It is impossible for me to celebrate Mother’s Day without acknowledging the profound role midwifery has had in my life. I received excellent care from midwives during all three of my pregnancies, and I am grateful for the skilled hands, cool heads, and open hearts that helped bring my children into this world.
Anyone who knows me knows that I am a birth junkie, a label I wear proudly. I believe that quality maternity care is at the core of improving women’s health and wellness. In an article released by the United Nations this week in honor of International Day of the Midwife, they describe midwives as “the unsung heroes of maternal and newborn health.” With a worldwide shortage of midwives estimated at 350,000, how many women and babies around the world are suffering or dying needlessly? When provided by trained midwives, midwifery care is a cost-effective, low-intervention way for women to give birth safely and newborns to have the best start in life.
Here at home, I have been active in the Texans for Midwifery lobby to have a change in the way Medicaid rules are interpreted so that all licensed midwives could be reimbursed for their services. This is a potentially huge cost-saving effort for the State of Texas as well as a way to reach out to and support women during an incredibly vulnerable time. I urge you to support this win-win proposition and make a positive change for our state and the women and children in it.
Personally, I would like to thank Caroline Flint of The Birth Centre in Southeast London, my first midwives Elke Heckle and Kylie Wallace, and Austin-based April Bullock of Birthwise Birth & Family Services for their role in helping me celebrate mother’s day. Thank you for the work you do to support the health and wellness of women and babies.