Free Our Midwives!

Older daughter Mirabelle holding Jadzia just minutes after a home birth.

Normally I write on this blog about human rights issues in South Asia.  But, I’m also the proud father of two gorgeous (in my opinion!) daughters who were born with the loving help of a midwife.  My youngest daughter, Jadzia, was born in late September 2009 at our home, delivered by a wonderful home birth midwife, Kate Finn.

However, unless New York passes the Midwifery Modernization Act, other expectant mothers might not be able to receive quality care from midwives in New York State as my wife and daughters received, likely resulting in increased barriers to maternal care, something documented extensively by Amnesty International.  You can take action to help pass this legislation in New York!


Posted in USA

To Midwife or Not to Midwife…..?

By Cynthia Walsh, Field Organizer for Amnesty International USA

Pregnant with my first child! Excitedly, I began immediately searching for a nurse midwife who would guide me and serve as my health advocate throughout my pregnancy.

Living in  West Africa as a Peace Corps Volunteer for a time, I had several wonderful encounters with Traditional Birth Attendants or TBA’s.  The TBA’s that I worked with were a small group of dedicated women ranging in age from early 30’s to mid 60’s who assumed the role of everything from family counselor, marriage intermediary, women’s advocate, family planner, nutrition counselor, pre-natal care provider to birth attendant in their small respective villages.  Often these villages are located days’ journey by foot from any sort of rural health clinic so the presence of a TBA is critical to the life or death of  pregnant women and her unborn children.

In the United States, my own personal experience with my nurse midwife “Judy” was more than I could have imagined and I definitely felt as though I was fully engaged and informed in all phases of my prenatal care, delivery, and post-partum recovery.

Please  take urgent action on this very important piece of legislation – the Massachusetts Midwifery Bill – Senate 2341.  The Health Care Finance Committee must vote by Wednesday, April 28. Without passage, 1.4 million families in the state will still not have the kind of access to midwives that families in many other states do.

Take a moment NOW to call your MA legislators and let them know that the Midwifery Bill is important to you.

Find out your Massachusetts State Senators and Representatives.

Posted in USA