January 2021 | Newsletter
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Happy New Year and Welcome to 2021!
While 2020 was challenging to say the least, it also provided myriad opportunities for transformation. COVID-19 stopped Americans in their tracks, bringing their attention to the systemic racism and inequities built into our nation’s 401 year-old structure of Caste. While transformation can be painful, it is important to remember that the work of tearing down those structures that do not serve us is essential if we are to make room to birth a better and more equitable reality.
As Valerie Kaur asked in A Sikh Prayer for America on November 9, 2016:
"What if this darkness is not the darkness of the tomb, but the darkness of the womb? What if our America is not dead but a country still waiting to be born? What if the story of America is one long labor? What if all the mothers who came before us, who survived genocide and occupation, slavery and Jim Crow, racism and xenophobia and Islamophobia, political oppression and sexual assault, are standing behind us now, whispering in our ear: You are brave? What if this is our Great Contraction before we birth a new future? Remember the wisdom of the midwife: “Breathe,” she says. Then: “Push.”"
In solidarity and in love we will continue to do this work. Happy New Year!
SB-1237, The Justice and Equity in Maternity Care Act took effect on January 1!
It’s official! SB-1237 took effect on January 1, 2021, and Certified Nurse-Midwives no longer require physician supervision to practice in California! For more information, please visit www.cnma.org/sb1237.
COVID-19 Vaccine for Midwives Working in Community-Based Birth
CNMA is actively working with the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) to streamline the process for midwives working in the out-of-hospital setting to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. At this time, CDPH recommends that community-based midwives reach out to their local health department for specific timelines on vaccine distribution as well as healthcare prioritization of vaccines. This will likely require education and advocacy to help those with decision-making power to understand that community based CNMs are frontline workers and should be prioritized. Please email me directly at email@example.com to let me know about your successes/challenges with this process, so that CNMA can continue to advocate for your access to the vaccine.
Vaccinating Pregnant and Lactating Patients against COVID-19
ACOG has released a Practice Advisory on offering the COVID-19 vaccine to pregnant and lactating persons. The recommendation at this time is that the vaccine should not be withheld from individuals based on their current reproductive status, and that the principles of shared decision making should be used when counseling patients about the vaccine. Read more.
Spotlight on Anti-Racism
CNMA is working towards becoming an antiracist organization. In 2019 new bylaws were approved that recognize CNMA’s responsibility to actively address racism and the resulting health inequalities suffered by communities of color. Importantly, we must actively support efforts to increase racial diversity in our profession while engaging actively in self-education. “Spotlight on Antiracism” is a new section of the newsletter where you will find a monthly educational offering. We encourage our membership to check it out and share widely in your workplaces.
This month we step back and pause during the holiday season to honor black joy as an act of resistance and to acknowledge it as a necessity to sustainabl