Separating the Midwifery and Nursing Professions

Wednesday, October 28, 2020 - 3:00pm

ICM topic (discussion)

Separating the nursing and midwifery professions was a major topic discussed by representatives attending the International Confederation of Midwives during the virtual 2020 Council meeting.  The overall sentiment from around the globe appeared to be that separating these two professions was what midwives felt was best for midwifery.  This discussion option will be your opportunity to give feedback and hear others discuss how this would impact midwifery in the USA and how we might work together to accomplish this change.  Consider these questions:

  1. How has combining the two professions impacted midwifery?
  2. How has the USA midwifery profession been impacted by having multiple credentials?
  3. What would separating the two professions in the USA look like?
  4. What would be the action steps to accomplish this?



Sarita Bennett, DO, CPM

Sarita has listened to women’s stories all her life – stories about love and birth and healing and death. She grew up in a rural mountain culture that valued self-reliance and in which home birth was the norm. The birth of her first child brought an awareness of a calling to midwifery which she pursued through self-study and attending women in their homes. The births of her own four children taught her to listen to the power of her body and what it means to give birth in ecstasy. In the early 1980’s, she joined with other young midwives in her state to support one another and find sisterhood as they developed standards of care, risk factor guidelines and a well-honed peer review process. In 1994, Sarita found herself answering another calling and began her Osteopathic education at the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine. After graduating with honors, she completed a family medicine residency with a strong maternity care program and “old-time” family practice approach to birth. In 2001, she returned to her rural home town, providing home birth and general family practice until 2013, when she relocated to begin a new adventure. Along with her passion for midwifery, she discovered her gift for mentoring and is actively involved in educating future midwives through The Academy of Experiential Midwifery Education. Sarita served as secretary for the MANA Board of Directors from October 2011 until being elected as vice president in 2014. From this perspective, she sees the interconnectedness of midwives and the need to work cooperatively if we are going to ensure that women and their families – not big business – are the ones who profit from our birth experiences.

Session type: 
Live Discussion - only available on day of event