Saturday, February 9, 2008

ACOG: Out of Touch with Needs of Childbearing Families

An press release by The Big Push for Midwives Campaign

Trade Union claims out-of-hospital birth is “trendy;”
tries to play the “bad mother” card

(February 7, 2008) The American College of Obstetricians and
Gynecologists (ACOG), a trade union representing the financial
and professional interests of obstetricians, has issued the
latest in a series of statements condemning families who choose
home birth and calling on policy makers to deny them access to
Certified Professional Midwives. CPMs are trained as experts in
out-of-hospital delivery and as specialists in risk assessment
and preventative care.

“It will certainly come as news to the Amish and other groups
in this country who have long chosen home birth that they’re
simply being ‘trendy’ or ‘fashionable,’” said
Katie Prown, PhD, Campaign Manager of The Big Push for Midwives
2008. “The fact is, families deliver their babies at home for
a variety of very valid reasons, either because they’re
exercising their religious freedom, following their cultural
traditions or because of financial need. These families deserve
access to safe, quality and affordable maternity care, just like
everyone else.”

Besides referring to home birth as a fashionable “trend”
and a “cause célèbre” that families choose out of
ignorance, ACOG’s latest statement adds insult to injury by
claiming that women delivering outside of the hospital are bad
mothers who value the childbirth “experience” over the
safety of their babies.

“ACOG has it backwards,” said Steff Hedenkamp,
Communications Coordinator of The Big Push and the mother of two
children born at home. “I delivered my babies with a trained,
skilled professional midwife because I wanted the safest
out-of-hospital care possible. If every state were to follow
ACOG’s recommendations and outlaw CPMs, families who choose
home birth will be left with no care providers at all. I think we
can all agree that this is an irresponsible policy that puts
mothers and babies at risk.”

The Big Push for Midwives calls on ACOG to abandon these outdated
policies and work with CPMs to reduce the cesarean rate and to
take meaningful steps towards reducing racial and ethnic
disparities in birth outcomes in all regions of the United
States. CPMs play a critical role in both cesarean prevention and
in the reduction of low-birth weight and pre-term births, the two
most preventable causes of neonatal mortality.

Moreover, their training as specialists in out-of-hospital
maternity care qualifies CPMs as essential first-responders
during disasters in which hospitals become inaccessible or unsafe
for laboring mothers. In addition, CPMs work to ensure that all
babies born outside of the hospital undergo state-mandated
newborn screenings and are provided with legal and secure birth
certificates.

Currently, Certified Nurse-Midwives, who work predominantly in
hospital settings, are licensed and regulated in all 50 states,
while Certified Professional Midwives, who work in
out-of-hospital settings, are licensed and regulated in 24
states, with legislation pending in an additional 20 states.

The Big Push for Midwives <http://www.TheBigPu shforMidwives. org
<http://www.thebigpu shformidwives. org/> > is a nationally
coordinated campaign to advocate for regulation and licensure of
Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs) in all 50 states, the
District of Columbia andPuerto Rico, and to push back against the
attempts of the American Medical Association Scope of Practice
Partnership to deny American families access to legal midwifery
care.

1 comment:

Molly said...

Sounds like ACOG is scared!