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Thursday, March 3, 2011

Birth Freedom March - Wednesday March 2nd at State Capitol


RALEIGH, NC (February 28, 2011) – Midwife and home birth supporters from
around the state plan to gather at the Capitol on Wednesday March 2nd at
10:00 am, and march to Jones Street ending at the State Legislative
Buildings in support of licensing Certified Professional Midwives, and
expanding access to care for North Carolina families that choose midwifery
care and the home setting for birth.

"Right now a fully trained and credentialed Certified Professional Midwife
who can legally practice in Virginia,Tennessee, South Carolina and Florida
is at risk for being arrested for providing the same quality care in
North Carolina. This is not right, and makes North Carolina home birthing
families less safe," said Russ Fawcett,Legislative Chair for North Carolina
Friends of Midwives. "Hopefully, the North Carolina General Assembly
will recognize that the safety of NC home birthing families is at stake, and
they will pass legislation to licenseCPMs with purpose."

A Centers for Disease Control National Health Statistics report released in
March showed a five percent increase in demand for out-of-hospital midwife
births in 2005 across the United States. In North Carolina,homebirths
increased by 32 percent from the 2003-2004 period to the 2005-2006 period
analyzed. This new data increases the urgency for passing the current pending
legislation in North Carolina to license and regulate Certified Professional
Midwives (CPMs).

"Now more than ever it is crucial that North Carolina's home birthing
families have access to trained midwives,"said Russ Fawcett, Legislative
Chair for North Carolina Friends of Midwives. "Midwife attended planned
homebirths have dramatically increased in North Carolina in the past few
years. Each year, more North Carolina families choose out-of-hospital birth
for many reasons. These families deserve safe and affordable maternity care,
and the midwives who provide it deserve legal recognition."

Currently, there are no laws in North Carolina to regulate CPMs, who deliver
babies in private homes and freestanding birth centers. Studies show that
low-risk women who plan home births under the care of CPMshave outcomes
equal to low-risk women who deliver in the hospital, but with far fewer
costly and preventable interventions. A study commissioned by the Washington
legislature found that during the last five years alone,the state's licensed
midwives saved taxpayers and private insurers more than $10
million.Consistent with the medical literature on the safety of home birth
under the care of Certified Professional Midwives, the CDC report also found
significantly reduced rates of pre-term and low-birth weight in
out-of hospital populations. Certified Professional Midwives, who specialize
in promoting optimal maternal health andwho deliver the majority of U.S.
babies born in private homes and freestanding birth centers, provide
intensive,individualized pre-natal care that focuses on prevention and risk
assessment. The authors of the report identify appropriate risk assessment as
a likely factor in the reduced rates of pre-term and low-birth weight in
out-of hospital settings.

North Carolina Friends of Midwives is a grassroots organization of midwife
advocates dedicated to promoting,supporting, and protecting midwifery in
North Carolina. North Carolina is a priority for The Big Push for Midwives
Campaign, representing tens of 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 for Midwives
is to educate state and national policymakers about the reduced costs and
improved outcomes associated with out-of-hospital maternity care and to
advocate for expanding access to the services of Certified Professional
Midwives, who are specially trained to provide it. Media inquiries about
North Carolina

Friends of Midwives should be directed to Russ Fawcett at (910) 471-5187, Media inquiries about the Big Push should be directed to
Katherine Prown (414) 550-8025,


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