As reported by The Big Push for Midwives Campaign, there has been a sudden increase in nationally prominent health organizations joining an already the burgeoning list of prominent health organizations which support licensing or acknowledge the safety of home birth with a CPM. (see a pdf of the Big Push's press release here.)
The Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN), a highly respected national nursing group, recently published an editorial blasting the American Medical Association and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists for their outdated and out of touch policies trying to restrict home birth and Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) licensure.
In the editorial published in thecurrent issue of the Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing, the official journal of AWHONN, Nancy K. Lowe, CNM writes, “I am very proud to be an American, but I am embarrassed that our country, founded on the ideals of individual liberty and freedom, can also support ‘authoritative’ initiatives such as these by the ACOG and AMA, initiatives that are founded on neither science nor an understanding of the physiologic and psychosocial needs of mothers and babies.” Lowe adds, "What is most risky about home birth in the United States is that for most women who desire it there is a scarcity of qualified providers of home birth services.”
The National Perinatal Association, a multi-disciplinary health advocacy group, issued two supportive Position Papers:
(1) "Choice of Birth Setting" (download the pdf here), which highlights a comprehensive Cochraine Database Review of peer-reviewed scientific studies, pointing out that the Cochrane Database concluded:
"... there was no strong evidence to favor planned hospital birth vs planned home birth for low-risk preg nant women.“ Planned hospital birth may even increase unnecessary interventions and complications without any benefit for low-risk women“
(2) "Position Statement on Midwifery" (download the pdf here), which explains the different types of midwives:
"The designation “midwife” is therefore accompanied by a qualifying term such a Certified Nurse- Midwife (CNM), Certified Midwife (CM) or Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) which shows the midwife has successfully passed a national certifying exam and is competent to practice."
Groups that have long supported the concept of home birth with a CPM include:
- American Public Health Association
- Our Bodies Ourselves
- Consumer Reports Health
- Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada
- Coalition for the Improvement of Maternity Services
These national and international groups are joined by several Illinois groups including :
- Illinois Public Heallth Association
- Illinois AFL-CIO
- Illinois Nurses Association
Illinois Nurses Association 2008 Statement: "The INA has changed its position from oppose to neutral because they feel the current proposal adequately protects the public, including sound education and certification requirements, and does allow women to choose to have a licensed certified midwife to provide prenatal and childbirth services in their homes."
- Illinois Society for Advanced Practice Nursing
- Illinois Maternal Child Health Coalition
- Health Medicine Policy Research Group
- Health Disability Advocates
- Illinois Families for Midwifery
- Chicago Women's Health Center
Seeing the groups line up, it is interesting to note the only groups opposing are the American Medical Asociation and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists who are pouring their vast resources into supporting state medical groups in utilizing, not rational argument, but scare tacticts and political strong-arming in an attempt to tamp down grass-roots consumer movements whose time has come.