Please Meet Tanya Smith-Johnson!!

Tanya joins the Big Push for Midwives Steering Committee as our new Director of Outreach, Education, and Advocacy

"After co-facilitating and being a part of PushSummit 2019, I was energized in a way I haven’t been in a long time. I knew this is where my energy and ideas would be valued and appreciated. Hearing from so many thought leaders across the nation about the work they are doing and how much more there is to do, I knew this is where I wanted to be and happily joined the Steering Committee. Being able to bring my expertise, lived experience and frame of reference to the table to help PUSH things forward is exciting and invigorating. There is so much to do, and I am ready to get to work."

Tanya says she envisions her role as a connector, one who connects the dots between big picture and grassroots. She is a strategist who comes up with ideas and ways to help educate and inform how CPMs can be implemented in local, county, and state systems, as well as institutions and organizational frameworks.

She is thinking of programs and initiatives that include CPMs and how to integrate them into what’s currently available and happening.

"I envision creating tools and resources for states and their midwifery organizations to use, which streamline how to go about their individualized 'fight' to get CPM inclusion and access, and showing how this can be done so we can better inform legislators and policy makers on what it looks like for CPMs to be included as a part of the care team."

Tanya says she also sees herself keeping up with various bills and legislation across the nation and seeing where we can insert and advocate for CPMs to be included in the language, especially as there is more and more push for maternal health bills.

READ MORE ABOUT Tanya Smith-Johnson HERE. We are so very excited to welcome her to the Big Push for Midwives Campaign!

We are so grateful for you.

Because of your support, we were able to push hard in 2019.

From supporting and building the ecosystem of courageous leaders of state coalitions of midwives and consumers, to issuing key statements on the issues, to convening PushSummit 2019 in partnership with the "Sustain Midwives" #MANA2019 Conference, the Big Push for Midwives Campaign was feeling particularly pushy in 2019. Thanks to you, we were supported in our labor.

PushSummit 2019

At PushSummit 2019, the Big Push for Midwives Campaign gathered change agents from across the U.S. birth community. These veteran birth activists represent midwives and consumers, and brought with them their incredible wisdom and strength.

PushSummit 2019 convened these leaders for strategy, fellowship and planning. The event powerfully advanced the work of the Big Push, which continues to serve grassroots activists in the PushNation, including those:

  • working or planning licensure for CPMs in their states
  • under the thumb of bad governing boards
  • facing hostile rules and regulations
  • staring at a sunset review
  • concerned about the future of LAC (labor after cesarean) / VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean / and HBAC (home birth after cesarean)
  • facing increased attacks on breech, and forced collaborative agreements
  • working to remove Medicaid restrictions in their states for CPM coverage
  • integrating CPMs fully into their community’s Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Continuum of Care
  • facing legislative roadblocks, back-door dealings, and insider politics at their state capitol that prevent them from advancing

BIG BIG thanks to our sponsors and donors (Southern Cross Insurance Solutions, home of The Midwife Plan) and YOU! 

MEET + GREET: Pushers in the PushNation

ISIS ROSE is a doula and birth assistant who aspires to be a home birth midwife. She intends to pursue more training in herbalism and womb wellness to accommodate birthing people before, during and beyond the childbearing year. Isis is passionate about serving families who are increasingly seeking undisturbed birth and alternative healing modalities. Relying on her training in sociocultural anthropology, Isis will continue to spread awareness about the history and present of childbirth for Black people in the United States.

Isis has joined forces with fellow home birth mama and birthworker, Chae Pounds, to bring birth education to their new project: Homecoming Podcast.

homecomingflogohead1-150x150.png"Broadcasting how we birth in love. At Homecoming Podcast, we feature Black home birth stories. Our podcast brings awareness to the contemporary movement in which parents are seeking alternatives to hospital birth in search of more positive and fulfilling birth experiences. Our show includes conversations with dynamic guests and experts including birthing people, partners, midwives, doulas, childbirth educators, and cloth diaper enthusiasts. Raising consciousness through storytelling, we hope to serve as a resource for all who are considering birthing at home. Listen to Black home birth stories on your favorite podcast platform!"

