Erin: You have spoken out publicly against the proposed name change of the ACNM. Yet you have worked as both a CPM and CNM, and have previously spoken out for unification of the profession. Why would you be opposed to this move?
Hilary: I would only support this name change if the ACNM concurrently commits the organization to working in partnership with MANA, NARM and MEAC to create one unified midwifery profession in the US. Without this commitment, calling CNMs “midwives” will increase their potential for working in opposition to direct-entry midwives who are striving on the political front to have CPMs included in national health reform initiatives, and of their being at odds with legislative efforts in states where the CPM has not yet been recognized. If the ACNM is going to rename itself the American College of Midwives, is it going to wield this moniker for the betterment of ALL midwives, or is the organization going to promote only its own brand of midwifery? As a corollary, is it going to change the title of all its members to CM – Certified Midwife?
Erin: You’ve mentioned a merging of nurse-midwifery with direct-entry midwifery. How would one midwifery credential better serve childbearing women? Wouldn’t it mean less choice for them?
Hilary: It would only mean less choice if we allow the current model of nurse-midwifery to subsume direct entry.
A true merger takes the best of both worlds, and in the process gives the participants a greater societal voice. As long as we continue to put our focus on creating hierarchies within the midwifery community, rather than really listening to each other and learning how to work together, we will not be successful in building midwifery as an independent and powerful profession. If we choose instead to have one unified profession, where all midwives are educated to work in all settings, where the goal is to increase the profession until all women throughout the US can have access to a midwife, then we are creating more, not less, choice.
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