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Increasing Access To Midwives
NAME OF ORGANIZATION, AGENCY, OR INSTITUTION
Where’s My Midwife?
PRIMARY CONTACT NAME AND TITLE
Kirsti Kreutzer, Co-Director
PROJECT AIM AND GOALS
When 2 CNMs were fired from a private practice in our town, 80 pregnant women were suddenly left without the care provider of their choice. We set out to change a policy at our local hospital that required the ‘backing’ physician to be on-site while a CNM was with her patient. We sent a letter from the legislative co-chair of the North Carolina Friends of Midwives asking for a meeting with the head of the Department of OB/GYN to discuss changing the policy. When the hospital administration and the physicians did not respond to our request for a meeting, we began to protest outside the hospital every day for 1 hour, Monday through Friday, regardless of the weather! We also painted our cars with “Where’s My Midwife?” to raise public awareness about the issue.
BLUEPRINT AREA(S) ADDRESSED
- Decision making and consumer choice
- Scope of covered services for maternity care
- Workforce composition and distribution
We eventually (after 6 weeks of protesting) got a meeting with hospital administration, who told us it was a rule put in place by the physicians so we would have to talk to them. The CEO promised to deliver a letter from us to the next Dept. of OB/GYN meeting. He did not, so we had a call to action to our followers, asking them to send e-mails to the CEO’s work address explaining why they wanted more midwives. Then, we compiled a stack of supportive letters and put them in a binder with a collage of families affected by the loss of their midwives and hand-delivered it to the next Dept. of OB/GYN meeting. We received a call the next day stating the hospital had reviewed its policy and found that it was, in fact, “antiquated” and that they had decided to change the policy.
Where’s My Midwife? is interested in finding out more about where else midwives are being restricted in their practice. We created a map on our website of all of the incidences we found simply by googling “midwives fired.” The results are only cases that made the news. We are sure there are countless more, meaning there are hundreds if not thousands of other women just like us who need to have their stories told. If you know of any women, or if you yourself lost your midwife, we want to know about it.
VIDEO ABOUT THE PROJECT
TOOLKITS FOR PROJECT IMPLEMENTATION OR REPLICATION
Toolkit available at http://www.wheresmymidwife.org/how-to-organize-consumers-in-y/
FOR MORE INFORMATION