Friday, April 10, 2009

Donate Your Data to Help Mainstream Midwives

One of the most tiring things about being a midwife is having to justify and explain your profession. It’s not common knowledge that most midwives can provide primary care, write prescriptions, and even handle complications in childbirth. It’s frustrating as a midwife supporter, too. We need to keep up our efforts to get the word out!

Part of ACNM’s role is to update midwifery fact sheets that educate consumers, media professionals, policymakers, and others about the profession. While the Childbirth Connection’s Evidence-Based Maternity Care report and a recent Cochrane Review gives us a nice new pool of information to draw from, we still need more data to advocate for the profession and for improved maternity care.

Whether you’re a midwife or a midwife supporter, please help mainstream midwives by donating your data. Imagine what we could do in health care reform, media outreach, and public education if we had proof that midwifery care leads to X% less cesarean sections, X% lower health care bills, and X% higher patient satisfaction.

If you’re an ACNM member, you have until Wednesday, April 15, to complete the Benchmarking Survey, which tracks interventions, maternal health, infant health, and practice information. And you have the remainder of 2009 to take the Core Data Survey, which keeps track of current trends in CNM/CM practice.

If you’re a woman who has given birth, donate your data to the Transparency in Maternity Care Project by taking The Birth Survey—a comprehensive survey designed to give the public access to accurate information about maternity care providers and institutions.


Anonymous said...

For the 68 sites signed on to using the AABC UDS, just run your benchmarking report and uplaod it to ACNM.

AABC is targeting for 200 sites to sign on for participation in the study of optimal birth by the end of the year.

It's work but it will be your contribution to "the cause". If you don't do it, who will? For info go to and look at the options.

Anonymous said...

Please define "mainstream midwife"--I've never heard that term before.

Cynthia Flynn, CNM, PhD said...

Just to clarify, the AABC Uniform data set is for ALL providers (including all types of midwives and physicians) who attend births in ALL locations (home, birth center or hospital). It provides your ACNM benchmarking report with a click, but it also allows you to compile any other reports that you might need to market your practice. Further, it allows you to participate in the Optimal Birth Study. The web site listed in the prior comments had a typo; visit for more information.

Cynthia Flynn, CNM, PhD
President, American Association of Birth Centers

Melissa Garvey, ACNM Writer and Editor said...

Thanks for the clarification, Cynthia.

As for "mainstream midwives," I meant to ask people to donate their data in order to make midwives more mainstream in the US. "Mainstream" was meant as a verb. Make sense?

Cynthia Flynn, CNM, PhD said...

We need data more than ever now! A judge has just ruled that Medicaid no longer has to pay the Federal match for birth center facility fees. Since most birth centers have a high proportion of Medicaid clients, this decision represents a huge threat to all birth centers, as private payors tend to follow what the federal government does. We need data to make the case that midwifery and the birth center option provide a real service to women. If you are not uploading your data, please start doing so this month--we need you! TIA,
Cynthia Flynn, President
American Association of Birth Centers

p.s. If you would like to sign a letter of support, go to and if you would like to join our Cause on Facebook, go to .

midwife and qualititative research said...

I love the idea of data collection tools, and have found the UDS to be too expensive. I use the MANAstats dataset - it's free. If you want more midwives to contribute, it would make more sense to incentivize this professional activity, rather than charge for it.

Melissa Garvey, ACNM Writer and Editor said...

Thanks for sharing additional resources! Eventually, MANA, AABC, and ACNM are looking to combine their data. As of now the ACNM benchmarking survey is a free benefit for ACNM members.

midwife qualitative researcher said...

That is great news about combining the three data collection tools.

I would definitely recommend ensuring that contributors are not charged any fees for submitting their data. That, in itself, potentially heavily biases the research that is produced. Great work - thanks!