Organizations Related to Midwifery
This is a list of organizations, both in the USA and international, that promote midwifery or the midwifery model of care or offer resources to practicing midwives.
Organizations that Promote the Midwifery Model of Care
If you need material that will help you explain the rationale for midwifery care to your patients, to other health professionals, to the media, or to your legislators, check in with The Coalition for Improving Maternity Services (CIMS), a coalition of individuals and national organizations with concern for the care and well-being of mothers, babies, and families. Their mission is to promote a wellness model of maternity care that will improve birth outcomes and substantially reduce costs. This evidence-based mother-, baby-, and family-friendly model focuses on prevention and wellness as the alternatives to high-cost screening, diagnosis, and treatment programs. Their website offers an excellent resource entitled “The Mother Friendly Childbirth Initiative,” an evidence-based document which provides guidelines for identifying and designating mother-friendly birth sites including hospitals, birth centers, and home-birth services. The Initiative outlines ten steps for mother-friendly care and includes as a requirement that mother-friendly birthing services also qualify as “baby-friendly” according to the World Health Organization’s guidelines. A consumer version of the Initiative, “Having a Baby? Ten Questions to Ask” is also available. Both versions can be downloaded, printed, and distributed freely, as long as CIMS is credited.
Another organization that promotes the midwifery model of care and provides excellent educational materials for patients based on evidence-based practice is Childbirth Connection, which grew out of the Maternity Center Association In New York City since 1916. They offer a Statement of the Rights of Childbearing Women as well as other patient education materials. Some of these can be copied or downloaded without charge, as long as Childbirth Connection is credited. Look at their article on “The Cost of Having a Baby in the United States.” This report looks at “the many areas of maternity care that impose high costs on women and payers, often regardless of quality or value. The many separate analyses provided in the study compare cost by method of delivery, insurer status, service type, phase of care, geographic location, year and other relevant variables from across the maternity care spectrum. The conclusions of the report highlight the need to better align maternity care payment and quality.”
Citizens for Midwifery is the only national consumer-based group promoting the Midwives Model of Care! CfM works to provide information and resources that promote the local midwife, as well as midwives and midwifery care across the country.
The Foundation for the Advancement of Midwifery is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to the midwifery model of care as the quality health care option for women and families. Its mission is honoring women, changing lives, and building a healthy world through the midwifery model of care.
MIDIRS (Midwives Information and Resource Service) is an English midwifery organization whose mission is “to be the central source of information relating to childbirth and to disseminate this information to midwives and others both nationally and internationally thereby contributing to the improvement of maternity care.” This is a great site, updated constantly with research, news, and information about midwifery and childbirth.
There are many regional, state, and local midwifery organizations. The American College of Nurse-Midwives is organized into six geographic regions; each region is comprised of a number of chapters. Some of these are contiguous with one state; some comprise several states, and some states have multiple chapters. See the ACNM website to identify the chapter in your area. MANA is organized into nine regions, which are geographic. Each region is comprised of state organizations. MANA also recognizes three seats, to allow representation for midwives in Canada and Mexico, and midwives of color. In addition, many states have other midwifery organizations, some of which are joint endeavors between nurse-midwives and direct-entry midwives, some of which are autonomous organizations representing a specific group of midwives. There are also special interest groups for midwives who share characteristics such as racial or ethnic background or minority status, religious or spiritual beliefs, sexual preference, right to life or right to choice, and so forth. MidwifeInfo would like to provide links to all midwifery groups, and welcomes listings on this page.
Service Directors Network (SDN) is an organization composed of Certified Nurse Midwives (CNMs) and Certified Midwives (CMs) who administer midwifery practices across the United States and who are active members of the ACNM. The network meets semi-annually in the spring and fall in order to network, share information, and provide support to other members. Practices represented are both large and small, rural and urban, public and private.
Purpose and Objectives:
To provide a support system for the directors of midwifery services.
To promote midwifery services as an active member of the perinatal health care team.
To provide continuing education programs approved by the ACNM relevant to midwifery service directors.
To support and assist in development of new midwifery services.
Pat Sonnenstuhl, CNM, does a great job maintaining this dynamic and informative site. It has resources for midwives everywhere, as well as specific information for those in Washington State.
The world is a big place, and midwifery is a part of the dominant culture in much of the world, more so than in the United States. I would like to offer links to international midwifery organizations and practices. You can also find international opportunities to work in midwifery on the Midwifery Opportunities page, and practices outside the US in the Midwifery Directory. Please email me with links to other international midwifery organizations, practices, or individuals.
