Sakina O'Uhuru, LM, published Journey to Birth: The Story of a Midwife's Journey and a Reflection of the Heroic Women She Served Along the Way. Sakina writes, "This book is about my life journey as a home-birth midwife. It includes the many home births I attended during my sixteen years as a practitioner, with particular attention to the last ten years. During this journey, I have learned a myriad of life lessons. Most of them strengthened me and my ability to continue on this path. There were incredible challenges, both joyful and painful. The most challenging lessons happened to be the most life-changing and transformative. Those lessons impacted my life tremendously, first as a woman, second as a mother and grandmother, and most assertively as a basic human being."
Ellen Cohen, LM published Laboring: Stories of a New York City Hospital Midwife. Ellen writes, "This book was written in hopes of promoting the midwifery model of providing safe, respectful and empowering care to every woman in the often challenging environment of hospital practices." For a wonderful review of Ellen's book, please visit NYSALM's blog.
Frances Ganges, newly named Chief Executive of the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM), sent the following message after a conversation with Dorothea Lang, who represents ICM at the UN:
I just spoke with Dorothea and she asked me to let you know that Irene De La Torre (head of the program in Puerto Rico) is now the new ICM Board member for North America and The Caribbean! We are very excited. Please see the news item on the ICM website (home page near bottom).
Are you a midwife who is experiencing obstacles to practice? Are you a consumer who is experiencing obstacles to working with the midwife of your choice?
If so, tell us: participate in NYSALM's data collection survey.
As health care costs and the rate of cesarean births for expecting mothers have escalated over the past two decades in the United States, a new study shows that women who receive care at midwife-led birth centers incur lower medical costs and are less likely to have cesarean births compared to women who give birth at hospitals. For ACNM's press release, visit this link.
Our Moment of Truth: a new understanding of midwifery care
Visit ACNM's new website to learn more about modern midwifery.
On Friday night, attendees enjoyed wine and cheese followed by a presentation by Dr. Ellen Biggers. Dr. Biggers is an attending physician and clinical faculty member at St. Peter’s Health Partners in Albany. She spoke to us about the importance of collaborative relationships between healthcare providers, and the different ways collaborative relationships are implemented across the United States. Her powerpoint presentation included discussion of power dynamics, communication, and the varying levels of success with different collaborative models.
The business portion of the Annual Meeting was held on Saturday morning. NYSALM’s treasurer, Lily Dalke, gave a report on NYSALM’s finances. We also heard our ACNM regional representative, Annie Gibeau, speak about the many benefits of ACNM membership. NYSALM President Patricia Burkhardt presented an award to Dr. Biggers for her wonderful collaboration with midwives and her work in her community and beyond. Dr. Biggers has served three terms on the state Board of Midwifery, has completed volunteer service in Peru and Rwanda, lectured widely, and has been an educator and preceptor for many physician assistants, midwives, and nurse practitioners.
After the Annual Meeting, many attendees headed to the National Women’s Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, where Ina May Gaskin was inducted. Ina May and the other inductees (including Bernice Resnik Sandler, Kate Millet, and Nancy Pelosi) were presented with medals and made speeches. Rep. Pelosi also brought many of her female colleagues with her to the ceremony. It was a fascinating, moving afternoon—and don’t despair if you missed it! A recording of the event is available via the National Women’s Hall of Fame (link)(video here).
In the evening, we returned to our hotel for dinner and a presentation on a new IUC, sponsored by Bayer. Frances Ciavaglia told us about the research on Skyla, a new, levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine contraceptive system. After her presentation, we enjoyed a lecture by Evelyn Resh, CNM, (link) on the sexual health needs of peri- and post-menopausal women, as well as a discussion of how gender and power dynamics affect sex. It was a very educational evening!
On Sunday morning, Ina May Gaskin joined us for brunch and a discussion of the future midwifery in the United States and beyond. We had a lively conversation with contributions from many of our attendees.
All in all, it was a beautiful weekend in Seneca Falls. A big thanks to the organizing committee for getting this great event together. We hope to see you all next year!