The “Whistleblower” episode truly misrepresented midwives, portraying them as uneducated, inexperienced, and more or less a threat to expecting parents and their babies. This harmful and inaccurate narrative that midwives are useless unless supervised by a physician has gone on for more than a century. In response to this upsetting headline, we want to take some time to point out how important midwives are in and out of the hospital.
First of all, midwives are indubitably experienced. The American College of Nurse Midwives (ACNM) published a very informative fact sheet about midwives. It includes statistics that show that the majority of midwives actually practice inside hospitals and that every single one of those nurses since 2010 must have had a graduate degree to enter into practice as a CNM or a CM. CNM’s make up “the highest proportion of all APRN group” to have doctoral degrees, so it is ridiculous to suggest that they have not been properly educated. ACNM also explains that:
“CNMs are licensed, independent health care providers with prescriptive authority in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, and Puerto Rico. CNMs are defined as primary care providers under federal law…CMs are also licensed, independent health care providers who have completed the same midwifery education as CNMs.”
Secondly, the midwives who work in hospital settings are the people who spend more time with the birth person than any other professional during their stay at the hospital. They work very hard and develop relationships with the hospital patients. This is a job that requires kindness, intuition and empathy. On a day to day basis, midwives advocate for women. This advocacy happens because CNMs and CMs know how to communicate effectively and work in partnership with other allied healthcare professionals and agencies, including other nurses and doctors.
Thank a midwife today for their dedication and feel free to sign this petition to push for a better narrative about the crucial work that these professionals do in and out of the hospital everyday!
Written by Gabrielle Cappelletti, the intern.