For educational programmes in Canada, see the Education Page.
The Canadian Association of Midwives is the national, professional association of both individual midwives across Canada and their professional associations. You will find information such as the history of midwifery, sumamries of the midwifery model of care, and contact information for practising midwives, provincial Colleges of Midwives, and professional midwifery associations in each province and territory. The site includes a listing of midwives and midwifery practises across Canada.
Midwifery Coalition of Nova Scotia The Midwifery Coalition believes that midwifery provides the highest standard of care for mothers, babies and families. We believe it is an important part of maternity care and is a choice that should be available to families in Nova Scotia. We are working to have midwifery accepted as part of Nova Scotia’s health system and to have midwifery care covered by MSI.
The College of Midwives of Ontario is the regulating and governing body for midwives in Ontario. Tel: (416) 327-0874, Fax: (416) 327-8219, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, Website: coming soon!
The Association of Ontario Midwives is the professional body representing midwives and the practice of midwifery in the province of Ontario. It is run by a 12-member Board of Directors. The AOM advocates for the professional interests of midwives and for the Ontario Model of Midwifery Care, provides public education and promotes midwifery as an integral part of the Ontario health care system, represents midwives to the Ministry of Health to maintain appropriate funding for midwifery services, provides ongoing peer support to all members, including educational and professional development, develops clinical and other practice guidelines and promotes midwifery research, administers a benefits package, negotiates and provides access to professional liability insurance for midwife members, publishes the Association of Ontario Midwives Journal/Journal de l’Association des sages-femmes de l’Ontario, and is an active member in the Canadian Confederation of Midwives and the International Confederation of Midwives.
The Royal College of Midwives is the professional midwifery organization in the United Kingdom.
The Association of Radical Midwives is an organization of midwives, student midwives and others in the UK committed to improving the maternity care provided by the NHS. They strongly believe that all women have the right to a service tailored more closely to their needs, and a sympathetic attitude on the part of their professional attendants. They are primarily a support group for people having difficulty in getting or giving good, sympathetic, personalised midwifery care. A few are working independently outside the NHS, in order to offer a more woman-centred, one-to-one, style of practice, which at present is not widely available within NHS maternity services. There are contacts and/or local groups all around UK, as well as several overseas members. We are a UK Registered Charity, No.1060525
MIDIRS (Midwives Information and Resource Service). Their mission is “to be the central source of information relating to childbirth and to disseminate this information to midwives and others both nationally and internationally thereby contributing to the improvement of maternity care.” This is a great site, updated constantly with research, news, and information about midwifery and childbirth.
Federation Suisse des Sages-Femmesis the website for the Swiss federation of midwives. It is offered in three languages, German, French, and Italian.
Osterreichisches HebammenGremium is the website for the Austrian midwifery association. It is in German.
Conseil National de l’Ordre des Sages-femmes is the French midwifery organization. The website is in French.
Le Portail “Naissance”: Ce portail a vu le jour fin mars 2000 à la suite de discussions sur la liste francophone “Naissance.” L’idée principale est de dynamiser le mouvement associatif de parents et accompagnateurs de la naissance, dans les pays francophones, en mettant gratuitement à sa disposition de nouveaux outils d’information, de communication et de promotion disponibles sur Internet. (The “Birth” Gateway: This gateway opened at the end of March, 2000 following discussions on the francophone email list “Birth.” The main idea is to strengthen the movement of parents and childbirth supporters in French-speaking countries by putting freely at their disposition new tools of communication and promotion available on the Internet.)
Lettre Ouverte aux Sages Femmes (An Open Letter to Midwives) par (written by) Andreine Bel: L’auteur s’intéresse à une question souvent éludée par les parents et sages-femmes sensibilisés au problème de la surmédicalisation de la naissance: comment pourrait-on redéfinir, en dehors du système actuel de prise en charge médicale, le rôle et les compétences des accompagnateurs de la naissance? (The author addresses a question often overlooked by parents and midwives sensitised to the problem of routine medical procedures in childbirth: outside the current system of medical assistance, how could one redefine the role and competence of birth attendants?) Very thought-provoking…
NASCITA DOLCE is the first “BIRTH CENTRE” in Italy: only midwives management! Reception (for delivery) of the woman in Agriturismo in the Chianti Area. The charm of a typical Tuscan farm in the heart of the Chianti region, among the trees of its green garden and cypress hills, vineyards and olive-trees, one hour by car from the most beautiful towns of art, history and culture in Tuscany.
