this? The cost of taking these courses is $7.99 per 60 min session. You can choose individual classes or the entire curriculum of 19 classes ($110)!!!!!!!!!!!!!
For more information about Gloria's amazing midwifery course, please go HERE
For more of Claire Hall's excellent writing, please go HERE
For more information about the wondrous phenomena called BIRTH please visit The Trust Birth Initiative