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Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT Geradine Simkins, President
Office: 231.228.5857
Cell phone: 231.590.3742
Email: president@mana.org

One of a Kind Social Media Campaign Educating Expectant Mothers
About Midwifery Care to be Released

Comprehensive Look at Midwives Marks International Day of the Midwife, May 5

Washington, DC. An innovative online campaign designed specifically to educate women about midwifery as a high quality maternity care option will be released on May 5th, International Day of the Midwife. The educational campaign called I am a Midwife is the most comprehensive and easily accessible tool available online for women seeking information about midwifery. I am a Midwife campaign is a free series of eight 10-minute videos designed to answer a woman’s questions about how engaging the services of a midwife can achieve the kind of pregnancy and birth experience that most fits her values, culture, preferences and needs. The video series explores the benefits of midwifery care and the full range of services a midwife provides.

“As a culture, much of what we believe about pregnancy and birth is shaped, or warped, by the never-ending barrage of words and images we receive through the media,” says Geradine Simkins, midwife and President of the Midwives Alliance of North America. “Our goal is to build the case for women to view pregnancy, labor, and birth as normal physiologic processes, and invite women to consider seeking care from a midwife.” The free video series will be available on You Tube, at the Midwives Alliance of North America’s website, the Mothers Naturally website, and will be widely disseminated using social media with the goal of reaching a broad base of women of childbearing age. One 10-minute video with a particular theme will be released each Friday for the next eight weeks.

“Typically, women in the U.S are given only one option—a one size fits all maternity care system when they really deserve an option that offers the individualized and personalized care that midwives provide,” says Simkins, project co-creator. The video series was designed by the Midwives Alliance in response to the challenges and frustrations women face in navigating the complexities of the U.S. maternity care system. The campaign also raises the question about why most industrialized nations have an integrated maternity care system that includes midwives and physicians working collaboratively, while in the U.S. only ten percent of all births are midwife-led.

I am a Midwife offers a unique look at more than 40 real-life midwives and the work they do across the country providing care to women of all races and socioeconomic levels, in all childbirth settings including hospitals, birth centers and women’s homes. I am a Midwife describes why midwifery care is safe, satisfying, reduces disparities, decreases costs, and increases better outcomes for mothers and their newborns.

The I am a Midwife campaign comes at a time when the challenges of the United States maternity care system have been under scrutiny. According to a 2011 update to the landmark Amnesty International report, the U.S. spends more on maternal health care than any other country yet ranks behind 49 other developed nations in maternal mortality, and behind 45 other nations in infant mortality. And the noteworthy statistics are worse for women of color, and marginalized and vulnerable women of all races and ethnicities. Midwives in the U.S have proven to provide better care and better health for women and infants at lower costs for taxpayers and private insurers.

“Midwives deliver care for low-risk women safely, with higher levels of maternal satisfaction and at lower cost,” said Tamara Taitt, a Certified Professional Midwife, co-creator of the project, and board member of the Midwives Alliance. “We want to provide a much-needed look at midwifery care, particularly because the media is dominated by pervasive messages that both emphasize and normalize the high level of interventions and cesarean-section deliveries in the current medical model of childbirth.”

Through I am a Midwife, the Midwives Alliance is seeking to change the discourse about childbirth in America from a focus on fear to one of empowerment. Filmmaker for the video series, Nicolle Littrell says, “Not only do we aim to help educate the wider public about who midwives are and what they do, but also harness the power of social networks to create social change.”

The Midwives Alliance is a professional organization for all midwives, recognizing the diversity of educational backgrounds and practice styles within the profession. MANA's goal is to unify and strengthen the profession of midwifery, thereby improving the quality of health care for women, babies, and communities.

I am a Midwife is funded by a grant from “The Birth Trust,” a fund of the Foundation for the Advancement of Midwifery.

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