Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Its time to organize to support normal birth in Florida!

At the 2007 Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA) Conference in Clearwater, Florida we decided to restablish the long silent Florida Friends of Midwives. We had no idea the response from consumers would be so great. We are so excited to note the amount of interest in FFOM and how our Yahoogroup has expanded in just three short months. WELCOME and thank you for your interest in this important cause.
This group has re-formed to discuss ways of organizing to cultivate a strong consumer voice in support of midwifery our State. It is our hope that FFOM will not only be a great place to support midwifery, but also for you all to support each other and educate other women about birth!

In Florida:
  • Licensed Midwives can attend homebirths legally.
  • 16 birth centers are owned and operated by Licensed and Certified Nurse Midwives (www.birthcenters.org).
  • Two midwifery schools accredited by MEAC (www.www.meacschools.org)
  • Medicaid and insurance coverage of licensed and nurse midwifery care is mandated by state law.
  • Over 1500 babies are born into the arms of licesned midwives each year and that number is climbing.
What's the bottom line? Women have easy access to birth centers and homebirth midwifery care. In Georgia, one State away, there is one birth center and home birth (direct-entry) midwifery is illegal. Midwives can actually get arrested for attending home births there, and mothers looking for midwives have to find an "outlaw" midwife to attend them! In Alabama and North Carolina the story is much the same. Families who desire the care of midwives for homebirth, must seek that care without the networks and resources the women of Florida enjoy.

It is easy to forget just how good we have it here. The great conditions Florida's residents enjoy are due to political organizing done in the 80's and 90's by many - including crucial grassroots efforts by the Florida Friends of Midwives. Consumers and advocates of midwifery care lobbied our state government and succeeded in getting mother friendly laws passed in our State.

Political circumstances over the next few years are going to require a really strong family-mother/consumer voice in support of midwifery. Yes, homebirth midwifery is in danger of becoming illegal again in Florida if we do not organize to protect it.

Let's work hard as guardians of birth choices for ourselves, our sisters, our friends and perhaps most importantly - our daughters!

Heidi Dahlborg, LM
Midwife, Sarasota

Tamara Taitt
Region 3 Representative
Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA)

Shannon Mitchell
Information Services Director
International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN)

To join the FFOM Yahoo group visit:

http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/FloridaFriendsofMidwives/

1 comment:

vbacwarrior said...

This blog will be a wonderful addition to the FFOM website! Great work!