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This site is intended to help you educate yourself and others about the choice of midwifery and homebirth. Families need to be aware of birthing options. Midwifery is a model of care which includes good nutrition, skillful midwifery, natural childbirth, homebirth and breastfeeding.

David Stewart, PhD, wrote in The Five Standards for Safe Childbearing that "more than a million American babies have died since 1940 who would  have lived were it not for doctors and hospitals -- babies that would have been born alive and  healthy at home with a midwife."

Most Americans think that childbirth has always  taken place in the hospital with doctors, but this is not so. Physician-attended hospital birth is a 20th century phenomena initiated by the rich and  powerful at a time when women did not have the  right   to vote!

Copy and use my researched articles. Buy a copy of my video or ask your library, school, college, health department or other entity to purchase a copy. Invite interested people to an educational get-together. You can do it! Use my video and accompanying reproducible handouts to begin. Together, we can change American birth practices and demand public policy that "allows the profession of midwifery to develop fully, independently, and in its rightful place -- the home."

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       The Midwife
                    & Homebirth

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS



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LETTER FROM FAITH GIBSON TO
THE MIDWIFE COMMUNITY

"I am so pleased to send you this membership check for $100. Professional unionization by community-based midwives is our very best opportunity to successfully impact the political process. Historically-speaking, we were dis-enfranchised by the Hundred Year Propaganda War against independent midwives. As a direct result of this prejudice against us which was so freely promoted by organized medicine, midwives have become socially invisible in the last half of the 20th century (complete with a media black-out). This makes us ineffective in countering the forces of organized medicine as we are unequally yoked in a struggle that we can't win alone.

We must develop an effective strategy to reverse the effects of this well-organized, well-funded war on community-based midwifery and rehabilitate the political and regulatory forces that otherwise would criminalize us. After 5 years of legal and academic research on the history of midwifery politics, I am totally convinced that unionization is one of the best and most effective strategies available to us. The AFL-CIO as an organization is a master at doing exactly what we need done. Unionizing joins midwives with the same political forces that would otherwise be used against us.

As a Mennonite midwife practicing legally in my state I was none-the-less arrested by agents of our state medical board, hand-cuffed in front of my youngest daughter, locked in a solitary-confinement cell and threatened with being stripped-searched. Even though there was no trigger "incident" or bad outcome (strictly a political charge of practicing medicine without a license), the news of my arrest was sent out on the AP wire to radio, TV stations and newspapers. I was held on a $50,000 bond at the same time that Mike Tyson's bond for rape was set at only $30,000. I was criminally prosecuted for 21 months with 16 court appearances and legal expenses in excess of $25,000. As a direct result of the financial burden of prosecution i was forced to move out of my house and now live with relatives. Needless to say, it was a slow-motion nightmare that shouldn't happen to any else - ever! After months of legal research I was able to provide that my practice was lawful and the charges against me were dropped. However, the state did not reimburse me for the legal expenses, the personal grief or the humiliating publicity.

Since then i have devoted myself to decriminalizing the practice of independent midwives, promoting the midwifery model of care and protecting the rights of childbearing families to choose home-based maternity care. These efforts have been quite successful but by themselves they are not enough. It is my sincere believe that unionization is a MUST for community midwives. I am delighted and received that midwives have this opportunity. I am grateful to you and the other Illinois midwives for carrying this necessary work forward.

Please tell midwives how crucial this effort is. Tell them not to wait -- join today if possible, tomorrow at the very latest and spread the word. This is an idea who's time has come.

Warm Regards,

Faith Gibson, LM, CPM Licensed Community Midwife


Listen to Marsden Wagner, MD, MSPH (neonatologist and perinatal epidemiologist, former European Director of Maternal and Child Health for the World Health Organization)

A viscious witchhunt is taking place in the US---midwives are being arrested, jailed, tried without due process. This is a well organized attack by the medical and hospital organizations to try to eliminate competition. Midwives need to organize to fight back in order to guarantee American women and families free choice about their birth experience. Fortunately an organization has been formed to fight back---the National Certified Professional Midwives Guild. This Guild functions as a Union for midwives, protecting their rights, providing legal protection and working to decrimialize midwifery. The Guild is willing to work closely with all other midwife organizations in carrying out these goals. The Guild needs all our support.

Marsden Wagner, MD, MSPH



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