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A Calling Toward Educating on Midwifery

By Debra K., The Journey into Wellbeing Educating the world on natural health and wellness is my life’s calling. I embarked upon this mission in my mid-40s, and never thought, at my age, I would become an advocate for natural birth. It was during the filming of the pilot for my show, “The Journey into Wellbeing”, that I learned the story of Mary Breckinridge who founded Frontier Nursing University 75 years ago in Eastern Kentucky. We profiled this American hero and the significant differe...

Posted By Barbra Elenbaas | 7/24/2014 3:41:24 PM
 

A New Direction for Midwife Connection

by Cassie Moore, ACNM Writer and Editor By now you’ve seen our fabulous new Web site—we hope you love it as much as we do! We’re also taking this blog to the next level, and we need your help. First, we’re moving the blog from Blogger to the new Web site. To find it from midwife.org, go to “News and Events,” then select “ACNM Blog.” Content Hand-Picked for You Previously, Midwife Connection was a blog for both midwives and their clients, or consumers. We’re redefining the blog so it’s j...

Posted By Melissa Garvey | 3/29/2011 4:37:05 PM
 

ACNM Benchmarking: Defining our contribution

Jessica Schwarz CNM, MSN Practicing midwifery in a tertiary or quaternary care environment can be challenging. At the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), midwives are members of an interdisciplinary team comprised of health care professionals from many fields, from pediatric surgeons to respiratory therapists to maternal-fetal medicine physicians. We care for women whose pregnancies have been complicated by a prenatally diagnosed birth defect or genetic condition. What is the role of...

Posted By Barbra Elenbaas | 2/19/2014 1:03:55 PM
 

ACNM Brings the National Birth Center Study II to Capitol Hill

by Lorrie Kline Kaplan, ACNM Chief Executive Officer After several months of planning and much hard work, ACNM together with our friends at the American Association of Birth Centers (AABC) held a briefing yesterday on Capitol Hill –and it was nothing short of a success! It was our privilege to share the good news and policy implications of the landmark, large-scale study published last week in ACNM’s Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health, titled “Outcomes of Care in Birth Centers: Demonstratio...

Posted By Melissa Garvey | 2/8/2013 1:29:48 PM
 

ACOG Committee Opinion on Planned Home Birth: Opening the Door to Collaborative Care

Just this morning, ACNM released an Issue Brief in response to the ACOG Committee Opinion on Planned Home Birth published in the February 2011 issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology. At just over two pages, the Issue Brief is worth the read. While acknowledging that much of the ACOG Committee Opinion relies on a widely-criticized, flawed 2010 meta-analysis, the Issue Brief goes on to highlight parts of the opinion that open the door to supporting childbirth choices through collaborative care for wo...

Posted By Fausto Miranda | 2/17/2011 12:00:17 AM
 

An Inside Look at the ACNM National Office

by Ginger Breedlove, CNM, PhD, FACNM, ACNM President I spent a few days last week in Silver Spring, MD, working at the ACNM national office. On my first day Jesse Bushman, ACNM director of advocacy and government affairs, led the monthly all-staff meeting. I was excited to observe the diversity and inclusivity within our staff; young association staffers comfortably engaged with more seasoned leaders in candid discussions that encompassed various viewpoints. The camaraderie, caring, an...

Posted By Barbra Elenbaas | 11/20/2013 2:46:57 PM
 

Announcing the ACNM Healthy Birth Initiative (TM): Resources for Promoting Physiologic Birth

By Ginger Breedlove, CNM, PhD, FACNM, ACNM President and Tanya Tanner, CNM, PhD, MBA, RN, Healthy Birth Initiative Task Force Chair As midwives, we’ve known forever that birth is a natural process and not a medical emergency, that women’s bodies are best left to do what they were built to do, and that physiologic birth gives the best start to moms and babies. Warnings about unnecessary intervention in childbirth date back nearly 20 years, to 1996, when the World Health Organization first call...

