it's been one month since i've written. i should have been. it's been busy and exciting and satisfying.
in my last post i wrote about the CPM symposium.
well i'm going!
there was a scholarship offered. i applied. i was granted the award. so next month, i'm headed to D.C.
this is such an interesting discussion that i have been having with midwives. i'm working with and have worked with midwives on either side of the divide. the divide being: should midwives be primary healthcare providers? or maybe the question is: are midwives primary healthcare providers?
lay, traditional, modern, med. all terms applied to midwives. terms that seem to initiate hostility, drawing lines in the sand and determining the way they practice.
not really. all hold true to the tenants of the midwifery model of care. really! regardless if you agree with how each side practices, it seems each will argue the other is practicing irresponsibly. one says midwifery is lost, the other questions the quality of care provided. it's not as black and white as that. it's not that simple. and midwives do embrace each other. i'm not saying they don't. just trying defining the sides as simply as possible. like it or not.
washington is such an interesting place to observe all of this. i love my midwives, all of them, all three of them. i love them for their diversity, for what they offer, for their views on things, for what i can learn from them.
i am an eighties baby. i grew up in a very different world than midwives that began their practice before i was born. midwives that are self-taught, that were called to serve the women and families in their communities because there were no other options. out of need. whether spiritual or practical.
understanding the context in which these midwives emerged, in which they practice is important. their skepticism of modern medical standards should not be dismissed. we need them to challenge what many so readily accept. a model in which us younger generations are a product of.
we live in a world of evidence-based practice, but so much of what midwives do will never be proven by science. there is no money it, there is no standardization. it's specific, intuitive, regional based, anecdotal.
midwives trained in the old ways, so to speak, have knowledge of herbs, of homeopathics, the effects of nutrition. they use this knowledge in practice. they believe that observing a women is as important, if not more important as diagnosing a woman with a disorder through a medically-based test.
this is not always copacetic to the thinking and practice of today. but that doesn't mean it should be thrown out.
the question is, can you throw out an evidence-based, but not perfect test, for intuition? can we dismiss a standard-of-care that we have agreed to offer in order to practice legally, because we don't agree with it? is that informed-choice? is it safe? what effect does it have on the judgement of the profession in a national/international context?
i'm not judging, i'm observing. understanding. questioning. trying to merge both sides. traditional midwifery does not need to be at odds with midwives embracing a role as healthcare providers.
i strongly believe that there is a midwife for every woman. and that the decision to be a midwife is a political decision. it may not have been thirty years ago (or maybe it was even more so), but today, with midwifery emerging as a prominent profession that is becoming recognised as a safe, cost-effective and high-quality means of maternity care, practicing outside of this so called standard-of-care may put the entire profession at risk.
i haven't even touched on midwives as primary healthcare providers and how that fits into the picture. i'm not sure if the issue is a moot point. what will happen to midwives that refuse to play nice with the "system"?
this is all percolating in my brain.
oh this brings up so many topics. the right to homebirth, the rights of birthing mothers, the rights of midwives, access to midwives.