Birthing a conference: A celebration of Black kin

Des Moines-based holistic doula and lactation counselor Olivia Samples first published this post on Kismet Doula Services’ blog. -promoted by Laura Belin

Last year I attended two conferences centered around Black Maternal Health. After the first one I attended, I had a dance party in my room to the playlist they sent us. The discussion, resources, and connection I got from this event totally filled my cup; left me energized and ready for more.

A few weeks later, during the second conference, I felt the anger rising from my gut into my face. I cried and stepped away after hearing so many statistics of the disparities for Black birthing people in Iowa. I learned a lot from other sessions throughout the conference, but at the end of the day, I closed my laptop, journaled, and took a nap.

Something that sticks out from the entry that day:

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Iowa needs more midwives to save lives

Rachel Bruns continues a series of posts addressing the quality of maternal health care in Iowa. -promoted by Laura Belin

This article is all about midwives. I will be using this space to expand on four different needs in our state to improve the access and quality of maternal-child health care in Iowa. All of them are interrelated. If Iowa accomplishes these four things, we will see an improvement in maternal-child health outcomes across all races, accessibility of care options in all geographies, and an overall increase in quality and satisfaction from patients. 

The four areas I will address are:

  • The need to diversify our workforce and address birth equity (this is connected to the next 2 items)
  • The need to license Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs)
  • The need to expand access to Certified Nurse Midwives (CNMs).
  • The need to expand access to birth centers.
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    Maternal health in Iowa: You don't know what you don't know

    Rachel Bruns is a volunteer advocate for quality maternal health care in Iowa. -promoted by Laura Belin

    As I plan to write several posts in the coming weeks related to maternal-child health in Iowa, I want to introduce myself to Bleeding Heartland readers. For this piece, I’m going to provide some high-level information on the landscape around maternal health in Iowa from my perspective as a maternal-child health advocate.

    But first, some background on myself and how I became involved in this work.

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    IOWA FAMILIES DENIED ACCESS TO EVIDENCE-BASED CARE

    (Bleeding Heartland welcomes guest diaries advocating for or against bills pending in the Iowa legislature. The link to the study mentioned in the second paragraph appears to be broken. Here is the abstract from a peer-reviewed medical journal. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com... - promoted by desmoinesdem)

    Friends of Iowa Midwives has worked with legislators to present companion bills in the House and Senate that would allow for safe and legal access to Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs) in Iowa.  For 15 years Friends of Iowa Midwives has worked toward licensure for CPMs. In 1999 the Iowa Legislature conducted a scope of practice review, the result of which was a recommendation to the legislature that the CPMs should be licensed through the Iowa Department of Public Health.  The bills propose that a license be created for the already trained and nationally certified midwives who seek to provide quality and safe care to Iowa women.

    Every year in Iowa, more than 500 women choose to give birth outside of the hospital.  This number is on the rise both in Iowa and nationally.  A study published last month in the Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health again demonstrated that for low-risk women out-of-hospital birth with skilled providers is a safe option.  This study found that almost 94% of the nearly 17,000 participants had a spontaneous vaginal birth.  The cesarean rate for this study was 5.2%.  The national average cesarean rate is 33%.  The in-labor transfer rate for this study was between 8-23%.  The most common reason for a transfer of care was prolonged labor or what is commonly called failure to progress. This study was one of among several that have demonstrated that out-of-hospital birth is a safe option for low-risk women. 

     

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    Teen births drop nationwide and in Iowa

    The U.S. teen birth rate reached “a historic low in 2010,” according to data released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control this week. Iowa was among 47 states where the birth rate for teenagers fell significantly from 2007 to 2010, and Iowa’s rate of 28.6 births per 1,000 teenagers was ranked 34th nationwide. More details are after the jump.

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