Continuity Of Care Midwifery Services: In June 2000 we open a natural nursery-school for babies 0 – 6 years (BIOLOGICAL FOOD). We offer safe, affordable, quality care throughout your pregnancy, including lab work, routine prenatal visits, and caring communication. Labour and delivery takes place in a beautiful birthing rooms, in hospital or private clinic. Sweet Birth also provides annual Well-Woman exams, Pap smears, birth control and pre-pregnancy counselling all at reasonable rates. Contact: Antonella Marchi – Via E. De Nicola, 1 – 53100 Siena – Italia, Tel. e fax. (+39) 0577.333152 cell. 0368-293669
See website at www.nascitadolce.it; in February 2001 in English: www.nascitadolce.com; email: email@example.com
San Miguel-CASA, Inc. is an organization in San Miguel, Mexico, with the goals of (1) empowering young women, helping them increase their self-confidence and responsibility toward themselves, their families, and their communities; (2) decreasing the number of unplanned pregnancies, especially among teenagers; (3) providing equal access to health care, particularly reproductive health. CASA accomplishes this through a full range of programs including a Peer Counselor Program, a Youth Ecological Awareness Team, a Theater Troupe, a Child Development Center, and the CASA Hospital where 50,000 patients were served in 1999, and about 60 women a month have their babies. Births take place both in women’s homes and in the cllinic. CASA has a maternity hospital in San Miguel and Mexico’s first government-recognized midwifery school (the first class graduated in 2000). For more information, go to www.sanmiguelcasa.org or email Nadine Goodman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Midwives For Midwives and Women’s Health International” (MFM), is a Guatemala-based, U.S. tax-exempt organization that brings together professionals from the midwifery, anthropology and public health fields in order to improve women’s reproductive health in Guatemala and create alliances between midwifery systems to strengthen midwifery worldwide. Its activities include:
1) Researching traditional midwifery and healing systems. MFM works to identify and preserve safe and effective traditional methods of birthing and health care, and to enhance those systems with proven aspects of bio-medicine.
2) Providing training to traditional midwives to better serve the women’s health needs in their communities.
3) Providing a mechanism to train more North American midwives in providing women’s health care in underdeveloped countries.
4) Providing integrated women’s health care that is a model of quality, accessible, comprehensive care through our clinic IXMUCANE in Antigua, Guatemala.
5) Providing a forum for intercultural exchange and serves as a channel for the exchange of knowledge and skills between “modern midwifery” and traditional midwifery systems, identifying and enhancing universal midwifery tenets.
There are many related organizations that have information that can be helpful to midwives. Some of these are listed below.
The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners was founded in 1985 as the only full-service organization for nurse practitioners of all specialties. It has steadily expanded services to meet its mission to serve as a resource for nurse practitioners, their patients and other health care consumers; promote excellence in practice, education and research; provide legislative leadershipl advance health policy; establish health care standards; and advocate for access to quality, cost effective health care.
The American Academy of Pediatrics offers informative and up-to-date information on issues of interest to parents such as the safety and effectiveness of vaccinations, firearm-related injuries to children, and adolescent suicide. You can also get the AAP position statements from their site.
The American College of Nurse Practitioners was founded in 1993; it is focused on advocacy and keeping nurse practitioners current on legislative, regulatory and clinical practice issues that effect NPs in the rapidly changing health care arena. The mission of the college is to unite and represent, politicially and professionally, nurse practitioners across the United States and its territories. These efforts are to ensure an appropriate, prevention-based health care system to better meet the health care needs of individuals, families, and communities.
The American Medical Association maintains an extensive web page with many resources including the ability to download (or just review online) articles from JAMA. There is also other useful information, e.g., on legislative initiativesrelated to health care, and on developments in billing and coding.
The Association for Women’s Health, Obstetric, and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) represents nurses involved in all aspects of women’s health care. Their website contains their Standards and Guidelines (5th Ed.), position statements, and education guidelines as well as resources such as professional education videos, consumer education videos, continuing education offerings, and information on their fetal heart monitoring principles and practices workshop, which is offered regularly around the country.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is a valuable source of information for those interested in the epidemiology of pregnancy and childbirth; their site offers the latest data and statistics as well as up-to-date prevention guidelines. A CDC program called PRAMS, the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System, is a surveillance project of the CDC and state health departments. PRAMS collects state-specific, population-based data on maternal attitudes and experiences prior to, during, and immediately following pregnancy. You can see the PRAMS questionnaire on the website.