You Call These Ladies “Thugs” Mr Trump?

The American College of Nurse -Midwives is holding our annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  We are almost 2000 strong and had the unfortunate luck to have Mr. Trump decide to hold his rally in the middle of our conference.  Security around the facility became apparent very early in the morning of May, 24th and by 2:00 the streets around the facility had been blocked off. By 4:00 PM attendees for the rally stretched around the building of the conference center and protesters began lining the streets in front of our conference and around our hotels.

By now, the violence outside of the rally have been reported on all of the major news outlets around the country. Having been on the ground and having had the opportunity to witness the protest; I can tell you that the protesters were mainly peaceful and were simply exercising their right to free speech granted by the constitution of the United States of America. What I object to is the blanket statement made on twitter by Mr. Trump that the protesters were “thugs”.

 

Does this young woman look like a thug to you? A criminal?

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Certified Nurse-Midwife Protesting against Trump

Certified Nurse-Midwives have a master’s degree in Nursing/Midwifery, many have doctoral degrees. We are trained to take care of mothers and babies in hospitals, birth centers and in homes. We have prescriptive authority and the ability to diagnose common illnesses and to prescribe treatments for those illnesses. Hardly thugs!!!

These young ladies came out to support the women and citizens of New Mexico.

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Standing with NM

Mr Trump’s words are offensive not only to us, but to everyone.

There were many different protesters in the crowd.  Young, old, Latino, Native American, Caucasian, women, men, gay, straight, educated…not. Who cares? Calling people names serves no purpose and undermines our ability to come together to work for a common cause. I am sorry that a few people chose violence. I do not condone this. But the truth is, this was not the majority. I think that some of this violence rests not only with the perpetrators but with Mr Trump himself. Could it be that Mr. Trump’s derogatory comments toward minorities make people feel disenfranchised? His statements of unification ring quite hollow. Maybe Mr. Trump should do some soul searching to find the reason for some of this violence.

The news media does not follow peaceful protestors.  It really does not make for a good story on the 11:00 news.  Also,  Mr. Trump’s narrative of the situation does not hold water. We cannot as a nation sit by and let this bully continue to sell “his” version of the truth when it simply is not so.  We deserve better.

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Citizens of NM Exercising right of free speech

Criminals? No!!!

Bottoms Up!!!

The temperature finally rose above freezing yesterday just in time for the 23rd annual Bockfest here in Cincinnati, Ohio.  My favorite daughter was here in town to celebrate her 24th birthday,  so we decided to head on down to the city to join in on the festivities.   Seeing that this event is a celebration of all things good in the city, it just seemed foolish not to.

http://www.cincinnatimagazine.com/high-spirits-blog/gospel-bockfest/

Facebook and texts alerted us to everyone’s where a’ bouts throughout the day as we traversed the city establishments.  What a great time!!!  In the evening we headed on over to the main hall to hook up with our friends Ed and Karen from Wildey Flower Farm (best flowers in the entire city) to watch the crowning of the sausage queen for 2015.  We were given a blessing by the reigning king who reminded us that where there is a hall full of people drinking beer, there must be plenty of Germans, and plenty of Catholics.

Guilty on both counts.  I think he gave us permission to be late for mass today?

Anyway….Having all of these good folks together in one room got me thinking about a different kind of “Bottoms up”. fb-profilepic-4

I have a huge German Family.  A family that suffers from hereditary colon cancer.  March is colon cancer prevention month and a time to remind everyone to take the opportunity to know your health risks and to get screened.  Be aware, alcohol raises your risk of colon cancer.  Always drink responsibly:)

So, to my Big German Family and to all of you…BOTTOMS UP!!  Let’s make sure that not one more person gets a stage 4 colon cancer diagnosis.

Here is more information on who needs to and when to be screened

Dedicated in loving memory to my dad, Bob Dierig who passed away at age 51 from colon cancer.  He was a great brother to his siblings (all 18 of them). He enjoyed family outings, playing golf and cards with his brothers.  He would have loved Bockfest too.  We miss you dad.