Posted By Barbra Elenbaas | 10/8/2014 1:26:16 PM
 

Catchers in Training: Day One

By Shannon Keller, SNM, ACNM Student Representative to the Board of Directors Your first day of clinical. The moment you have long waited for. The moment you have dreamed about since you signed up for the GRE and received your acceptance letter to midwifery school. For days like this, with so much anticipation, it’s helpful to have some tips as you prepare. Here are a few tidbits to help you get ready to be a student midwife in the clinical setting. Know that you are there to give qual...

Posted By Barbra Elenbaas | 9/2/2014 3:24:11 PM
 

Certification, Licensure, and Maintenance - Oh My!

By Stephanie Tillman, CNM, MSN Whether you are on cloud 9 after receiving an offer from an employer, or still hunting for the perfect employment, getting a head start on all of the necessary licensure is a vital part of the process. I didn’t have quite all the information I needed when I started, and subsequently did not know I was missing my DEA until a pharmacist called me to deny a prescription. Lesson learned, and love passed on to y'all! Let's make sure you have the full list. Certif...

Posted By Barbra Elenbaas | 4/25/2013 11:12:56 AM
 

Collaborative Improvement: Conversations Across the Miles

By Ginger Breedlove, CNM, PhD, FACNM, ACNM President In the last 7 days I have attended 2 meetings over 1000 miles apart, and I’m feeling more energized than ever about the opportunity to tap into shared passions to improve women’s health. I attended the most recent American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Board of Directors meeting – my first since taking office in June. My initial anxiety was quickly lifted: I was greeted by a welcoming room of caring physicians who were ...

Posted By Barbra Elenbaas | 7/26/2013 4:58:11 PM
 

Combat Burnout and Negativity with SHIFT: A Midwifery Works! Workshop Preview

We hope you’re as excited as we are about Midwifery Works! 2013—a major midwifery business conference coming to Tampa, FL, October 3 – 6. As a special treat, here’s an interview with one of our workshop speakers Barbara Hughes, CNM, MS, MBA, FACNM, NE-BC, a professional with more than 28 years of experience as a certified nurse-midwife. Barbara has been active in numerous professional organizations, including ACNM, AWHONN, Lamaze International, the National Perinatal Association, and the ...

Posted By Barbra Elenbaas | 9/24/2013 1:17:54 PM
 

Communicating the “Why” of Midwifery

By Ginger Breedlove, CNM, PhD, APRN, FACNM, ACNM President It’s the first week of October, a special time each year when we celebrate midwifery! National Midwifery Week provides an opportunity for each of us to reach out to someone uncertain or confused about our scope of practice, the types of midwives, or the safety of midwifery care in a variety of settings. I challenge everyone to engage in at least one conversation this week about the emerging role of midwifery in the United States –...

Posted By Barbra Elenbaas | 10/6/2014 10:58:31 AM
 

Completing Midwifery School and Transitioning Into the First Year of Practice

By Stephanie Tillman, CNM, MSN I am so thankful to have been invited to participate in this year’s ACNM Student Issues Section (SIS) as a new graduate member. One of the main reasons I joined the SIS is to work toward finding the most effective ways to help students optimize training in the last semesters of midwifery school and transition to the first year of practice. Since January of this year I have been serving that purpose by writing for Midwife Connection. Through my blog series “...

Posted By Barbra Elenbaas | 10/29/2013 1:58:53 PM
 

Dear Congress: Help Midwives Help Moms and Babies Survive Globally and at Home

On Monday, June 17, ACNM Vice President for Global Outreach Suzanne Stalls, CNM, spoke at a congressional briefing sponsored by ACNM, AMREF USAI, AWHONN, Frontline Health Workers Coalition, IntraHealth International, Jhpiego, and White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood. Below is an excerpt of her comments. Her full text comments are available here. I am pleased that we are here today to discuss the challenges that face women’s health access around the world and here in the United States. T...

