A birth-scene. Oil painting by a French (?) painter, Åbo, Sweden (later Turku, Finland), 1800. Source: Wellcome Collection. (Fig leaf added. Source: Pmpatricio, Wikipedia Commons.)
Home birth during a pandemic
One of our fearless, long-time leaders of The Big Push for Midwives Campaign, Deborah Fisch of Mama's Got a Plan fame, seeded the idea of a "landing page of landing pages for home birth during this pandemic." Deb shared this with us for the benefit of the whole PushNation, which is pushing to bring Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs) out from underground economies and fully integrate them into the Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (RMNCH) Continuum of Care in all US states and territories:
"There’s a PLAN for home birth and home birth midwifery during COVID-19? Well, not in the sense of a master document that tells all pregnant people in the United States what to do. But there is a lot of information popping up about pregnant people facing crowded hospitals full of sick people, wanting home births, not being able to access midwifery care, and more. As a public service, we track and capture that information on this page. These links will be of use primarily to consumers, if one can call pregnant people consumers – they seem more like producers! In addition, some information will be relevant to home birth midwives, as well as to attorneys who work to safeguard the rights of both the people giving birth and their midwives."
To see the recent News Reports, visit the PushHeadlines page (or just scroll to the bottom of this page). Read this News Release 'Where's My Midwife?' Map Links Midwives to Pregnant People, and see the new crowdmap here. Also, check out the new Where's My Midwife? website here and catch the new Podcast here.
Speaking of Maps, check out the latest PushMap (and PushChart) that show that in 14 states, as well as in Puerto Rico, Guam, and the US Virgin Islands, CPMs are at risk of criminal prosecution for practicing medicine or nursing without a license, driving the practice of midwifery underground and creating barriers to access for women seeking care.
Here too are several Asks coming forward from the PushStates related to home birth and CPMs.
- Friends of Michigan Midwives, "Letter to Gretchen Whitmer: Requesting an Executive Order to extend Medicaid coverage to midwives licensed in Michigan," March 2020
- Brooke Fortney, "Petition Mario Cuomo: Allow Licensing for Certified Professional Midwives in New York," Change.org, March 2020
- Flor Cruz, "Petition: Homebirths Need to Be Fully Covered by Insurance Companies during COVID-19 and Always!," Change.org, March 2020
- Christine Sheets, "Petition J.B. Pritzker: Pass Illinois HB5629 & SB3851, Known as the MIDWIVES PRACTICE ACT," Change.org, March 2020
- Meredith Christie, CPM, "North Carolina: requesting a governor’s order to expedite the licensing of CPMs during COVID-19," April 2020
- Mairi Breen Rothman, CNM, DM, "Maryland midwife collective responding to a governor's call to reopen recently closed hospitals to address pandemic-generated needs: working with officials to reopen a community hospital as a place for birth during the pandemic and beyond," April 2020
If you need Legal Resources, please contact these organizations and read their recent analysis.
- Birth Rights Bar Association (BRBA)
- National Advocates for Pregnant Women (NAPW)
- Birth Rights Bar Association | National Advocates for Pregnant Women
Finally, the following are the Landing Pages and many resources from a variety of national and international organizations that are providing helpful information for home birth during this pandemic.
- American Association of Birth Centers (AABC)
American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM)
- Birth Place Lab: collating evidence-based resources to support communities with information and community-based resources from global settings and B.C. Includes the relevant WHO social media tools, their just-released Guidelines for Interprofessional Collaboration: Community Midwives and Specialist Providers, and a mobile app for self-assessment
- Black Mamas Matter Alliance (BMMA)
Black Women Birthing Justice (BWBJ)
- COVID-19 and Doula Resources, Live Updates Updated Weekly
- Letter from the BWBJ collective, March 16, 2020
- Black Women Do HomeBirth
Black Women's Health Imperative (BWHI)
- BWHI Statement on COVID-19, March 13, 2020
- Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services (CMS): Coronavirus Waivers and Flexibilities
- Citizens for Midwifery
- Elephant Circle
- Free Birth Class Series on YouTube: Birthing in the Time of COVID-19, March 2020
- Webinar: Evidence on COVID-19 and Pregnancy, March 22 2020
Foundation for the Advancement of Midwifery (FAM)
- "Midwives on the front lines of COVID-19," April 7, 2020
- "Out-of-Hospital Birth and Pandemic Planning," March 23, 2020
- Hawaiʻi State Commission on the Status of Women Department of Human Services State of Hawaiʻi
- Human Rights in Childbirth
International Confederation of Midwives (ICM)
- ICM Official Statement, "Women's Rights in Childbirth Must be Upheld During the Coronavirus Pandemic," March 2020
Mercy in Action College of Midwifery
- Webinar: Clinical Preceptor Challenges: Best Practice During COVID-19 Pandemic, March 24, 2020
Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA)
- MANA is working to help midwifery supply distributors better understand what supplies are needed to keep midwives safe as they provide care to those in need during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Please help by answering the questions in this short survey.
Colleen Donovan-Batson, MS, CNM, ARNP, Director, Division of Health Policy and Advocacy, "MANA Statement | Implications of COVID-19 in Midwife-led Care of Childbearing Families," March 2020 (PDF)
- Sarita Bennett, "Midwives Alliance of North America COVID-19 Letter," March 26, 2020
- Sarita Bennett, "The Impact of Coronavirus on Community Birth"
- National Association to Advance Black Birth (NAABB)
National Association of Certified Professional Midwives (NACPM)
- Webinar: Grappling with Clinical Challenges During the COVID-19 Pandemic, April 17, 2020
- Webinar: COVID-19: Community Midwives, Public Health, and Emergency Preparedness, April 7, 2020
- Webinar: COVID-19: Telehealth for Community Midwives, April 3, 2020
- Webinar: Coronavirus: Midwives on the Front Line, March 19, 2020
National Black Midwives Alliance
- Webinar: COVID-19: Black Midwives Townhall, March 31, 2020 REGISTER HERE
- Natural Resources, March 31, 2020 Class
- New York State, Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa and New York State Council on Women & Girls Launch COVID-19 Maternity Task Force, April 20, 2020
- North American Registry of Midwives (NARM)
- SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective
- UNLV School of Nursing: IRB-approved survey for wide dissemination: "If you are providing maternity care during the pandemic, the researchers want to hear from you. Please participate and share with your networks! Take survey here. (If you are unsure if you meet the requirements, call or email the study team: Dr. Jennifer Vanderlaan | [email protected] | 702-895-3982 | IRB#1579780-1)
- White Ribbon Alliance
If you want to add your information to this page or otherwise contact us, send us an email.
If you want to read more about the strategy priorities of the Big Push for Midwives, click here.
If you want to LOL during this crazy time, see more from the wicked smaht Deborah Fisch:
See the most recent HEADLINES from across the PushNation here: