Carolyn Gegor, CNM, MS, FACNM
Candidate for Region II Representative
See Carolyn's CV here
Question: What challenges to midwifery practice have you observed/experienced either nationally or in your region, and what solutions would you suggest or implement to eliminate that barrier?
Answer: “What is a Midwife?” For over 40 years as a midwife, I have answered the same question, as all midwives do. I believe that this is still the greatest barrier to our profession locally, nationally, and globally. The challenge is to consider this seriously, and to inform every audience. Most people know we deliver babies. Everyone needs to know that midwives decrease the incidence of poor outcomes in maternal health; that our scope of practice includes care of women from adolescence to senescence and newborns; that we have advanced college degrees, prescriptive authority, independent practitioner licenses; that we practice out-of-hospital and in all levels of hospitals.
Legislators at local through national levels need to know about our education, scope of practice, evidence-based, cost-effective care in order to break down legal barriers to our practice and women’s access to our care. It is critical that legislation include midwives. In order for us to provide the professional and personalized care we are capable of delivering, we must have admitting privileges and autonomous practice without supervision or physician signed clinical practice agreements. We must be seen as primary care providers and full participants in women’s health care in the Affordable Care Act.
Literature linking midwifery care with better health outcomes, improved patient satisfaction, and greater cost effectiveness must be disseminated widely and repeatedly for our professional colleagues, legislators, and the women we serve to realize the quality care midwives provide.
The Lancet’s Series on Midwifery put normal, physiologic childbirth as a means of improving the health of mothers and babies at the core of the profession of midwifery. As researchers, women’s health care organizations, insurers, and legislators continue to search for a means to improve outcomes of obstetric care in the United States and globally, evidence continues to mount that when educated midwives attend a greater proportion of births, the neonatal and maternal mortality and morbidity rates drop.Individually we must spread the word to women, professionals, legislators, and everyone you contact. We must collect birth data, participate in benchmarking, use resources like Our Moment of Truth, dialog with midwifery colleagues, attend Affiliate meetings, and share with the national office. Let your legislators know what you need. Always provide the best quality care to every woman you serve.