Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Campaign to Change Hospital Policy Against Midwifery Care

I received this email from an expectant father seeking help in changing a local hospital's policy on midwives attending births. If you live in the area (and even if you don't), please consider making a phone call or sending a letter/email to the hospital administrator to heighten awareness of the issue and hopefully change hospital policy for the benefit of mothers and babies:

My wife and I are expecting our first in September. We are eager and excited to work with a specific midwife/nurse practitioner who works in a woman's health office near our home. This office is connected with Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring, Maryland. For this reason, we can not work with our midwife during birth because Holy Cross does not allow midwives to help women deliver in their hospital. They are the only hospital in our region that does this horrible practice. I was hoping you could help get the word out and help me to begin a campaign with the hospital leadership.

The president of the hospital is:

CEO and President: Kevin Sexton

Holy Cross Hospital

1500 Forest Glen Rd.

Silver Spring, MD 20910

E-mail Address: sextok [at]


If you've never phoned, written or emailed such a letter, here are some sample scripts with talking points to include:

"My name is ____________________. I live in _______ near ________ hospital. I wanted to share with you how the lack of access to midwifery care at ________ hospital has affected me and other women and families in the vicinity. (List 1 or 2 examples from the list below or add your own).

  • I chose to travel ____ miles rather than give birth in this hospital due to the lack of midwifery care providers

  • I had to choose a provider I'm not comfortable with because of the lack of midwifery care at this hospital

  • Parents have the right to choose how, where, and with whom their children will be born.

  • Women deserve to have access to all the nationally certified maternity care providers that women in other states, like Wisconsin and Minnesota, can choose from -- including CPMs

  • Midwives are known to do an excellent job working with under-served populations, including undocumented worker populations, who are more accustomed to midwifery care in their home countries

  • With obstetricians leaving that profession, midwives can help fill the gap for normal births in a cost effective fashion

  • With their unique out-of-hospital training, Certified Professional Midwives can be a vital part of emergency services in times of epidemics, natural disasters or terrorist attacks (when hospitals might be overwhelmed with actual medical emergencies), allowing obstetricians to oversee the cases that required their surgical expertise

  • I want the option of midwifery care available for my children,
    when they start to have children of their own

(You should pick the talking points that make the most sense in your situation and/or best represent your point of view or comfort level.)

"I hope that in light of these factors, you will reconsider your policy and allow midwives to have privileges within this hospital to attend to birthing women and their families. Thank you for your consideration in this matter."

Please spread the word to help this and other families in the area gain full access to the care providers of their choice.


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