Posted By Barbra Elenbaas | 6/20/2013 1:18:30 PM
 

DI in Denver

A shorter version of this piece can be found in the Diversification and Inclusion (D/I) column in the Fall issue of Quickening. If you are interested in reading future pieces related to diversification and inclusion, please look for the D/I column in Quickening. Catchers in Training: Lions and Tigers and Diversity What went wrong, and right, with the 59th Annual Meeting’s Opening General Session By Liz Donnelly, Anna Tran, and Jyesha Wren Student Nurse Midwives at the University of Ca...

Posted By Barbra Elenbaas | 10/21/2014 11:56:49 AM
 

Immunizations: Encouraging Supermoms with Evidence-based Conversations

By Carol Hayes, CNM, MN, MPH Immunizations are a hot topic, right? There, I have opened Pandora’s box! ACNM has been working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to improve vaccination rates among women, especially ethnic minorities and pregnant women. At this year’s ACNM Annual Meeting & Exhibition, there were exhibitors promoting vaccines and some opposing them. Comments swirled about why ACNM would let an anti-vaccine group exhibit, while some complaints protested ...

Posted By Barbra Elenbaas | 6/9/2014 10:23:40 AM
 

Leadership in Action: Considering the "Why"

By Ginger Breedlove, CNM, PhD, ARNP, FACNM, ACNM President The Board of Directors convened in Washington, DC this weekend for our fall quarterly meeting. What did we accomplish? Many of us charged the Hill and visited Congressional representatives to discuss a variety of topics: midwives as primary care providers in ACA implementation; establishment of a maternity care shortage designation placing midwives, through the National Health Service Corp, in under-served areas; full access and eq...

Posted By Barbra Elenbaas | 9/17/2013 2:36:02 PM
 

Learning in Stride: Evidence and Experience

on things that are not, and perhaps cannot be, taught By Stephanie Tillman, CNM, MSN I began outlining this post on the back of an Audre Lorde essay, sent to me by a friend who shared it with other first-year clinicians struggling to make the day-to-day happen. In "The Transformation of Silence into Language and Action," excerpted from Sister Outsider, Lorde writes of the time after her breast cancer diagnosis and what she describes as her 'living': "...for every real word spoken, for...

Posted By Barbra Elenbaas | 2/14/2013 10:44:27 AM
 

Learning in Stride: Space, Place, and Histories

There are only so many rooms. By Stephanie Tillman, CNM, MSN In every clinic, in every hospital, in every birth center, in every home. There are only so many rooms. A history exists in each one, layered by each moment working with women, caring for women, and being a midwife. We spend the majority of our time providing for the people in our care, and perhaps do not also consider the space, its history, and its impact on our work. I attend birth at a community hospital. Overworked, underp...

Posted By Barbra Elenbaas | 3/1/2013 12:26:57 PM
 

Midwife Wisdom Goes Digital, Holds Potential to Change Hospital Birth Practices

by Cassie Moore, Writer and Editor, American College of Nurse-Midwives With a 32.9% cesarean rate, an increasing maternal mortality rate, and skyrocketing health care costs, the United States needs midwives now more than ever—but do most people know the benefits that midwives bring to health care? As we gear up for the May 5 Global March for Midwives, we’ll be featuring several posts about individual midwives who are making a big difference in our field. Let’s start the celebration with Whitne...

Posted By Melissa Garvey | 4/11/2011 1:06:30 PM
 

Midwives: Flexibility for any position

by Stephanie Tillman, CNM, MS Student loan grace periods creeping to an end? Monthly bills piled high from school? Ready to start working and willing to be flexible? There are midwifery jobs, and then there are jobs for a midwife. Flexibility is key in this tough economy, but this can also be viewed through a different lens: the more roles midwives hold, the more our work is advertised! Midwives are incredibly skilled. We work in public health, research, academia, policy, advocacy, and...

