Posts Tagged ‘maternity care’

Do you live in a maternity care desert?

Thursday, October 25th, 2018

Maternity care is the health care women get during pregnancy, labor and birth and in the postpartum period after giving birth. Getting quality maternity care can help you have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. But not every woman in the U.S. gets good maternity care. One reason for this is because they live in a maternity care desert. A maternity care desert is an area where there are not enough hospitals, health care providers or health care services for pregnant and postpartum women.

A new report from March of Dimes shows where maternity care deserts exist and how they affect the health of moms and babies. Here are some of the findings:

  • More than 5 million women in the U.S. live in a maternity care desert.
  • About 1,085 counties in the U.S. have hospitals without services for pregnant women.
  • Almost 150,000 babies are born to women living in maternity care deserts.
  • Counties with maternity care deserts have a higher number of people living in poverty.

Maternity care deserts are a problem for all of us.

Having good quality and on-time health care services can help women have healthier pregnancies and babies. Through health checkups, a provider can spot health conditions and treat them before they become serious. Women who live in maternity care deserts may be at higher risk of having serious health complications and even death. Babies who are born prematurely or with special health conditions may not get the medical care they need in counties with maternity care deserts. The health of moms and babies is at risk when they live in counties with maternity care deserts.

The United States is facing a maternal health crisis.

More than 700 moms died due to pregnancy-related causes this year alone, making the United States one of the most dangerous places in the developed world to give birth. Women of color are most at risk of facing life-threatening complications. Black women are three times as likely as white women to die from pregnancy-related causes. More than 50,000 women have a near-miss (nearly die) from severe complications from labor and childbirth every year.

What can you do?

You can take action now and help us fight for the health of all moms.

Considering using a midwife? Here is info to help you choose a maternity care provider.

Monday, October 26th, 2015

pregnant-woman-on-weight-scale-shrunkSpecial thanks to our guest, Ginger Breedlove, PhD, CNM, FACNM, for providing this post.

A Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM) and Certified Midwife (CM) are trained health professionals who have completed a graduate education program. They can provide you with a full range of services before and during pregnancy, labor and birth, and postpartum. CNMs and CMs are experts in the care of women who have a healthy pregnancy.

Midwives work in collaboration with physicians for consultation and referral if complications should arise. CNMs and CMs primarily deliver babies in the hospital (97%) with 3-4 % attending at home or in birthing centers.

What can a CNM/CM midwife provide?

  • Gynecological exams
  • Preconception planning
  • Labor and delivery support
  • A more natural childbirth experience
  • Assistance and support with breastfeeding and newborn care

Is there anything a CNM/CM cannot do?

Midwives are trained and licensed to provide comprehensive maternity care services, and work with physician’s to provide medical assistance when necessary. CNMs and CMs provide care to women desiring a non-medicated birth, as well as women that choose epidural anesthesia for birth. Should you need a medical intervention, they work with the collaborating physician and medical team for special care such as Cesarean section. If you have a high-risk pregnancy or a condition such as high blood pressure or Type 2 diabetes, or develop a medical complication, your midwife will refer you to an obstetrician for care.

There are different training credentials for midwives, including some (CPMs) that do not have nursing or graduate degree education.

Here is helpful information about the variety of midwife credentials in the U.S.:

  • Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNM)  are registered nurses who have graduated from a nurse-midwifery education program, passed a national exam and are certified through the American Midwifery Certification Board. CNMs can practice in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
  • Certified Midwives (CM) are midwives who have completed a midwifery accredited education program and have passed the same national exam as CNMs. CMs can practice in 5 states: Delaware, Missouri, New York, New Jersey, and Rhode Island. Certified Midwives are also certified through the American Midwifery Certification Board.
  • Certified Professional Midwives (CPM) have training and clinical experience in childbirth and have passed a national exam. CPMs are certified through the North American Registry of Midwives. The majority of CPMs work in private homes and a few in birthing centers.

How do you find or learn more about a midwife?

The American College of Nurse-Midwives can help you find a midwife in your area.
The National Association of Certified Professional Midwives also provides information on midwives.

Dr.Ginger BreedloveGinger Breedlove, PhD, CNM, FACNM is the current President of the American College of Nurse Midwives and full-time professor at Shenandoah University in Winchester, VA. She currently sits on the March of Dimes National Nurse Advisory Council, and is engaged in numerous working groups to improve the health of mothers and babies during the childbearing years. As a midwife for over 35 years, Dr. Breedlove has cared for women in hospitals as well as birthing center settings.