When your job is basically to write, you have to let other people read what you write. This is the worst, and best, part of writing.  This week I had to submit my draft dissertation proposal to two professors and the entire grant mock review committee. I have feedback from the two professors, and I have to admit I’m really happy with the comments.  I think this speaks to the benefit of working through to a third version with three members of my committee before sharing the draft. Those of you not in the academic community may wonder why so many eyes are helpful forRead More →

The Friendly Airports for Mothers (FAM) Act has been introduced into congress.  The Act, if made into law, would require airports to provide accessible, safe, clean, and convenient lactation rooms for travelers. The United States Breastfeeding Committee needs your help. By sharing your airport lactation experience you will be providing valuable evidence to lawmakers about the importance of this issue. If you are willing to contribute your story, visit the United States Breastfeeding Committee website and complete the submission form.Read More →

Lactation activism is any activity that promotes, protects and supports breastfeeding and human lactation. In some circles, the term is shortened to lactivism. Do you describe yourself as a lactivist?  My answer is no.  I try not to use language that is only understood by those inside the circle. I prefer to describe any work I do in words the general public will understand.  I do know many birth workers who wear the term with pride. For those of you who answered no due to a lack of opportunity rather than semantic concerns, today I give you your opportunities.  Check out these organizations.Read More →

I’ve seen bits and pieces of the Full 40 Campaign, but took the time to dig out all the materials after attending the AWHONN Conference last week. As usual, there are some things I like, and some I wonder about. What do I like? AWHONN has produced some easy to share materials. You can find them at the Healthy Mom & Baby website.  There is also a collection of social media images you can use.  These were harder to find – I eventually had to copy them from the Facebook album to get them into Pinterest to share.  Read More →

Here are some updates from around the birth world… Advocacy The National Partnership for Women and Families released its report: Expecting Better: A State by State Analysis of Laws that Help New Parents. Midwives Alliance of North America released the I am a Midwife Education Campaign. Her Royal Highness Princess Sarah Zeid of Jordan wrote a piece on Global Motherhood titled Delivering Joy: Midwives are the Key to a Future With Healthy Mothers and Babies. Be sure to support the “Improving Access to Maternity Care Act of 2014” Upcoming Conferences and Webinars: Check the Birth Professional Conferences Calendar for upcoming events including the Midwives AllianceRead More →

I had the extreme pleasure of landing on the Urban Village Midwife blog tonight. I was instantly connected to Sherry Payne — this is a woman whose midwife heart beats like mine. Research, disparities, increasing midwifery workforce…and she comes at it from a community health perspective. In case you are thinking this is “just” a midwifery student with big ideas, she is a woman with a productive history of advocacy and knowledge generation. She is an editor for a research journal.  She sits on the board of CIMS. This is a woman who has been active in maternal health, and is using midwifery training toRead More →

Have you seen the new website from the American College of Nurse-Midwives?  It is a virtual toolbox for promoting physiologic birth. Inside you can find sample policies and protocols,  quality improvement resources, position statements and more. All the things you need to improve the rates of physiologic birth at your hospital. Check it out and let me know what you think.  BirthTOOLS.orgRead More →

For readers interested in the changing US Healthcare Financing and its effects on pregnant women:  two resources for you this week. First, the MACPAC (Federal group that reviews the state Medicaid and CHIP access) put out a report to congress in March.  You can view the report here: Report to the Congress on Medicaid and CHIP. The third chapter is about pregnancy coverage, and that starts on page 41 of the document. Why do I think this is interesting?  Because the report highlights some of the challenges midwives have working with the Medicaid program – a program that pays for nearly half the births inRead More →

For those who think their calling may be more on the political activism side of the spectrum, I wanted to take a minute and give you some resources you might not have considered.  Most major organizations have advocacy priorities that are set by the national board.  For example, if you read at the Royal College of Midwives, you will see a collection of research and briefings that share what the RCM thinks is most important right now. Do you have a political leaning in your call?  Check out the national organizations that work around birth – think organizations of nurses, midwives, doctors; and think aboutRead More →