Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Breastfeeding Benefits Moms, Too

Midwives and other women’s health care experts agree that breastfeeding is a great way to give babies a healthy start to life. Now a new study shows that breastfeeding may benefit mom’s health later in life. Scheduled for publication in the May 2009 issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the new study shows that women who have breastfed have a lower risk of developing high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease during menopause.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The World Needs Midwives Now More Than Ever

On May 5, midwives across the globe will celebrate International Day of the Midwife around the clock. Two New Zealand midwives are organizing a 24-hour virtual celebration of midwifery, and they want you to get involved! All you have to do is visit their sign up sheet, pick a time slot, and write down your planned activity. Here are a few activity suggestions to get your creative juices flowing:

1. Send a “Happy International Day of the Midwife” message to friends and family via e-mail or your favorite social networking site.

2. Host a group call via TalkShoe.com. Have each caller share a free resource with the group. For example, a US midwife could share the link to the JMWH Share with Women patient education series.

3. Designate noon to 1pm a time to create word collages about midwifery at wordle.net. Organize a group and get each member to commit to creating one collage within the 1-hour timeframe.

4. Host a virtual midwifery celebration in Second Life.

What other ideas do you have?

Monday, April 20, 2009

Mothers of Multiples at Greater Risk for Postpartum Depression

A study in the April 2009 issue of Pediatrics found that mothers of multiples are at a 43% greater risk of having moderate/severe depressive symptoms compared to mothers of singletons. These results were found even after adjusting for demographic and household socioeconomic characteristics and maternal history of mental health problems. Researchers conclude that greater care must be taken to address postpartum depression in families with multiple births.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

BJOG Study Finds Homebirth as Safe as Hospital Birth

A study published in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology found that planned homebirth is as safe as hospital birth for women with low-risk pregnancies. The study examined nearly 530,000 births in the Netherlands—a country where one third of women choose to give birth at home. Researchers note the importance of both highly trained midwives who know when to transfer a woman from home to hospital as well as rapid transportation. The study is the largest of its kind and contributes to a growing body of evidence that suggests it is appropriate for women with low-risk pregnancies to choose where to give birth.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Nominate Your Women’s Health Hero!

Don’t miss an opportunity to publicly recognize someone special in women’s health. Whether it’s your midwife or your mom, the Our Bodies, Ourselves Women’s Health Heroes awards honor those who make a difference in women’s health and well-being. Nominations are due Friday, May 1. Even if you don’t have a hero to nominate, you can view the list of nominees and rate each person to help determine the winner of the Audience Choice Award.

So, who’s your women’s health hero? Tell us about her (or him!).

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.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Plug In to Connection

Welcome to Midwife Connection, the blog from the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) for midwives and their supporters. Whether you are curious about midwifery or a longtime advocate, this is the place to plug in to what’s happening in the world of midwifery and women’s health.

Midwife Connection is a space for conversation, and the best conversations involve a variety of opinions. We invite you to agree, disagree, or fine-tune anything you see on this blog by posting comments.

Here are some of the discussion topics you can expect to find at Connection:

  • Research about women’s health and birth
  • Media coverage of maternity care and women’s health issues
  • Advocacy and health care reform
  • ACNM happenings that matter to you

Yolanda Landon and Melissa Garvey will serve as your regular hosts and bloggers. Please let them know what they’re doing well and what they could do better. We’ll also be inviting several guest bloggers. If you’re interested in being a guest blogger, let us know!