by Cassie Moore, ACNM Writer and Editor
August is Midwifery
Advocacy Month—right around the corner—and we hope midwives across the
country will participate in calling their legislators, hosting fundraisers, and
advocating for the MOMS 21 act.
However, it is important to advocate for midwifery throughout the year, at
every chance. Members who attended the ACNM 57th
Annual Meeting in Long Beach were thrilled by International Confederation
of Midwives President Frances Day-Stirk’s rousing call to “Talk midwife—walk
If you’re like me, when you think of an advocate, you think of an outspoken,
confident, polished, cheerleadery type of person who always knows the right
thing to say and when to say it—who never stumbles over his or her words—who
doesn’t get intimidated by politicians or the media. While those types of
personalities are enormously helpful for a cause, they are rare. For many of
us, it is easier to advocate for midwifery in quieter, less obvious ways most of the time.
I recently was reading a blog that I regularly check. The writer was telling a
story about how she had gone to her gynecologist and had had some type of
conflict. In the comments section, I left a quick little note: “Did you know
you can also see a midwife for your gynecologic needs? Try one—you might like
the experience.” I didn’t write anything disparaging her gynecologist, but I did
let the writer know that the midwifery option was available. She replied that
she wasn’t aware that midwives see women for anything other than birth care. Who
knows—maybe someday she will decide to see a midwife and blog about the
experience, adding a little extra positive publicity to midwifery.
I am currently taking an online class in medical terminology. It’s very
exciting and fascinating, especially now as we are learning about the female
reproductive system. We have online discussions for this class and I try to use
every little opportunity to inject midwifery or midwives’ philosophy into the
discussion. For example, when discussing sexually transmitted infections
(STIs), I wrote that a gynecologist or
midwife can diagnose and prescribe treatment for STIs. It’s a little thing, but
it’s something that my classmates may not know—and once they do know, they may
decide to learn more about midwifery.
I’m not trying to pat myself on the back—after all, these
are only tiny efforts! But what I am trying to say is that anyone can advocate
in these little ways every day, and if a lot of people advocate just a little
bit, then more women will learn about midwifery than would have otherwise. What
are some small things you’ve done recently to advocate for midwifery?