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Myth Busting: What My Friends Are Surprised to Find Out About Me

#MidwivesMakeaDifference

The word “midwife” likely means different things to different people.  For the majority, the likely picture is an outdated one.  Even some of my closest friends and neighbors are often surprised to learn that I take care of women for their gynecologic needs, that I can prescribe medicines, or even that I have a Master’s degree in Nursing/Midwifery.

The number one comment I get when I tell women that I can take care of them is “Oh, honey, I don’t need you anymore!  I am finished having babies.”  They (laugh).  I then explain…
Yes, I do take care of women throughout pregnancy and birth, but I also care for women for all of their normal gynecologic needs from the teen years through menopause. This includes routine health exams, family planning and treatment of minor problems.  I believe that the woman should be a partner in her own health care, leading to greater satisfaction with the health care experience.

Second question: Don’t I need a doctor? Answer to that one is, it depends on your condition. Most pregnancies (85%) are normal, and most women are healthy. Certified Nurse Midwives and Certified Midwives are experts at normal. We are also trained to work within the healthcare system and with other health professionals, including physicians, to ensure that the patient receives the best care possible. If the patient’s condition warrants it; consultation, collaboration or transfer to a physician can be arranged. Today the president of ACOG, John C. Jennings, M.D. made this wonderful statement about collaboration in honor of midwifery week.  I am thankful for all of the collaborating physicians that I have worked with through the years and their dedication to patient care.  I believe that the best patient care is delivered when midwives and physicians work as a team based on the needs of the patient.

Nurse Midwives work in all areas of the State of Kentucky providing care in private offices, federally qualified health centers, in hospitals and in homes.  We work in all areas throughout the U.S.  If you have any questions about midwifery, feel free to ask…  #WomenNeedMidwives.  #MidwivesMakeADiffernence.

The Heart of Midwifery: Mary’s Dream Alive in Kentucky

“If these United States can be called a body, then Kentucky can be called It’s heart”-Jesse Stuart

I think that Jesse Stuart would agree that Kentucky is the heart of Midwifery as well.  Every aspiring nurse- midwifery student learns the story of how Mary Breckinridge founded the Frontier Nursing Service to meet the needs of the families in Leslie County.  In order to serve the entire population, Mrs. Breckinridge brought to Kentucky the concept of a professional who was trained in both nursing and midwifery.  Because of the vast geographical area, Mrs. Breckinridge set up a decentralized model of care consisting of a central hospital and several outposts/nursing clinics, with the nurse-midwives making their rounds via horseback.  Her goal was to have this care be a model for care world wide.

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Mrs. Breckinridge was also the first to document research in the area of nurse-midwifery.  Her results were tabulated by the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company.

The study shows conclusively what has in fact been shown before, that the type of service rendered by the Frontier Nurses safeguards the life of mother and babe. If such service were available to the women of the country generally, there would be a saving of 10,000 mothers’ lives per year in the United States, there would be 30,000 less still births and 30,000 more children alive at the end of the first month of life. The study demonstrates that the first need today is to train a large body of nurse-midwives, competent to carry out the routines that have been established both in the Frontier Nursing Service and in other places where good obstetrical care is available.

2014 Marks the 75th Anniversary of Frontier Nursing University.  Frontier is the longest operating nurse-midwifery program in the U.S. Frontier continues to graduate competent caring nurse- midwives who practice in Kentucky and across the nation.  Celebrations are ongoing. We are proud to have such a great asset in our state. Congratulations FNU!!!

As I reflect on what it means to be a nurse-midwife, I know that although I do not always know what lies ahead, I know that what matters is life.  Moms and babes.  Midwifery matters.   Let’s continue to keep Mary’s dream alive….

National Midwifery Week is happening now October 5-11, 2014!!!

If you would like to find out more about nurse-midwives and how we make a difference in the lives of moms and babes

 

 

 

 

Every Woman Deserves A Midwife

I am a Midwife and this is MY Moment of Truth.  When my husband and I decided to start our family, well let’s just say, a long time ago; I realized that I wanted something more, needed something more from my healthcare provider.  I chose a nurse midwife.  All three of my children were born into the loving hands of the women who also raised me, lifted me up, taught me to be who I am today.  For bringing my children safely into this world, for helping me to be a mother, for mentoring me, I am forever in your dept.  Thank You from the bottom of my heart!!

