Friends, it is time for me to step upon my midwifery soap box again. I will do so until Alabama passes a proper midwifery bill. If you remember, last year I wrote a series on midwifery. If you were not following me then, definitely go back and read them. I talked about how I was introduced to the subject of midwifery, explain what the midwifery model of care meant, the difference between obstetrics model of care and midwifery model of care, why midwifery in Alabama is important, shared my birth story of my daughter, and I found out I was pregnant. Then, I was able to write about my experience with using CNMs (Certified Nurse Midwives) versus the experience with using an Alabama OB/GYN.
A few weeks ago, Alabama ramped up their legislative session. The Alabama Birth Coalition (ABC) was ready for action! The amazing leaders of ABC already had a re-designed midwifery bill to introduce to our legislators to gain co-sponsors. Women across Alabama have been steadily voicing to their representatives to support the Childbirth Freedom Act. The movement has been remarkable to follow. The local media, which normally disregards the midwifery movement every year, could not turn a blind eye to the gathering on Capitol Hill and other areas across Alabama. The media coverage has been outstanding! The leaders of ABC have been focused and dedicated to have this bill filed. (The President had a baby not long ago and several members traveling are pregnant!) Childbirth Freedom Act has two sponsors and will be filed tomorrow. It will receive an official number to be introduced into a committee.
Just to give you a reminder, here are a few infographics to explain why midwifery is important to Alabama women:
I included this screenshot mainly for the graphs. These statistics are from 2014. At that time, 33 of 67 Alabama counties did not have any OB/GYNs. (What the first pictures shows.) The second picture depicts travel times to hospital that have maternity care. A majority of Alabama women have to travel 30-60 minutes to a hospital. Could you imagine traveling that far in labor?! Do you see the areas on the fringe in white? Those are for the women that travel over an hour, most choose to go to neighboring states. Those neighboring states have access to midwifery.
So, if you live in Alabama, contact your representative and ask them to please support the Childbirth freedom Act. Give Alabama women better birthing options!