Posted By Barbra Elenbaas | 4/11/2013 2:55:18 PM
 

Selfies for Breastfeeding Moms and Babies

By Barbra Elenbaas, ACNM Writer & Editor August is National Breastfeeding Month in the United States, and this week is World Breastfeeding Week around the globe. Midwives have known that “breast is best” forever – and in many ways it seems like public opinion has finally caught up with our evidence. La Leche League groups are cropping up everywhere, almost 200 hospitals have shaped up to qualify for the Baby Friendly designation, and stories like the one about a barista supporting mamas wh...

Posted By Barbra Elenbaas | 8/5/2014 2:37:58 PM
 

Significant Increase in Pregnant Women Receiving Care from Midwives, Nurse Practitioners, and Physician Assistants

By Melissa Garvey, ACNM Communications Manager A study published in the September 2012 issue of ACNM’s peer-reviewed journal, the Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health (JMWH), shows that more US women are seeing midwives, nurse practitioners (NPs), and physician assistants (PAs) for maternity care. Analyzing data from the National Health Interview Surveys (NHIS), lead study author Katy Bates Kozhimannil, PhD, MPA, along with coauthors Melissa Avery, CNM, PhD, and Carrie Ann Terrell, MD, found...

Posted By Melissa Garvey | 9/26/2012 3:57:54 PM
 

Team Midwife: Catch the Spirit

by Cassie Moore, Writer and Editor, American College of Nurse-Midwives Ever feel like some people just don’t “get” midwifery? Sure, your clients love you and, if you’re lucky, the nurses and doctors you work with understand your profession, but we all know there are those who think that midwives only attend all-natural home births. Some people think doulas and midwives are the same thing. Some believe midwives receive no formal education and training. And even people who are relatively inf...

Posted 4/15/2011 11:59:09 AM
 

The Birth of a Mother: An Innovative Model for Providing Midwifery Care to Women in the Postpartum Period

By Jenifer Fahey, CNM, MSN, MPH, Assistant Professor, University of Maryland School of Medicine As I reviewed the final draft of the article I had prepared for the upcoming postpartum special issue of the Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health, it became clear that while I had briefly touched on the psychosocial needs of women following the birth of a child, I had focused almost exclusively on physical recovery. I sat at my computer, contemplating my final edits prior to submission, and rea...

Posted By Barbra Elenbaas | 12/11/2013 5:39:50 PM
 

The Latent Phase: Building Collaborative Relationships

By Stephanie Tillman, CNM, MSN Perhaps one of the most tenuous aspects of working as a new graduate midwife is developing a collaborative relationship with physicians. In the physician-midwife, as well as physician-nurse practitioner or physician-physician assistant relationship, there are many factors at play: power differentials, scopes of practice, health and care provision belief systems, historical interactions of each provider with others in the same field, and experiences in prior c...

Posted By Barbra Elenbaas | 4/29/2014 5:11:58 PM
 

The Latent Phase: Check Yourself!

By Stephanie Tillman, CNM, MSN September marks the start of first midwife jobs for many new graduates. Do you find yourself stepping out of the exam room to check Up-to-Date, call a colleague, or email a classmate? You aren't the only one! Here are a few strategies to help you double-check your instincts smoothly. The first few days, weeks, and months at my job (now over one year ago!) were tough – and by tough, I mean mentally and emotionally exhausting. It was partly because I was ne...

Posted By Barbra Elenbaas | 9/12/2013 3:54:52 PM
 

The Latent Phase: Finding your Dream Job

By Stephanie Tillman, CNM, MSN As with all things in midwifery practice, the search for the first, or the next, midwifery job must be holistic: keep in mind life’s logistics, economic demands, and the needs of your soul. What kind of midwife do you want to be? Can you do that in any practice model, or do you need one particular environment in which to practice? Is the place where you attend birth most important, be it home or birth center or hospital? Are your fellow midwives the bread and b...

