The ACNM has just posted a letter on their website which expresses the disdain that some in the organization have for homebirth midwives (specifically, CPMs). It cites the fact that many women who have passed the CPM credential have learned by apprenticeship. Not only have they learned by apprenticeship and don’t have a university degree but even their teachers have learned by apprenticeship and don’t have a degree. Oh dear, the sky is falling, the sky is falling. How is it possible that clean, tidy, smart nurse midwives with a degree might be lumped in with the unwashed self-taught midwife? We recognize the caste system as observers outside of India looking in but, what we can’t see is the caste system within obstetrics that is impervious to change. Based on beliefs, traditions, entrenched learning and old grudges, this caste system is self perpetuating and impenetrable. All the “Big Pushes” in the world won’t make a dent in this North American version of it.
It does not occur to the policy makers at the ACNM that the very education that they hold up as the gold standard is the education that has led to:
-nurse midwives who have never seen a normal birth (home birth without interference)
– CNMs who have a very high rate of cesarean section in their hospital based work
-CNMs who hide behind protocols even when they don’t make any common sense at all
e.g. “I don’t WANT to induce women at 41 weeks but my protocols. . . ”
-CNMs who have been doling out outrageous amount of antibiotics to childbearing women and their babies.
-CNMs who have fought for the right to mutilate the genitals of innocent boys
-CNMs who have turned a blind eye to the need for food programs and improved nutrition for pregnant women
-CNMs who have used ultrasound and dopplers on every pregnant client and never questioned the harm they are doing
The ACNM may think they have an elite training program but teaching new recruits the same misinformation that their professors have perpetrated for years is not an advancement for women.
The ACNM does not seem to realize that this is the computer age and information is readily available to practitioner and client alike. Every time I have taken a nurse midwife, obstetrical nurse or doctor to a homebirth, they have come away in awe about how much they learned. Of course, those individuals had the humility to be open to learning and that is sometimes missing in people with university degrees on their walls.
I don’t know how long that letter will be up on the ACNM site because someone may come along and realize that it makes nurse midwives look like arrogant idiots. Read it quick so you can mark this place in history.
More about contortions in licensing midwives in this post “Living Exposed”