January 2, 2011
(Link to this Alert in
ACTION ALERT! YOUR VOICES NEED TO BE HEARD!!!
Dear Midwifery Supporters,
This is a call to action for all citizens of Virginia who have an interest in
out of hospital birth services. The issue of access to medications for women
using the services of Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs) is currently before
the Board of Medicine (BOM). Strong citizen support is needed to communicate to
the BOM that the women and babies who receive midwifery care in Virginia prefer
for their midwives to be legally able to administer medications.
Although CPMs are trained to carry and administer some medications considered
necessary for safe and effective midwifery care in out of hospital birth, the
current Virginia statute for Licensed Midwifery specifically prohibits them to
do so. For many women seeking out of hospital birth, this dilemma represents a
compromise to optimal safety in rare emergencies that occur for healthy women
(postpartum bleeding), as well as access and convenience for medications for
their newborns (Vitamin K, erythromycin).
This gap in midwifery care requires a resolution. The Board of
Medicine has recently convened a Midwifery and Medications Workgroup, whose task
is to address this issue.
Please contact the Board of Medicine NOW to let them know that you care about
this issue and expect to see a resolution as soon as possible!
(Scroll for contact info and sample talking points.)
During the first meeting of the Workgroup (December 3, 2010), many issues
were discussed among the members (2 CPMs, 1CNM, 1 OB, 2 Pediatricians, and a
Citizen member). The CPMs on the workgroup and those that attended the meeting,
made every effort to educate the rest of the group on the issues, concerns, and
obstacles to resolution. Representatives from the Medical Society of Virginia
indicated that they would like physician oversight of midwives to be established
prior to supporting any changes in the scope of practice of Licensed Midwives.
Please plan to come to the next meeting of the Workgroup on Friday, February
4th at 9am to speak during the public comment period. Please prepare a brief
written statement prior to the meeting.
The Workgroup was unable to come to agreement on a next step other than to
meet again in February. In order to authorize another meeting, the group passed
the following motion unanimously,
"The committee will discuss and develop a plan that will increase safety and
access to necessary medications for home-birthing women and their newborns."
By passing this resolution, the group acknowledged that there is a concern,
but that there is not yet a clear path to solving it.
Due to short notice from the Board of Medicine about the workgroup meeting,
there was only ONE consumer present to represent all of you. As many of you
know, it was largely due to the massive effort of every individual mother,
father, grandparent, sister and cousin that allowed CPMs to be licensed in
Virginia through the passage of our bill in 2005. This was not an easy effort
and the sentiment from the medical community is largely unchanged. The
Commonwealth Midwives Alliance (CMA) is once again asking midwifery supporters
like you to come forward and bolster our goal to effectively serve the mothers
and infants of the Commonwealth. CMA
~ Uniting Midwives throughout Virginia
Letter Writing Pointers and Contact Information
Please write a brief personal note to the Board of Medicine
Address your letter to:
Virginia Board of Medicine Workgroup on Midwifery and Medications
Attn. Dr. William Harp, Executive Director;
Dr. Karen Ransone, President of the Board of Medicine;
Dr. Deren Bader, CPM, Chair of the Midwifery Advisory Board
9960 Mayland Drive, Suite 300
Henrico, Virginia 23233-1463
Please send your letter via email. Use the same header and send to:
Copy (Cc) to: Dr. Deren Bader:
CMA President, Kim Mosny:
The issue is clear: You have a
right to safe and effective maternity care. CPMs are proven as safe providers of
out of hospital birth. Virginia Licensed Midwives need access to the tools
available to provide the care they are trained to offer.
Here are a few more things to consider:
Describe the beliefs you have about wanting someone who would attend your
birth with the appropriate tools and competencies to assist in a normal birthing
process. Explain that you want your midwife to be able to use all the knowledge
and skills of her training. This includes administering medications when
If you have an experience that demonstrates how important it would have
been for your midwife to be able to carry and administer certain medications,
speak about the experience. For example, were you inconvenienced in needing to
obtain RhoGam? Were you unable to get Vitamin K and/or erythromycin for your
newborn because of the midwife’s restriction and thus you decided against those
medications for your baby? Did you forgo medications due to inconvenience?
Please do not speak negatively about hospitals or hospital providers. Keep
the tone of your letter positive.
Indicate that you will be monitoring the deliberations of the Workgroup and
hope that its recommendations will be carefully focused on the evidence for best
practice, and the health and safety of the Virginia families who choose home
birth and the care of Licensed CPMs.
Thank you for your support of Virginia Licensed Certified Professional
Kim Mosny, CPM
President, Commonwealth Midwives Alliance
For questions or for more information please contact:
Kim Mosny, CPM ~ President
Commonwealth Midwives Alliance
13541 E. Boundary Rd, Ste 101
Midlothian, Virginia 23112
Be sure to join the Friends of CMA YahooGroup at:
March 25, 2005: Governor Warner signed SB 1259 into law. HB 2038 will be combined with this bill to form one law licensing CPMs. An advisory board will be created to draft the rules and regulations that will govern the practice of Licensed Midwives in Virginia.
SB 1259 http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?051+sum+SB1259
HB 2038 http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?051+sum+HB2038
July 22, 2005: Advisory Board On Midwifery appointments announced: Deren Bader, C.P.M., Free Union; Peggy Franklin, C.P.M., Gainesville; Sheryl L. Rivett, Purcellville, Founder of Women’s Voices, Women’s Health; Wade Neiman, M.D., Lynchburg, Obstetrician and Gynecologist for Women’s Health Services of Central Virginia; Leslie Payne, C.P.M, Lynchburg