Large baby denied insurance coverage, headlines force retraction

I first saw this story over at Unnecesearan, and I’m happy to say that by the time I got to posting about it, some resolution was reached.

You can see a video of the news coverage, but basically a baby in the 99th percentile for size was denied coverage by a health insurance company.

Thanks to a ton of news coverage (possibly fueled by the father’s job as a newscaster in Colorado) the insurance company has reversed it’s policy. The company called it a flaw, but we all know that these kind of denials are pervasive and not going to go away on their own.

New midwifery school opening in Florida this winter

I’m really excited to share the news that Jennie Joseph’s new midwifery school, Commonsense Childbirth School of Midwifery, is opening this Winter in Central Florida, near Orlando.

I got the chance to meet Jennie Joseph recently and she is really fantastic. She has a down-to-earth no nonsense approach to birth care, with an important focus on low-income women and women of color. What she does works–it really has transformed outcomes in her community.

We need more midwives, and that means we need more midwifery schools. Yay!

ACOG is making me nauseous.

Ugh. That’s how I feel everytime I get another press release from the Big Push for Midwives, or see another blog post from a doula or midwifery blog about what ACOG–the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology is up to. Just ugh. The latest: a totally biased segment on the Today show. To be honest, I couldn’t bring myself to watch it. If you want to see for yourself, it’s here.

Oh, and then there was the internet campaign to get  stories about the “problem” of desire for out of hospital births. And before that was when they announced they would “allow” women in labor to drink modest amounts of clear liquids, but no food.

They’ve already GOT A MONOPOLY on birth in the US. 99 freaking percent of women are giving birth in the hospitals they control. That’s not enough apparently, because they are afraid. They are scared of all of us, of all the folks out there who are catching on about a different way to be, about how they can escape the hospital and reclaim some autonomy. They’re afraid of the 1% of women who have caught on, who give birth outside the hospital and away from their surgeons.

Still, because they are scared and they are more worried about the professional interests of doctors than the desires of their patients, they continue with their smear campaigns. The one thing that gives me comfort is that their fear is an indicator of our power. So let’s use it folks. People are catching on, and that is real.

The one positive thing that ACOG did recently was admit that their practices–which they say are fueled by fear of being sued–“ultimately hurt patients.” I would say that’s not the whole story, ACOG, but I will give you that our litigious society (and crappy doctor/patient relationship with little trust) makes things worse. Jill at Unnecesarean has more on this, but I would just add that midwives are also suffering from this litigious society and the fear of being sued. Often it’s not even the parents they care for who sue them–but local doctors who disagree with their practices. You can read about one of these midwives in my piece in The American Prospect. Again, she took this one doctor’s fear of her and turned it into action–helping to pass legislation in April to legalize the practice of CPMs there.

Home birth in Australia may soon be illegal

New legislation in Australia that requires all midwives to be insured may make home birth illegal and inaccessible.

From News.Com.Au:

Under the draft Health Practitioner Regulation National Law, released last week, a midwife cannot be registered unless she has insurance.

But with insurance companies and the Government so far refusing to include homebirths in the indemnity scheme, midwives will face being de-registered if they attend a homebirth.

Via Citizens for Midwifery.

This is really terrible and this insurance squeeze often effectively makes midwifery illegal/inaccessible in the US too.

Help WNYC improve childbirth coverage

I got an email recently from a WNYC (NYC public radio) analyst about their new Public Insight Network. This seems like their attempt to really tap into citizen journalism and the expertise of the general public.

Housing. Transportation. Crime. Politics. The latest news from your borough – or your block. Whatever’s on your mind, WNYC needs your knowledge and experience to help our news programs stay connected to the issues that concern you. The Public Insight Network is a group of people from all walks of life who inform our news coverage.

You can help make our news coverage even stronger by joining WNYC’s Public Insight Network.

Or, you can share what you know about a subject we’re looking into:

  • Are you in favor of the plan to repeal the Rockefeller Drug Laws?
  • What special New York place would you landmark?
  • What’s driving the home birth movement in New York?
  • What’s news in your borough?
  • Are we a “nation of cowards” when it comes to talking about race?
  • What’s your personal connection to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict?

We promise that access to personal information shared with us will be restricted to a small group of journalists. The journalists may work for WNYC or for national programs like Marketplace and American RadioWorks. That means no spam, no marketing and no requests for donations as a result of signing up.

Here’s How It Works

As we look into various subjects, we will e-mail you and ask you to tell us about your experiences. If we’re looking into a medical issue, we’ll seek insight from doctors, nurses and patients who have direct experience with that issue. If we’re looking into education, we’ll talk to teachers and administrators as well as parents with school-age children. Your work, education and life experience, even your hobbies, give you knowledge and insight.

One of our Producers will pass on this knowledge to our reporters and editors. Network sources may reveal new angles on the stories we’re covering or may provide us with entirely new ideas. Reporters may follow up with you for quotes and comments for broadcast or online discussions.

As a Public Insight Network source, you can expect to receive an e-mail no more than once a month. If you don’t have knowledge about a particular topic, we’ll ask you to forward the message on to someone who does or simply delete it.

You can sign up here.

Independence Day Midwives Pushdrive

From the Big Push for Midwives:

Big Push Campaign Launches the 2008 “Independence Day Midwives PushDrive”

Since the American Medical Association (AMA) voted in June to outlaw home birth, we are doubling our efforts to advocate for freedom of birth options for our nation’s mothers and families.

While the AMA and the American College of Obstetricians (ACOG) are likely to back a forceful lobbying operation in Statehouses from coast-to-coast in the months to come, we are P-U-S-H-I-N-G back … building state-of-the-art advocacy campaigns toward successful regulation and licensure of Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs) … helping our state member groups to stand up together, united for safe and legal birth choices.

Why so urgent?

Beyond this David-and-Goliath struggle, we face a critical problem in our society. Nearly 1 in 3 American women are going through major surgery to give birth, but only a fraction of those women would be considered “high risk.” Yet, in spite of the lack of medical necessity for many such cases, the most frequently performed surgery in the U.S. is the cesarean section at 1.3 million surgeries per year. Given present trends, our nation is headed for a staggering 40-50% cesarean surgery rate.

For many reasons, this newly emerging health policy issue is urgent, and some go so far as to say that the civil rights of pregnant women are being disregarded … that mothers and their families are not being fully informed nor adequately supported in their quest for maximal results with minimal interventions.

What is the Big Push for Midwives Campaign?

The Big Push for Midwives Campaign is the first initiative of the National Birth Policy Coalition (NBPC). We play a critical role in building a new model for the delivery of U.S. maternity care at the local and regional levels. At the heart of this plan is the Midwives Model of Care, based on the fact that pregnancy and birth are normal life processes.

Through local and national media attention, public education and coalition building, we are creating meaningful consumer protections and a system into which midwives are fully integrated, with increased transparency and accountability for the health and well-being of mothers and babies.

You can help the Big Push for Midwives Campaign stay in top pushing-for-birth-independence form!

Just as the research shows that food and water should not be withheld from laboring women during their marathon-like efforts in birth, our Caring Campaign Midwives remind us that we need nourishment for this journey to ensure we can perform our most critical functions this month.

We must raise $25,000 in the month of July to pay for the tools, staff and resources necessary to deliver consistent and well-executed communications and collaborate among our geographically dispersed teams.

Please show your leadership on national health issues and your willingness to support our innovative approach to rehabilitating our U.S. maternity care system. Please consider contributing immediately to our campaign in any amount that is feasible. $10, $20, $50, $100, $500, or even more.

We so appreciate any amount! Donate here