Posted By Barbra Elenbaas | 3/15/2013 6:29:07 PM
 

The Latent Phase: Finding your first impression

By Stephanie Tillman, CNM, MSN Lost for words when introducing yourself as a new midwife? Stumbling over the explanation of your recent role change while simultaneously trying to instill confidence in your care? Here are a few suggestions for how to make the best first impressions with clients and coworkers. “Are you sure you’re a midwife? You don’t half look young.” - Ingrid “Don’t worry Ingrid. You’re quite safe.” - Jenny Lee - Call the Midwife, Season 1 Episode 2 I remember in...

Posted By Barbra Elenbaas | 1/15/2014 1:21:55 PM
 

The Latent Phase: From Student to Saveur, and the Argument for Hiring New Grads

By Stephanie Tillman, CNM, MSN I have come to believe that one of the hallmarks of a great midwifery practice is ability to integrate new midwives. As a recent graduate, I was thankful for the six weeks of outpatient orientation and ten births my new practice required before the experienced midwives “cut the cord” and sent me out on my own. Despite feeling adequately supported clinically, the warmth and kindness I had found in my classmates while in midwifery school did not carry over into th...

Posted By Barbra Elenbaas | 5/10/2013 10:47:55 AM
 

The Latent Phase: Landing It

By Stephanie Tillman, CNM, MS After the last entry’s list of job hunting strategies, are you ready with a list of postings? Does performance anxiety have you stuck at an open draft email screen with a blinking cursor? Here are the next steps to getting your first (or next) midwifery job. Applying When it comes to applying for midwifery jobs, competition is fierce. Your cover letter and resume market and advertise the things that set you apart from the rest of the pool, so spend lots of ...

Posted By Barbra Elenbaas | 3/29/2013 10:21:38 AM
 

The Latent Phase: Maintaining your License, Crunching the Numbers

By Stephanie Tillman, CNM, MSN Understanding the specific requirements needed to maintain your midwifery license, including continuing education, is a numbers game. Here is how I have come to understand the system, and keep track of seemingly complex requirements in a clear fashion. Just when I thought I had all the numbers crunched in my list of certification, licensure, and maintenance requirements, I learned the true depths to which the numbers-game of maintenance goes: I encountered...

Posted By Barbra Elenbaas | 3/21/2014 4:41:14 PM
 

The Latent Phase: Making the Most of the Annual Meeting

By Stephanie Tillman, CNM, MSN This year marks my third in a row attending the ACNM Annual Meeting & Exhibition, and I could not be more thrilled! It is a powerful gathering of reproductive health care providers, with time dedicated to celebrating our profession and ourselves. I am excited to see the many midwives I’ve met in the past year, I look forward to the smiling faces of my former classmates, and am thankful for the dedicated time to sit down and reconfirm my intentions within midwif...

Posted By Barbra Elenbaas | 5/8/2014 2:02:36 PM
 

The Latent Phase: Mind the Gap

By Stephanie Tillman, CNM, MSN Wondering what final experiences to squeeze in before being sent out on your own? Here’s a starter list of opportunities to ask your instructors and mentors for so it’s easier for you to bridge the gap between student and independent provider. In my final months of midwifery training, I decided I needed to step up my game. I couldn’t quite put my finger on what they were, but I knew there must be a few hidden gaps in the transition from advanced student t...

Posted By Barbra Elenbaas | 10/8/2013 6:14:47 PM
 

The Latent Phase: Navigating the Midwifery Certification Exam

By Stephanie Tillman, CNM, MSN Every once in a while, my emotions take over. The daily grind outweighs the beauty of individual interactions, and I (silently, or actually) yell out, “I just want to be a midwife!” Well, guess how that happens? Every midwife first takes the certification exam. There is the rational preparation of studying, practice questions, a good night’s sleep, and maintaining one’s normal routine the morning of the exam. Perhaps the difference with the certificat...

Posted By Barbra Elenbaas | 1/24/2013 1:09:43 PM
 

The Latent Phase: Recapping the Series

By Stephanie Tillman, CNM, MSN Meeting students and new graduates at last week’s Annual Meeting was absolutely inspiring, and I was so proud of my profession as I listened to the paths new midwives have chosen within midwifery and beyond. The eloquent individuals who presented the Student Report (which will be available in the upcoming Summer issue of Quickening) to the Board and members of ACNM at the Business Meeting discussed their desire to have more support from the College in transition...

