by Melissa Garvey, ACNM Writer and Editor
In preparation to launch the A.C.N.M. Foundation’s online quiz at www.DeliverMyBaby.org, one of the biggest hurdles was choosing a name. Our review panel consisted of midwives around the country of varying ages and practice settings, A.C.N.M. Foundation Board members, and the ACNM communications team. DeliverMyBaby had that snappy ring we were looking for, but there was that word…“deliver.”
Our review team members had opinions both for and against “deliver.” Most midwives prefer saying “I will attend a woman’s birth” or “I will be there to catch a woman’s baby”—not deliver a woman’s baby. It’s a noteworthy distinction, which acknowledges that the woman does the work of birthing the baby.
Midwives have a distinct style of care, and it shows up even in their word choices. Many midwives say they have clients—not patients. Some clients end up needing a cesarean birth—not a cesarean section.
But, of course, there is a flip side when it comes to naming an online quiz. The quiz was made for expectant parents who may have never considered using a midwife as their care provider. What are they most likely to click on: attend, catch, or deliver my baby?
This reasoning is causing some traditional midwifery word preferences, such as "client" and "catch," to take a back seat to more mainstream, commonplace terms of today’s health care scene. As an ACNM communications team member, I prefer the traditional, unique words used by midwives whenever possible and appropriate. I do, however, think there is a time and a place for both “deliver” and “catch.”
What do you prefer? And what do you think about the evolution of how midwives are using these words?