Mar 17

Coronavirus: Midwives on the Front Line


Coronavirus: Midwives on the Front Line

Access presentation slides here

(MEAC CEUs applied for)

In these moments of uncertcoronavirussmallainty, fear and unprecedented disruption due to the rapid spread of the coronavirus around the world and now growing quickly in the U.S., midwives are urgently searching for the best information about how to protect and care for our clients and their families and our homebirth and birth center practice environments. There is so much information coming from all quarters that it is a distinct challenge to sort it all out and understand how to apply it. NACPM wants to ensure that midwives have the most up-to-date and accurate information possible to protect the lives and health of their clients, and that midwives are supported as they prepare for the likely increasing demand for their essential services.
NACPM will host a webinar, Coronavirus: Midwives on the Front Line next Thursday, March 19 from 1:00-3:00 ET. Dr. Aviva Romm, our keynote speaker, will review and curate information from the medical literature and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on COVID-19: the basics about the virus, what we know and don’t know about its impact on pregnancy and birth, pregnancy outcomes, infants and breastfeeding, and the implications for prevention and for protecting health and safety.  
Dr. Aviva Romm is a homebirth mother, midwife, herbalist, and Yale-trained MD, Board Certified in Family Medicine with Obstetrics and well known to the midwifery community, who has been bridging the best of traditional medicine with good science for over three decades. Having trained in internal medicine at Yale School of Medicine and a Tufts Family Medicine residency, she is a Manhattan-based integrative women and children’s physician, and author of seven books on health. We are most pleased to have her present to our community on this critical topic.
Certified Professional Midwives, Certified Nurse-Midwives and Certified Midwives, are frontline healthcare workers whose role in caring for pregnant people and newborns can increase exponentially during a pandemic such as COVID-19. As community-based midwives with special training and expertise providing care in homes and free-standing birth centers, away from the typical medical interventions experience by most people giving birth in hospital today, CPMs and other homebirth midwives are experts in facilitating birth outside of the hospital. As hospitals, many with well-documented histories of failing to prevent the spread of infectious diseases, must focus on caring for those seriously ill with coronavirus, they can become less safe options for pregnant people.
In addition to safety, hospital capacity is an issue. Tom Bossert, former homeland security advisor, warned last Monday that the U.S. is potentially just over a week away from the nation’s hospitals being overwhelmed by the number of people ill from COVID-19 in need of critical care. It is estimated that if even 5% of people living in America become ill with COVID-19, approximately 960,000 will require hospital beds, overwhelming our healthcare system.
Midwives around the country are recognizing and stepping up to the role they must play in preparing to meet this increased need. They are developing evidence-based policies and procedures to protect the health and safety of their clients and their practice environments, as well as making plans for increasing their capacity to meet an increasing demand for their services.
Amy Johnson-Grass, ND, LN, LM, CPM, owner and director of Health Foundations Family Health and Birth Center in St. Paul, Minnesota and the first CPM President of the American Association of Birth Centers, and Tina Tsiakalis, CPM, LM, founder and midwife at the Center for Birth in Seattle will share the practices and policies they have developed for their birth centers to ensure the safety of their clients and their practice environments in the face of the spread of the virus, as well as their evolving plans for dealing with increased demand for their services. Susanrachel Condon, CCCE, LMT, LM, CLC, midwife at River and Mountain Midwives in New York State, and Mairi Breen Rothman, CNM, DM, with M.A.M.A.S. Inc. of Maryland, will share their COVID-19 related policies and procedures developed for their homebirth practices, and they will describe how they are managing the increased demand from people choosing a homebirth late in their pregnancies because of concerns about giving birth in the hospital during this pandemic.
Please note, while this webinar is scheduled to run for an hour and a half, we will leave room to extend the time by an additional 30 minutes if there is need for more time for questions and discussion.
We urge you to join us for this important learning opportunity and to think together with us about the role midwives are being called upon to play in our communities as our country faces the urgency of the coronavirus pandemic.

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