Last month Peggy (Mothering editor and publisher Peggy O’Mara) and I were in Los Angeles for the ICTC Black Midwives and Healers Conference. While in the area, we also took part in another midwifery-related event a short drive away: a gathering at Golden Bridge Yoga Studio in Hollywood to honor local midwives for National Midwifery Week.
Peggy had been invited to speak but didn’t really know much about the event, only that she had been asked to give a brief talk about midwifery. As it turned out, Peggy was invited there not just to speak—but to receive an award for her efforts over the last 30 years on behalf of midwives around the world! It was a lovely surprise.
Birth advocate and talk show host Ricki Lake (cover girl for our January-February 2008 issue), who also participated in the event, blogged about it here this week. (Ricki’s documentary, The Business of Being Born, has rapidly made its way into the canon of must-see birth films of the 21st century.)
Also honored was Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), sponsor of the revolutionary Maximizing Optimal Maternity Services for the 21st Century Act.
Another familiar face in the crowd was a longtime Mothering contributor, pediatrician Jay Gordon (who happens to have a piece coming up in our Jan-Feb issue).
A new friend of ours was there, as well: birth photographer Anna Verwaal, whom we had just met the week before in Santa Fe, when she stopped by the Mothering office to show the staff her work. Anna was at Golden Bridge to present a slide show of some of her photos of midwives in action—a very moving presentation that left many in need of a hankie. A maternal child health nurse, certified lactation educator, and doula as well as photographer, Anna has combined these roles to create profound images that capture the emotion of the birth experience. You can see some of her photos here.
Photos: Actress and midwifery advocate Carrie-Anne Moss presents Peggy with the award; Carrie-Anne and Peggy participate in a Blessing of the Hands ceremony led by Andrea Bendewald honoring midwives; and Peggy joins the celebratory circle of midwives following the Blessing.
Tags: Andrea Bendewald, Anna Verwaal, Blessing of the Hands, Carrie-Anne Moss, Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard, doulas, Golden Bridge Yoga, Hollywood, Los Angeles, Maximizing Optimal Maternity Services for the 21st Century Act, midwifery, midwives, Peggy O'Mara, Ricki Lake