This is not about us - A Manifesto
This is not about us. This is about moms and babies and dads and families. This is about bringing the Midwives Model of Care to more American families. This is about making the world a better place. Peace on earth starts with birth. Peace on earth starts with midwifery care for moms and babies. This is not about our own individual practices, this is about midwifery. This is about going back to the spirit of what midwifery is. This is about women helping women. This is about us connecting with and supporting each other, working together and taking care of ourselves and each other so that we are able to use our gift to serve more moms and babies and dads and families.
When Ina May Gaskin and the farm midwives were driving across the country, the typical experience of a woman having her baby at the hospital was that woman being tied down, drugged to the point where she couldn’t remember her experience and her husband was being kicked out of the room. The women in that caravan stood up and said “NO! That is NOT the way it’s going to be for us. We can do this ourselves, and we can help each other, the way women have been doing for millennia.” In the early stages of the farm midwifery center a laboring women didn’t know which midwife she was going to get when she called. But what she did know was that she was going to get a midwife that was fresh, a midwife that was competent, a midwife that was compassionate and a midwife who believed in the instinctive ability of that woman to give birth. It was women helping women. Somehow along the way we have gone from a women helping women model to a woman helping woman model and the one on one aspect of midwifery care has become the most important value of what we do. But the fact is that the differences between the midwifery model and the medical model are vast… and those differences stem from the differences in our fundamental beliefs about what birth is. The medical model believes that pregnancy is a disaster waiting to happen and a problem waiting to be solved. Midwifery believes that birth is a spiritual experience, transformative, empowering and that all women have the instinctive ability to give birth on their own or with support of other women. And that if all babies were born into a room full of love hormones rather than a room full of fear hormones, that the world would be a better place.
The Farm midwives were able to impact that broken medical system of birth. Women are no longer being tied down, drugged to the point that they can’t remember their experience and having their husbands kicked out of the room. But what is happening is that over 30 % of women in this country are having their babies delivered by c-section, and even the governing medical bodies believe that to be a number that is dangerously too high. The farm midwives attribute their cultural impact to three things : they worked together in a group, they had the support of their community and they took breaks. If the midwives of this generation want to have the same kind of impact on birth culture today we have got to stop working alone. We need a paradigm shift - from solo practice to group practice. We have to start working together, we have to garner the support of our community and we have to take breaks. This is not about us. This is not about our own individual practices. This is about midwifery. Midwifery works. We have to believe in midwifery again to make more midwives and to make the world a better place.