Skylands doulas, a group that generates supports and advocacy for the role of doulas based in northwest New Jersey, periodically hosts doula meet-ups. This past year we had the pleasure of hosting 3 midwives as part of our meet-the-midwife gatherings. The 3 midwifes all came from different practices here in NJ.
Let's quickly outline the different license options for midwives here in NJ as there are 3: CNM (prescriptive and non), CM, & CPM.
According to American College of Nurse Midwives, "CNMs are licensed, independent health care providers with prescriptive authority in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, and Puerto Rico. CNMs are defined as primary care providers under federal law.
"CMs are also licensed, independent health care providers who have completed the same midwifery education as CNMs. CMs are authorized to practice in Delaware, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island. CMs have prescriptive authority in New York and Rhode Island. The first accredited CM education program began in 1996. The CM credential is not yet recognized in all states." Read more on the ACNM Website.
A Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) "is a knowledgeable, skilled and professional independent midwifery practitioner who has met the standards for certification set by the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM) and is qualified to provide the Midwives Model of Care. The CPM is the only midwifery credential that requires knowledge about and experience in out-of-hospital settings." Read more at NARM.org
According to NJ Homebirth Midwives "All New Jersey licensed midwives have undergone both clinical and academic training and have met rigorous standards set out by the NJ Board of Medical Examiners. For midwives certified as Certified Midwives or Certified Nurse Midwives, their training has been university based and usually includes a graduate degree. For midwives certified as Certified Professional Midwives, their training is community based, which means they’ve done extensive study under experienced midwives and have graduated from a MEAC-accredited academic program as well. CPMs are the only type of midwife whose training is specifically focused on out-of-hospital birth."
To learn more about the regulation of midwifery practice in NJ pls visit NJ Consumer Affairs Midwifery Liason Page.
Ok so, let's begin...
The first midwife who visited us was Kasey DiVine, RN, CPM who does homebirths with Babycatcher Midwifery & Motherlore Midwifery. Kasey shared about the experience, homebirth midwives sometimes go thru, of transferring from home to hospital and what to expect regarding: transport, continual support from birth team, choice of hospital based on location of medical back-up, reception of hospital staff, and more.... In the story she shared, all was well, but it was clear more communication and collaboration could be fostered between the homebirth communities and local doctors and hospitals. Kasey feels that having a good collaborative relationship with an OB practice (like the relationship they have with One to One Female Care) "makes transfer safer and less stressful for the mom. The goal that we homebirth midwives are working on is expanding those relationships to other docs and hospitals." What ideas do you have how to educate and inform regarding home to hospital transfer? Thanks to Kasey as we were very grateful she was able to come share about her experience with the Skylands Doulas.
What programs do you know of that help foster the relationship between #homebirth communities and local doctors and hospitals?
The second midwife, who we were honored to have visit, was Donna Tabas CNM, MS of North Jersey Midwifery Care, who currently attends births at Hackensack UMC at Pascack Valley. Donna has a solo practice and works as a "dedicated” midwife, meaning that she is the midwife you will have for all your prenatal care, the birth, and postpartum period. Donna shared about her journey to becoming a midwife as well as how we must carefully choose the words we use when speaking of birth - it's all on her blog, read more about it on Donna's blog. Donna also shared some of the exercises she does with clients including a meditation on cesarean surgery. The cesarean meditation released tension and emotions in the room for all the women present - both on a personal level as well as professional as it released tension we hold from clients and the stories we become vessel to. Thank you Donna for helping us find our way through this space, which is often traumatic, and helping us find new words and helping us reframe.
What is one of your favorite activities/exercises you do with #doula clients to help release fear and tension?
The third midwife, we were lucky to have visit, recently became credentialed at two NJ hospitals after working as a Homebirth Midwife for 24 yrs. Linda Perry CNM, of Lifelong Midwifery writes that she is, "So excited.....bringing my practice very soon to Mountainside Hospital and Hoboken University Medical Center. Have you heard bad things about Hoboken? Times a changing over there. They are bringing back many of the St. Vincent's crew across the river, renovating both the rooms and the outlook." Linda also shared with us about Hoboken's new Pampered Pregnancy Program, "A family-centered childbirth and parent education program emphasizes mother and baby wellness, information for all family members, and family autonomy." Through this program, all of Linda's clients will have their own Pregnancy Coach included in their care. Follow Linda at https://www.facebook.com/YourMidwife/ Linda is excited to be working closer to home where she is short drive to be with her mamas. She is also looking forward to collaborating with the hospitals to further enhance their motherbaby care.
If you are a midwife or a birthworker and would like to come speak to Skylands Doulas, please contact Birth Doula & NJ Birth Photographer Rachel Connolly Kwock at firstname.lastname@example.org or 917 676 7177. Thank you!
Thanks to all the midwives of the world!