I believe that God called me to be a midwife, just as God called me to be a wife and a mother.   I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I have always said that I wanted to give back to women the gift that was given to me (us).  My husband and my children do just that as well.  They understand the gift that we were given and understand the mission.  When mom is on call and duty calls,  all is well.  Life is fine.  My children are no worse for the wear.  My hubby rules the roost:)

This is just a little piece of heaven that I get to experience with women…made for me by a very special patient….take a look….

Just as I accepted the calling in the beginning, I have resigned myself to the fact that my new role is now one of advocate.  My mission, my partners’ mission, has always been to serve the women of Northern Ky.  We were born here, we were raised here, we consider the women of Northern Ky. “our women”.  Now, the choices for midwifery care have been limited yet again.  We believe that women deserve choices.  We believe that every woman deserves care that is respectful, that is focused on her own set of unique needs, that includes her as a partner, and is driven by sound, evidenced -based care.  This is the type of care that we provide.

Over the last several weeks, this is just a sampling of the things we have heard women say….over and over and over again.

You (ladies) were the first people that ever listed to me

I came to you because I wanted a midwife

I want a natural childbirth and I know that you will be with me

I am staying with you

You need to open your own practice

You need to open your own birth center

Women are tired of having the rug pulled out from under them

There is no way that I can possibly articulate each woman’s story.  They are very personal and I cannot possibly do them justice.  However, there is a way for everyone to be heard…to use our voices!!!

Get Involved in Our Moment of Truth

Rather than telling you how you should maintain your health or who you should be working with, Our Moment of Truth™ encourages you to become aware of your health care options and make informed decisions based on what’s best for your own needs and preferences. Our Moment of Truth offers education and options so that you can seek the best type of care and provider for your needs and improve your well-being through campaign information and resources.

 

By participating in the Our Moment of Truth campaign, you can help increase understanding of women’s health care needs and the types of services that should be available to meet them. Let’s work together to make change happen—learn more about easy ways to get involved and share Your Moment of Truth.

 

Take the Pledge [link to http://ourmomentoftruth.midwife.org/OMOT_TakeThePledge]

Share Your Story [link to http://ourmomentoftruth.midwife.org/OMOT_ShareYourStory]

Please, also leave your stories on our page here or on our Facebook page.  How has this affected you?

Our Moment of Truth and the American College of Nurse-Midwives

 

The American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM)—one of the oldest women’s health care organizations in the United States—is the national organization that represents certified nurse-midwives and certified midwives in the United States. ACNM has embarked on an ambitious plan to help the United States refocus on and improve women’s health care services and, as a result, women’s health. With Our Moment of Truth, ACNM aims to redefine how women understand the health care options available to them.

 

Learn more about ACNM by visiting www.midwife.org.

 

Visit www.ourmomentoftruth.com to learn more about how the high-quality care of a midwife can address women’s needs.

It’s time for a change!!!!!!

 

 

Until We Meet Again: The Dissolution of a Practice

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Gianna, daughter of Lindsey and Nick Martin, being welcomed into the loving hands of Shauna Zerhusen

It is with great sadness that we announce that The Christ Hospital has decided to dissolve The Christ Hospital Physician’s Certified Nurse Midwifery practice after only ten months.  We are sad for our women especially who took the great leap of faith to follow us, believing that we would be by their sides for the most important and intimate times of their lives.  We believed that this would be a permanent home for us, and we would never had asked women to follow us if we thought that this wouldn’t be the case.  For this we are truly sorry.  That fact that we will not be by our women’s sides, to be there for the birth of their babies, to see them through their journey to becoming parents, truly breaks our hearts.

