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!!!

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!!!!!!

 

 

Make Mother’s Day Count for Every Mother

 

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

 

 

 

Nora is TWO!

I am showing this post from “I will carry you” as it describes perfectly what it means to care for a special needs child.  As Midwives, we are often in the position of breaking the news to patients that their version of the “perfect” child will not be.  That is not to say that life will not hold many special gifts for them and that life will not be wonderful in the long run.  However, this is a very difficult concept for parents to grasp.  This is a beautiful illustration of letting go and letting be, whatever life has in store for us.  Thank You Nora for teaching us what a beautiful life this can be, for all of us!!!!

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So here we are with a big giant 2 year old little girl. Nora’s birthday was April 17th and I am astounded at how fast the time has gone by. I look back to those scary newborn days and can hardly believe how far Nora has come; how far we have come.

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One of our awesome nurses, Kate C. getting us ready to be discharged from the hospital ~ April 2012

As we left the hospital that sunny afternoon, we stepped blindly out onto the dark water as Peter did. Jesus beckoned us forth with arms outstretched. Taking a baby home from the hospital who was SUPPOSEDLY “incompatible with life” certainly made about as much sense as walking on water. “How in the world are we supposed to do this????” we pleaded. It was an outrageous proposition! We weren’t equipped with a medical background. We did not possess some sort…

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A Midwife’s Guide to Skin Changes in Pregnancy

 

I have been a Midwife for a long time and to this day I am still amazed at all the wondrous little changes that need to take place in our bodies in order to bring forth our babies.  One of my favorite things to point out to our moms-to-be is how all of this is built into our DNA from the very beginning and how our body has all the information it needs to make the process happen.  One of the changes that prompt the most questions in our midwifery practice are the skin changes of pregnancy.  Here are just a few and some helpful hints to go along with them.

Overall Skin Sensitivity– Your skin is much more sensitive during pregnancy leaving you prone to sunburns and mild rashes.  Be sure to lather on the sunscreen an use a mild soap such as Dove or Dial when your cleanse.

Acne– The increase in hormones and the increase in blood flow which causes increased oil production during pregnancy can cause an increase in pimples.  You can use a mild oatmeal based facial scrub to help unplug oily pours.  Prescription anti-acne treatments such as Accutane, Retin A cannot be used during pregnancy .  Also be sure to ask your midwife/doctor about any topical creams you may be using as they may contain chemical that are not safe.  You may use benzoyl peroxide.

Mask of pregnancy- In medical terms this is called chloasma.  Not all women will see this but it will usually start to appear sometime during the second trimester.  It is when the pregnancy hormones estrogen and progesterone stimulate the melanin cells in your skin to produce more pigment although unevenly.  It can happen anywhere on your face but usually appears around your eyes, giving you the appearance of a mask.  Avoiding the sun and applying make up to even out the appearance of the mask can help.

Darkened areas- freckles, moles, birthmarks on your skin will darken.  Even your areola (the darker area around your nipple) and nipples of your breast become much darker.  The moles, freckles, etc. will revert back to their original color.  However, your nipples and areola may continue to be a little darker than they were pre-pregnancy.  The purpose of the darkened areola is to help your baby find his/her way to the breast (along with their sense of smell).  Unmedicated babies, if placed immediately on mom’s belly after birth, will crawl to the breast.   See it in action here.  It is sooooo  cool!!!!!

Linea Nigra- This is the dark line that extends upward from the pubic bone to the navel and sometimes upward from the navel as well.  I like to think of it as a road map.   Part of the system above, this line helps baby make his/her way to the breast.

Spider veins- are caused by the increased hormones and increased blood volume.  The body will make additional collateral circulation near the surface of the skin to handle this additional blood volume.  Some of them may not go completely away after pregnancy.  If they are bothersome a dermatologist can treat them with a special injection after your pregnancy is over.

Stretch Marks-These little marks seem to cause the most worry for moms to be.   Stretch marks happen when your body grows faster than your skin can keep up with. This causes the elastic fibers just under the surface of the skin to break, resulting in stretch marks. About 90% of all women will get stretch marks in areas that are growing the fastest, i.e. tummy, buttocks, thighs, breast.  The marks often start out reddish or purple, but after pregnancy they gradually fade to white or gray.  So, how do you avoid stretch marks?  Notice I said that stretch marks are caused by a break down in the fibers below the skin rather than on the skin itself.    I am sorry to say, no skin cream in the world is going to help.  Do not be fooled by anyone or any add that tells you so!!!   Women who are of average weight to begin with should gain 25-30 pounds for a healthy pregnancy.   10 pounds of this is during the first 20 weeks and 20 pounds thereafter.  Therefore, in order to avoid stretch marks, it may be a good idea to gain this weight at an even pace rather than in big bursts.  These stretch marks usually occur in the last month when you are usually putting on a pound a week.  For most women, one or two stretch marks may just be a fact of life.  Genetics also plays a big part.  If your mother gave you the gift of good connective tissue, you may avoid them!!!  Look on the bright side, they fade after pregnancy and become less noticeable over time 🙂

Ending on a Good Note!!!  The Pregnancy Glow- We see it enough to know that it is real.  Some woman are lucky enough not to get the acne, but this.  During pregnancy, there is increased blood flow, and hence increased oil production in the skin,  which gives the skin in the face a slightly waxy sheen.  The increase in small vessels just under the skin also make the skin look slightly blushed.

Try to take it all in stride.  Your body is doing everything it is supposed to be doing.  Pregnancy is only nine months and it is over before you know it.