_ _ _ _ _

DEBORAH FISCH is a Michigan attorney whose practice focuses on healthcare professional licensing defense and the protection of birthing people’s rights in childbirth. She helped – successfully! – advocate for the licensing of Michigan Certified Professional Midwives and served on the Michigan Board of Licensed Midwifery in its initial rule promulgation phase.

She is a founding member of Birth Rights Bar Association and continues to serve on BRBA’s board of directors. She is active in numerous other birth advocacy organizations, including the Big Push for Midwives Campaign, without whose constant support Michigan could not have seen its bill through to enactment in 2016.

During her tenure at AwakenMichigan: Reproductive and Sexual Justice Project(now sadly defunct), Deborah began substituting cartoons for law review articles. She shares her cartoons on her website, Mama’s Got a Plan. The cartoons address questions of maternity/midwifery care, health insurance and access to care, and Reproductive Justice – all through collage-style imagery accompanied by explanatory texts. Take a look!

  1. Unregulate me? (This post was conceived with the help of the Big Push, which also helped out with its delivery.)
  2. How bad can it be?
  3. It COULD fall ...
  4. VBAC Roulette - AwakenMichigan
  5. The Fellowship of the Bill (read all 9 parts!)
  6. And many more!!


Worldwide Day of Giving // December 3, 2019

December 3, 2019 was Giving Tuesday, the largest worldwide day of giving! We are so fortunate to have raised funds that will benefit our new and ongoing statewide and national advocacy efforts.

As you likely know, the Big Push for Midwives is a national campaign to secure regulation and license laws for Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs) in all 50 U.S. States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands.

Heart.jpgWhat you may not know is how the Big Push supports the courageous leaders of state coalitions of midwives and consumers, who are building effective public education and legislative campaigns to pass CPM legislation, implementing new CPM licensure laws, and fully integrating CPMs into their community's Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (RMNCH) Continuum of Care.

In states where community midwives are regulated through licensure and fully integrated into the RMNCH Continuum of Care, those states provide better access to care and better outcomes.



(or donate at

The Big Push holds a new vision of U.S. maternity care: better outcomes for moms and babies, and greatly expanded access to community midwives and the full range of birth options. We are working to bring community midwives out from underground economies in some states and fully integrate them into the RMNCH Continuum of Care in others.

It takes all of us to make a difference in this birth work, and we invite you to please consider donating to the Big Push for Midwives campaign today. Thank you for donating!

Give a little. Push a lot.

The Big Push for Midwives



Your tax-deductible gift will help the Big Push advance the national, grassroots movement for community midwives in 2020 by:
  • Providing and maintaining a forum for our state organizations to come together, share ideas, strategize, and develop education and advocacy material for use by all PushStates.
  • Drafting timely news releases and distributing to media sources nationwide for positive stories, and providing responses to combat negative stories.
  • Being the biggest cheerleader for tired, weary, and discouraged state leaders!
  • Checking, upon request, our partner organizations' proposed bill language for any errors or mistakes and providing strategy for specific, on-the-ground situations.
  • Providing critiques, upon request, of our organizations' methods, websites, newsletters, and action alerts, for increased effectiveness.
  • Regularly updating the Big Push website, blog, and Facebook page, and keeping the public informed about what is happening in the states and on the national level.
  • Planning national PushSummits so the PushNation can get together, share, strategize, and be refreshed.

Stay Connected

The Big Push for Midwives is fiscally sponsored by Sustainable Markets Foundation, a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The Big Push works to increase access to Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs), the only U.S. healthcare providers with required training in out-of-hospital maternity care. If you haven’t already, please sign-up for PushAlerts here.

The Big Push for Midwives · 1155 F St NW, 1050, Washington, D.C., DC 20004, U.S. 
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