 

The truth of the matter is this, health care is a business.  Women need to have choices in the type of care that they receive and they also need to let health systems know that money should not be the only force that drives the decisions of policy makers.  Our Midwifery practice had less than an 8.75% cesarean rate, a 4% episiotomy rate, a 70% natural child birth rate, all with exceptional maternal and neonatal outcomes. Yet our care was not supported.  We believe that every woman deserves a midwife for her obstetric and gynecologic care should she so choose.  We also believe that woman are best served when a partnership is created between midwives, their collaborating obstetricians and a hospital system that all respect and value the services each bring to the table.  We have found that recognizing such physicians and systems is harder than it seems, but it is possible.  We have been overwhelmed by the tremendous outpouring of support that we have received from our patients, fellow midwives, physician colleagues, friends and families.  We are very hopeful that we will find a new group of physicians to back us and we are actively working on securing a new home for our practice.  As we know more, we will continue to keep you updated here.

In the mean time, we understand that woman need to continue their care.  We know from experience that it is women who make the health care decisions for their families.  Moving forward, we hope that everyone is able to continue with care givers that provide the same level of service that we provided in our practice.

“Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women.” -Maya Angelou

Make Mother’s Day Count for Every Mother

Embed from Getty Images

 

There should be a song for women to sing at this moment, or a prayer to recite. But perhaps there is none because there are no words strong enough to name the moment.”   Anita Diamant, The Red Tent

 

Being a Midwife allows me to have the joy of bringing new mothers into the world every day.  It is the most awe inspiring profession in the universe,  one of great importance that has been handed down since the time of Moses.  As Midwives, my partners and I are there not only to make sure that a woman’s physical and medical needs are being met, but also to accompany her on her journey to becoming a new person herself, a mother.  Becoming a mother is not a moment in time but a process that begins when a woman contemplates her pregnancy.   Sometimes it is even unplanned, but still a tiny little miracle that grows and blossoms inside.  To watch the changes that happen in women throughout their pregnancy and to travel this road along with them gives us a sense of connectedness to all of those who have come before us and to all who have yet to come.  This sense of connectedness is what carries us through the tough times, and helps us lift our moms up where they need to go.  Our job is to make them feel so important, so powerful, so confident in their abilities to bring forth new life into this world that they can say “I did this!”, and then carry that feeling inside for a lifetime.

However, some women are not so lucky.  Each year,  287,000 women die each year from complications of pregnancy and childbirth.  That is one woman every 2 minutes.  In some regions of the world, many woman give birth alone, without the help of a skilled birth attendant to see them through their journey to becoming a mother.  They must walk alone, traveling long distances before they reach help.  Many of them die along the way.  99% of maternal deaths take place in developing countries.  Even in the U.S., some woman are not getting the proper prenatal care they need.  The U.S. ranks 50th world wide in terms of maternal health.  We lose 2 women in the U.S every day.  90% of all of these deaths are preventable.

What can we do to help?  Visit Everymothercounts leading up to mothers day and every other day to become part of the solution.  Here are five easy ways you can help:

Become an Advocate:  Share your birth story with Every Mother Counts.  Be the voice for other girls and women who can’t use theirs. By simply telling your own birth story, you are helping to raise awareness about maternal health.  By sharing on social media, you are creating your own network to join the fight to end the suffering.

Walk, Run, Bike:    This is really cool!!!  Click here to download the Charity Miles app, an app that lets you earn 25¢ per mile for Every Mother Counts, whenever you run OR walk, and 10¢ per mile whenever you bike.  You can do this while taking a stroll around your own neighborhood.  I soooo know some friends to recruit to do this with me!!!!  Don’t forget to like this post at Musingsofamidwife on Facebook or post a comment when you download the app to help us spread the word 🙂

Recycle your old cell phones:  these old cell phones put health care workers in remote areas in touch with what they need to help women.  It’s as easy as packing them up & printing out a prepaid shipping label.  

Volunteer:  At home and abroad, many of the organizations that Every mother counts supports through grants are in need of volunteers.  A full list can be found on the website, Midwives for Haiti included 🙂

Host a showing:  Share Christy Turlington Burn’s documentary No Woman, No Cry & inspire more people to become involved in the fight to end needless suffering.

 

Ask me for strength and I will lend not only my hand, but also my heart 🙂
~ Unknown