Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Midwife Returns and the Revolution Unfolds

Dear readers,

 It has been three months since my last post... I have been offline and out of town for most of the summer.  This is by design, as I take time off midwifery during the summer so that the people known as My Family get my full attention.  We took a month long camping trip up to Oregon and Washington.  Spending time with my husband and kids in beautiful, natural places with no schedules, no interruptions, and no place to be but Here, Now means the world to me.  Being self-employed we happily trade income for quality time.  And what a time we had!  


We got into some hot water   (hot springs galore):


some white water:







and then the salty spray of the beautiful Pacific waters:

                 




We also played as the Moes Family Band at some music festivals like Concow Wild Mountain Faire




and the Mystic Garden Gathering





The grand finale of my time away was a trip for me and Adam to Burning Man.  The theme this year was Rites of Passage. I do, in fact, feel reborn...




    Meanwhile, some amazing midwives have been working throughout the summer to improve the collaboration among health care providers, insurers, and all parties involved with homebirth in the U.S.


  I am  thrilled to inform you that next month will be the first ever U.S. "Homebirth Consensus Summit:  The Future of Homebirth in the United States;  Addressing Shared Responsibility"  http://www.homebirthsummit.org/     is the website for this project.

  The purpose of this summit is as follows  :

      "The Home Birth Consensus Summit will bring a cross-section of the maternity care system into one room to discuss improved integration of services for all women and families in the US across birth sites.  Delegates will be a multidisciplinary group of leaders who have a passion for quality in maternity care and a commitment to work together to improve safety for women and babies across birth sites. All perspectives and viewpoints will be considered in this purposeful dialogue, while delegates explore facets of the existing system and propose solutions for the future."


the description continues,

 
Rates of planned home birth in the US have remained low for several decades, but women are increasing their interest in this option. Women today want and expect choices for childbirth without compromising quality of care. Choice of birth site - home, hospital, or birth center - is not an option for many expectant mothers in the United States.

Safety of birth in any setting is of utmost priority. Maternity care providers and researchers in the US disagree about appropriate settings for birth. Ultimately, women and families are ill-served by inter-professional conflict. The current debate on home birth in the US indicates the need for constructive discussion and consensus-building. Successful collaboration between health professionals has been found to result in improved experience and outcomes for consumers.

The meeting will be organized in a way that is most likely to foster the dialogue needed to find common ground and spark constructive action that will ultimately benefit all stakeholder groups. This summit will encourage dialogue among health care professionals, consumers, policy makers, and other leaders from disciplines that support maternity care, with the shared goal of identifying a common agenda for the provision of birth services in the United States.

The point is not to debate the “rightness or wrongness” of homebirth. The goal is to establish what the whole system can do to support those who choose homebirth, and provide the care, safety net, consultation, collaboration and referral necessary to make homebirth the safest and most positive experience for all involved—moms, babies, families, communities, health care workers, hospital personnel, administrators, payors, and so on. "




  This summit is a revolutionary step for birth in this country.  Major stakeholders, i.e., doctors, hospitals, and insurance companies are acknowledging that Homebirth Isn't Going Away Just Because They Want it To.   Some doctors in my community have been hostile towards me and my clients when we transport to the hospital . Their attitude has been  "I don't like you because I don't understand you and I want you to go away.  I will be rude and hostile and thus I will help to make homebirth go away. "  When we transport to the hospital, we never know which doctor will be on call;  a hostile or friendly one.  This issue has been the biggest problem I have faced as a midwife, and I have been contemplating ways to improve doctor/midwife relations.  This summit will set some precedence and perhaps guidelines for our communities.

I will keep you posted as the summit unfolds.  Some incredible midwives are behind this event, Director of Midwifery at UBC Saras Vedam CNM, and my dear friend, the incredible midwife and professor of nursing Sarah Shealy  http://www.artofnursing.net/meet-the-art-of-nursing-staff.html  These ladies are my heroes of the summer!

With love and gratitude,

Dena

2 comments:

Carolyn Hastie said...

So good to read of your family holiday and the way you regularly create the space to have that time with them. Great idea to do that as midwifery can certainly soak up every moment if you don't. Many of us would benefit from taking note of your wisdom. I really enjoyed seeing the photos, and loved the family playing together :) what a talented family you are!

Delighted too to read of the conference and the changes that are being made concerning women's choices for birth.

Love this comment:

"The point is not to debate the “rightness or wrongness” of homebirth. The goal is to establish what the whole system can do to support those who choose homebirth, and provide the care, safety net, consultation, collaboration and referral necessary to make homebirth the safest and most positive experience for all involved—moms, babies, families, communities, health care workers, hospital personnel, administrators, payors, and so on"

Those seamless pathways and structures make all the difference to safe and satisfying birth experiences.

Thanks for sharing and great to see you back

Dena Moes said...

Thank you Carolyn, for your kind words. It is so exciting that this summit will move beyond the homebirth "debate" into creating solutions to improve care and collaboration for everyone. It is a huge step in the right direction!