California Nurse-Midwives Association May 2021: Newsletter
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Message from the President: Maternal Mental Health Month
May is Maternal Mental Health Month, and May 3-7, 2021 is Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week. This particular “awareness” month is particularly meaningful to me, as I, like so many others, am a survivor of postpartum depression and I live with chronic anxiety. Given that 15-20% of all women and birthing people in California will experience a perinatal mood or anxiety disorder (PMAD), and that PMADs are the most common complication of childbirth, I’d bet money that many of you who are reading this right now have had similar experiences.
We as midwives aren’t immune from any of the complications of childbearing, nor for that matter do we get a free pass from any of the trials of this human life. I would argue, rather, that as midwives we are called upon to embrace our own vulnerability and to use our lived experiences as a catalyst for connection, engagement, empathy, and a whole hearted relationship with those we care for when we are being with woman. I’d argue further that being “with woman” in this whole hearted relationship is completely incompatible with the traditional medical hierarchy that places the provider in a position of unaffected detachment and above the patient. As we strive for deep connections with ourselves, our loved ones, our communities, our patients, and each other, I’d like to invite you to to examine your own fallibility with grace and radical self love; and then extend that to everyone in your circle. It is only through this self-examination and acceptance that we can be both humble and powerful enough to reimagine ourselves, our systems, and our policies. This radical self love, this vulnerability, this power is essential to giving birth to all we imagine.
As James Baldwin said, “You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but... the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, who had ever been alive.” This month, I urge you to dive into your truth and your vulnerability. Share your story through the Blue Dot Project, and by doing so, empower others to see themselves and their power in you. Join your siblings this June as we Climb Out of the Darkness and Make Over Motherhood together.
In power and vulnerability,
Paris Maloof-Bury, CNM, IBCLC
President, California Nurse-Midwives Association
California Health Policy
Virtual Advocacy Day May 20th: REGISTRATION CLOSES SOON! Register NOW!
Every year, CNMA meets with state representatives to discuss pressing issues and active legislation with the goal of promoting midwifery and maternal health care in the state. This year, on May 20th, ADVOCACY DAY is virtual! This is your chance to urge legislators to pass SB 65, the "Momnibus" bill, which will – among other things – increase funding to midwifery education programs. Like lobby days of the past, we will assign you to a group of midwives with the same Senator and/or Assembly Member, and we will arrange for a short session with these legislators (but this year via Zoom!). Since the time of your visit will not be known until shortly before Advocacy Day, please keep your schedule clear for May 20th, just like you would for an in-person event. No one will be turned away for lack of funds, but we have included suggested donations for your Advocacy Day ticket. Don't miss out on an important opportunity to be a part of this historic bill! Register here.
SB 65 (Skinner) - California’s Momnibus!
Thanks to YOUR support and calls, SB 65 Momnibus Bill Lives!! For a joint statement on this from SB 65 co-sponsors, click here. On Tuesday, April 20, SB 65 was held by Senator Hurtado, the State Senate’s Human Services Chair. This was an unprecedented and shocking move on her part. You can find more info on her decision to do this in the Fresno Bee and the Sacramento Bee. SB 65 had no registered opposition and was heralded by many as an important step toward birth justice, and had just made it through the Senate Health Committee with unanimous bipartisan support (including Senator Hurtado’s!). Luckily, because of your calls and action, Senate Pro Tem Atkins and other Senators made sure the bill was referred back to the Senate Rules Committee. On April 28, the Senate Rules Committee decided to send the bill directly to the Senate Appropriations Committee. This means the bill is very much alive and will be heard in May! Check here frequently for updates on the bill and what you can do next! Be sure