Posted By Barbra Elenbaas | 6/6/2013 3:19:44 PM
 

The Latent Phase: Show me the money!

By Stephanie Tillman, CNM, MSN Outside of fast food and retail, I had only ever worked in small non-profit groups before becoming a midwife. Understanding health care salaries was beyond my reach. Thus, my earning expectations were minimally grandiose: get paid enough to 1. live, 2. pay off student loans, and, ideally, 3. make more than I did with my jobs straight out of undergrad, given all the extra education and borrowed loans. But what should I, and other full-time entry level midwives...

Posted By Barbra Elenbaas | 6/26/2013 12:41:27 PM
 

The Latent Phase: Transitioning into the Second Oldest Profession

By Stephanie Tillman, CNM, MSN What is the first year of midwifery practice like? Experienced midwives might remember theirs with assured and distant hindsight, considering both the beauty of that time and also cringing at the scars of the learning curve. Student midwives may anticipate the first year with anxiety, uncertain of skills still being practiced and facts yet memorized, always knowing the limitations of school learning. Those currently living the first year may fear their experienc...

Posted By Barbra Elenbaas | 1/10/2013 2:03:48 PM
 

The Latent Phase: Walking and Talking the Profession at the Annual Meeting

By Stephanie Tillman, CNM, MSN If you are a current midwifery student or recent graduate attending the ACNM Annual Meeting in Nashville, you are about to have an incredible time. From the celebrity midwife sightings, to the feeling of the global reach of midwifery work, to the latest research, to talking with abandon about vaginas and meconium and nipples: there is magic that happens at ACNM that rejuvenates a midwifery soul. First, the research and the experience. I attended my firs...

Posted By Barbra Elenbaas | 5/24/2013 9:30:03 AM
 

The Midwifery Profession Gets a Global Boost at ICM

This is a big week for midwives, women, and infants around the world. Once every three years, the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) holds a Congress that attracts more than 3000 international midwives. ACNM is in on the action. If you’re one of our many members in attendance, be sure to stop by our booth—stand 23—and chat with members of the ACNM Division of Global Health. Why is the ICM Triennial Congress such a big deal? This is the first time ever that the Congress has been held ...

Posted By Melissa Garvey | 6/20/2011 5:01:48 PM
 

The Quest to “Healthify” the Nation

By Debra K., The Journey into Wellbeing Hello, I’m Debra K. the Natural Health Explorer. I’m on a quest to “healthify” our nation. I hope you enjoyed last month’s video with Chris Hilderbrandt, CNM, ARNP, of Breath of Life in Florida. This month, we go back to Breath of Life and chat with Vikki Bennett, CNM, ARNP. We discuss the professionalism offered by midwives as a great birthing option for families. With accessibility in all 50 states and around the globe, the demand for midwifery...

Posted By Barbra Elenbaas | 9/9/2014 11:09:17 AM
 

The Window is Open for Transforming Maternity Care

By Ginger Breedlove, CNM, PhD, FACNM, ACNM President Last week, Diana Mason, PhD, RN wrote a blog post for the Journal of the American Medical Association titled “Transforming the Costly Travesty of US Maternity Care.” It is an articulate chronology of the issue, which has reappeared frequently in national headlines over the past month. Mason advocates for immediate change, outlining 4 compelling factors that stand in the way of improving maternal-newborn outcomes while reducing costs: ...

Posted By Barbra Elenbaas | 8/7/2013 4:53:17 PM
 
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Any opinions expressed in this blog are those of the individual participant(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American College of Nurse-Midwives. ACNM is not responsible for accuracy of any of the information provided by guest bloggers and/or members via the Comments section. We welcome all feedback – including comments, ideas and suggestions. We also welcome civil, friendly debates. However, any and all content that is deemed inflammatory or rude will not be posted.

 



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