Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Trail-Blazing for Midwives: An Unexpected Encounter

by Michelle Grandy, CNM, MN, President, Washington ACNM State Affiliate

Pictured in center: Michelle Grandy, CNM, and Congressman Jay Inslee

You never know where opportunities will arise to support midwifery. My most recent unexpected opportunity happened as I was backpacking with my daughter in the great outdoors of Washington State.

We heard a few men down the trail talking about taking a group photo. One voice was particularly boisterous in the otherwise quiet wilderness. As we rounded the corner, the group said, "Great! Here is someone who may be willing to take our photo."

I replied, "For you, I could do that."

After snapping their photo with a magnificent mountain range in the background, one of the men made a comment about "My chief of staff…"

"What do you do?"

"Well, I'm a congressman,” he answered.

"What is your name?"

"I'm Jay Inslee."

I jumped into gear and began talking about our recent ACNM Annual Meeting in Washington, DC, and how we'd missed talking with him personally but met Megan, his health legislative assistant. I asked if he'd heard of the MOMS 21 bill. He stated that he had not. I kicked it up a notch and began discussing the bill, using personal references to my practice at the University of Washington. I mentioned that one component of the bill would support certified nurse-midwives (CNMs) billing while supervising residents in medical schools.

A week later, I sent a follow-up e-mail that included a photo and a copy of the MOMS 21 bill to Congressman Inslee and Megan. Shortly after, I was notified that he signed as a cosponsor for the bill!

Interested in learning more about MOMS 21? Visit the ACNM website or contact Kathryn Kravetz Carr at

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Let’s Play Catch Up!

by Melissa Garvey, ACNM Writer and Editor

We’ve been quiet at Midwife Connection lately, so let’s pick up the pace again by catching up on the latest ACNM news.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Remembering Women Who Were Widowed in Pregnancy on 9/11

As we approach the anniversary of 9/11, now is an appropriate time to revisit a study published in the March/April 2008 issue of the Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health called “The Lived Experience of Widowhood in Pregnancy.” This groundbreaking study examined the experiences of women who were pregnant when their husbands were killed in the 9/11 attacks or while serving in the US military during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

This was the first study to examine the experiences of pregnant widows. (Most previous studies of widowhood have focused on women in their 60s or older.) Authors examined the experiences of 10 women who lost their husbands during pregnancy. Using 8 themes that emerged from the data analysis, the authors described the emotions and challenges experienced by these women, including their struggles with loss, emotional trauma, depression, and creating a support system for their birth. The study offers strategies that midwives and other women’s health care providers can use in helping these women cope with their loss and impending motherhood.

Approximately 7 million women in the United States become widows every year. It is not known how many women are pregnant at the time of their husband’s death. However, the authors emphasize that we need only look at recent historical events to see that the number of widows of childbearing age is rising.