Wednesday, September 29, 2010
City of Sarasota, State of Florida Proclaim October 4-8 Licensed Midwives Week
At next week’s City Commission meeting (Monday, October 4, 6:00pm), Sarasota Mayor Kelly Kirschner will proclaim October 4th through 8th as Sarasota Licensed Midwives Week. Mayor Kirschner’s recognition will pay tribute to the skilled, individualized care that Sarasota’s licensed midwives offer women and their families throughout the childbearing cycle. It will signify the strong contribution licensed midwives make to the health and well-being of our community's mothers and babies through appropriate care and treatment in all phases of childbirth.
The week has also been proclaimed Florida Licensed Midwives Week by the office of Florida Governor Charlie Crist, coinciding with National Midwifery Week, a time to recognize the contributions of Certified Nurse Midwives (CNMs), Certified Midwives (CMs) and Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs) nationwide. The American College of Nurse Midwives (ACNM) publicly announces the week with an introduction to midwifery. "The heart of midwifery care for women and newborns lies more in the nature of that care than in its specific components. Midwifery practice has a firm foundation in the critical thought process and is focused on the prevention of disease and the promotion of health, taking the best from the disciplines of midwifery, nursing, public health and medicine to provide safe, holistic care."
HISTORY OF MIDWIFERY IN FLORIDA: Midwives have a long and valued history in Florida. The state first passed legislation to license direct-entry midwives in 1931. In the 79 years since, Florida’s licensed midwives have continued to tirelessly serve the families of Florida and to ensure the continued availability of safe, evidence-based birthing options for Florida’s families. In 1992, Governor Lawton Chiles declared the first-ever Licensed Midwives Week. More women than ever before are seeking out licensed midwives for maternity care.
ABOUT MIDWIFERY IN FLORIDA: In Florida, two types of midwives are allowed to practice: Certified Nurse-Midwives and Licensed Midwives (a Florida state licensure), also known as direct-entry midwives. Throughout the state, about 11.2 percent of births are estimated to be managed by midwives, rather than by OB-GYNs. Many birth centers and midwives have reported a significant increase in business in the past year. This increase is believed to be a result of various factors, primarily a greater number of women seeking alternative birthing choices due to an unhealthy increase in caesarean sections and other unnecessary interventions that frequently occur in hospital settings. In a 2006 report on Florida Licensed Midwives, midwives had a caesarean section rate of 6.3 percent compared to a 36.64 percent statewide average in hospitals the same year.
In honor of this week, Florida Friends of Midwives (FFOM), a non-profit grassroots organization dedicated to promoting and supporting the practice of midwifery in Florida, will be hosting various community events throughout the state this week and during October to celebrate the more than 110 currently practicing licensed midwives. For more information of midwifery in Florida, please visit www.flmidwifery.org.
“We are humbled by the dedication of the mothers who worked so hard to have this week declared licensed midwifery week,” says licensed midwife Miriam Pearson-Martinez. “We hope that the events happening all over the state this week serve to raise awareness regarding the benefits of midwifery care.”
The proclamation in Sarasota will be read by Mayor Kirschner at the beginning of the City Commission meeting, Monday, October 4th, at 6:00 pm in Sarasota’s City Hall. Florida Friends of Midwives encourages all families who have benefited from the care of licensed midwives to attend this special recognition.
About Florida Friends of Midwives: Florida Friends of Midwives is a non-profit grassroots organization dedicated to promoting the Midwives Model of Care and supporting the practice of midwifery in Florida. Florida Friends of Midwives was formed to support midwives who offer safe, cost-effective, evidence based care to Florida's families. For more information, please visit www.flmidwifery.org.