In case you were wondering what it looks like when about 600
midwives storm the US Capitol, the answer is impressive. I’ve been excited about Lobby Day for most of the
Annual Meeting, since it isn’t always held in DC. But as a student who has met
with exactly zero politicians ever I
wasn’t sure what to expect—who does the talking? What do we say? To whom do we
I met with my fellow Georgia midwives and midwifery
students, and we boarded the bus. We had a 3-part plan at the Capitol: Meet
with John Isakson, David Perdue, and (in my case—we split into groups based on
district for the third meeting) John Lewis. Our talking points included
requesting co-sponsorship and support for legislation that would create a HRSA
designation for areas with a shortage of maternal health care providers (VERY
important for Nurse-Corps or HRSA-funded students) and address quality measures
in maternal health care.
What I found, though, was that most of our meetings (which
were all with staffers, since, ironically, the politicians we came to see are
all in Georgia during the recess) were spent explaining the current role of
midwives in Georgia. It was a great learning experience, and highlighted the
importance of midwives as advocates. I was very lucky to go with the group I
did—we had a healthy representation of students, faculty members, and clinical
midwives, and our experiences offered a good range of perspectives related to
the utility of each bill.
I’m sad the conference is winding down, but so grateful for
the opportunities I’ve had. This conference has been very information-dense,
and so validating—there’s so much to know! And so many people to meet! And
they’re all so nice!
More than anything, it’s put my place in midwifery into
perspective. Many midwives have come before me, many incredible midwives are
part of this thriving, vibrant community now, and many future midwives will
find themselves in my position—an overwhelmed and excited student, humbled by
this amazing profession.
By Shauna O’Neal, SNM,