yeah, im a total fan girl…

December 21, 2009 § Leave a comment

ok. i know ive done posts before about her but…i dont care…i love gloria le may’s blog.

Right across Canada, provincial governments are regulating and licensing midwives in an effort to respond to consumer demand for gentler, kinder obstetric practices. Like many government programs, the midwifery movement is losing its alternative nature and becoming more and more like the medical model it was supposed to replace.Instead of truly opening up choice for women – grown women who chose to get pregnant, chose to stay pregnant and then choose to give birth naturally without medications – the regulation of midwifery has created yet another controlled member of the medical monopoly on caring.

Women across the country are seeking yet another alternative.

Birth assistants, doulas, labour coaches, private birth attendants… there are many names for the women who are emerging to take up the alternative role. Now, the same tactics that were used to keep the midwives down – legal action, ridicule, accusations of ignorance –  are being used to suppress the new alternative birth caregivers.

i love her protocol around birth.

As cesarean and induction rates in hospital climb to astronomical levels many women are turning to homebirth. When interventions become excessively high, the risk/benefit ratio of being in a hospital swings more dramatically into the “riskier” zone, and even physicians and nurses begin choosing homebirth. Just removing your birth from a hospital setting doesn’t guarantee that it will proceed in a natural, flowing manner. Too many women learn the hard way that a midwife can bring a hospital mentality and interventions right into the home and negatively affect the course of the birth. How can you assess the type of midwifery practice that you are purchasing? Here are some tips to help you assess the care that will be provided by midwives:..go and read the rest of this. i wish i had known these seven steps when i was pregnant.  i wish more women knew them now…

i love that she went to jail in 2002 for contempt of court.

Gloria was charged for breaking the conditions of her injunction. The College of Midwives charged that she performed “midwifery” acts that are restricted to the College of Midwives of BC.

They are as following (as documented in Section 4 of the Midwives Regulation, B.C. 103/95, O.C. 269/95):

  • (a) the conducting of internal vaginal examinations of women during pregnancy, labour, delivery and the postpartum period,
  • (b) the management of spontaneous normal vaginal deliveries; and
  • (c) the performance of episiotomies and amniotomies during labour and repair of episiotomies and simple lacerations.

She performed a vaginal exam (a check for cervical openness), did an episiotomy (the cutting of a woman’s perineum to facilitate a speedy birth), and performed an amniotomy (see following). All of these acts were emergencies, as was sworn to in an affidavit by obstetrical nurse and birth attendant Cindy Milner, RN.

and from her words about the courts decision:

As bad as it gets in the court system, every day I give thanks that I did not register with the College of Midwives. I have had four years of the best experiences ever as a birth attendant. I have not had to hurt or “strip” anyone [strip membranes, sweep the cervix away from the amniotic sac- a method of induction of labor well known to registered midwives] in order to retain a license. No baby received erythromycin eye cream or vitamin K injections from me. I have not had to please any physician or hospital administrator. I have been able to look my clients and myself in the eye. I have been forced into a simpler, less invasive style of practice and now find it to be full of wonder. My clients love and respect me and none would testify for the ones who wish me in jail. Few people in the world ever get to experience the kind of joyful work I have had in the past four years. No one can take that away from me.

When I go into court it can be harsh, but I would rather face a judge with some skills in human rights and tenets of law than face a disciplinary committee in a professional body that has to produce a few sacrificial lambs each year in order to justify its existence to the Government. Please don’t feel angry or worried about me- feel inspired about how strong we are.”

and she convinced me to re-think my stance on circumcision.  she showed me that it was a human rights issue in one sentence.   she said: Adults do not have the right to amputate body parts from non-consenting minors.

damn. i love it when someone changes my mind.


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