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Friday, September 11, 2009

Grassroots Network Message: TODAY show in bed with ACOG

Dear Friends,
Friday morning’s TODAY show included a segment about the
“perils of home birth.” The show included a sad home
birth (with a nurse-midwife) where the baby died of a cord
accident, without mentioning that such deaths can happen in the
hospital also, or addressing the US’s high perinatal
mortality rate. Representatives of ACOG described home birth as
“the equivalent of a spa treatment”! Definitely not
even-handed reporting, but looks like ACOG is out to get media
for their biased beliefs.
You can watch the segment at
You can read comments about the show (and add your own) at:\

Almost all of the comments are pro-midwife.
And if you want to e-mail the Today show and let them know the
real reasons more women are choosing home birth, or that
you’d like to see an HONEST segment on home birth, you can
write to them at .
Finally, true to form, the Big Push has fired off an eloquent
Push Alert, which is pasted below.
As the saying goes, any attention is good attention, or at least
a great opportunity for getting more and better attention!
Thank you to the several individuals who brought this to my
attention, including the links.
Susan Hodges, “gatekeeper”
PushNews from The Big Push for Midwives Campaign
CONTACT: Katherine Prown, (414) 550-8025,
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, September 11, 2009
Physicians Take Anti-Midwife Smear Campaign to the Airwaves
Home Birth Mothers, Celebrities, Insulted on National TV
WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 11, 2009)­Referring to women who
choose to give birth in out-of-hospital settings as
“hedonistic” and likening childbirth to a “spa
treatment,” members of the American College of Obstetricians
and Gynecologists, a trade group representing the professional
and financial interests of OB/GYNs, took their anti-midwife
campaign to the airwaves in a Today Show segment
rife with insults, stereotypes, and misinformation, using one
family’s tragedy as a platform for the organization’s
well-funded assault against choices in childbirth.
“About the only thing ACOG has right is that women are
choosing out-of-hospital deliveries in record numbers,” said
Steff Hedenkamp of The Big Push for Midwives Campaign. “What
Erin Tracy and other apologists for the group’s anti-midwife
position fail to see is that one of the forces driving women to
seek out-of-hospital care is the paternalistic, profit-driven
model of maternity care that far too many of its own members
During the segment ACOG reiterated its claim, which has been
thoroughly debunked by a large and growing body of medical
literature, that out-of-hospital delivery is unsafe. Describing
women who choose to give birth in private homes and freestanding
birth centers as “hedonistic” mothers who knowingly put
the lives of their babies at risk for the sake of an
“experience” they believe will be like a “spa
treatment,” members of the group echoed last year’s
position statement
> claiming that women who choose out-of-hospital
deliveries base their decisions on what’s
“fashionable” or “trendy.”
“ACOG clings to this ridiculous fantasy that women choose to
deliver their babies outside of the hospital because they want to
be like Ricki Lake, Demi Moore or Meryl Streep and that if women
would only watch enough fear-mongering stories on morning
television they’ll be brainwashed back into hospitals,”
said Katherine Prown, Campaign Manager of The Big Push for
Midwives. “Insulting our intelligence and promoting policies
that deny us choices in maternity care are not exactly winning
strategies for stemming the tide of women seeking alternatives to
standard OB care.”
Earlier this year, a New York City couple lost their baby during
a planned home birth under the care of a Certified Nurse-Midwife.
Licensed and regulated in all 50 states, Certified Nurse-Midwives
are trained to provide hospital-based maternity care. By
contrast, Certified Professional Midwives, who undergo
specialized clinical training in out-of-hospital birth, are
legally authorized to provide care in 26 states, although
outdated regulations effectively prevent them qualifying for
licensure in the state of New York.
Legislation to license and regulate Certified Professional
Midwives is currently pending in an additional 18 states, despite
staunch opposition from the American Medical Association, which
has joined with ACOG in adopting position statements
<> that would deny families who choose
out-of-hospital maternity care legal access to nationally
credentialed midwives with specialized training to provide it.
The Big Push for Midwives Campaign represents thousands of
grassroots advocates in the United States who support expanding
access to Certified Professional Midwives and out-of-hospital
maternity care. The mission of The Big Push includes educating
national policymakers about the reduced costs and improved
outcomes associated with out-of-hospital birth and advocating for
including the services of Certified Professional Midwives in
health care reform. Media inquiries: Katherine Prown (414)
The Big Push for Midwives Campaign | 2300 M Street, N.W., Suite
800 | Washington, D.C. 20037-1434 | <>
If you would rather not receive future communications from The
Big Push for Midwives Campaign, let us know by clicking here.
The Big Push for Midwives Campaign, 2300 M Street, N.W., Suite
800, Washington, DC 20037-1434 United States
Feel free to forward the Grassroots Network messages to others
who might be interested!
If you find news, resources, or other valuable information that
you think should be posted on the Grassroots Network, please send
it to info@cfmidwifery. org... with "For the grassroots network"
in the subject line. We will definitely consider using them!
Visit the Citizens for Midwifery website at www.cfmidwifery
<http://www.cfmidwifery/> . org .
Scroll to the bottom of the page and enter your e-mail address.
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