Dear Iowa parents,
whether or not you would like to give birth in your home, please consider adding your voice to those asking Iowa legislators to legally recognize the credentials of certified professional midwives (CPMs). CPMs practice in homebirth settings, and the are currently subject to criminal prosecution for attending mothers who wish to birth at home. Legal recognition of their credentials would greatly expand birthplace choices for Iowa families.
Friends of Iowa Midwives is planning to introduce a bill to licence CPMs in Iowa in the 2009 legislative session, beginning January 12. This is the perfect time to establish a relationship with your senator or representative. Write a letter or pay a visit to their home office. To find out who your local representatives are, visit this page for the Iowa State Legislature and enter your address:http://www.legis.state.ia.us/FindLeg/
Please consider taking the time to write a letter. You can be brief, but every constituent's voice counts, and they do listen! It’s important that every legislator hear from her/his own constituents in support of CPM licensure. Your letter need only explain why you support Iowa families’ right to birth at home with a licensed midwife. It may include your own experiences with home or hospital birth, or it could just express your support for others to make the choices that are best for their families. Handwritten letters are best.
For more information on this issue, you can visit the Friends of Iowa Midwives website:http://www.friendsofiowamidwives.org
Thanks for lending your voice to the push for expanding birthing options in our wonderful state!
Katherine Parker Bryden
Iowa City, IA
*X-posted in birth forums*
I am working on an email, but will have to take several drafts... I'm having some trouble keeping it focused on the positive aspects of CPMs and off the negatives of OBs. I'm planning on centering my letter on the access to quality care issues.
Thanks for posting this reminder.
What would you recommend putting in the letter? I'm awful at getting my thoughts down on paper.
You could write about any/all of the following:
- your birth experience, and how it has influenced your support for homebirth and legalizing CPMs,
- your philosophical commitment to giving women options for where to give birth to their children, regardless of where you feel comfortable giving birth,
- some ethical, spiritual, or practical concerns you have about hospital birth,
- statistics (available on the FOIM website) citing the safety of homebirth for low-risk women,
- your feelings about criminalizing a class of skilled professionals who are recognized in a number of neighboring states (MO and WI). CPMs are trained to provide care for a normal life-process and to understand when birth is deviating from the normal, and they are capable of providing appropriate care for homebirths.
Here's a link to a list of talking points
too, and there's a link on that page to "letter writing" that has sample letters.
The Friends of Iowa Midwives site has a Q&A on the value and proven safety record
of CPMs and homebirth. You can print that out and include it with your letter.
Thanks for supporting this effort!
When you send your letter, be sure to go to friendsofiowamidwives.org and let us know - you'll get a free bumper sticker!!
Thanks for posting this. I wrote them! Hopefully things change for the better!