Sunday, March 29, 2009

A Day With Ina May

Yesterday I went to "A Day With Ina May Gaskin" that was sponsored by Heart and Hands Doula Services based out of Pittsburgh, PA.  Ina May is a well known midwife that has a passion for decreasing the level of maternal mortality here in the States.  She has written a few books about midwifery and childbirth.  You can read more about her here.

I learned some fun and interesting things about Sphincter Law, how the use of technology has decreased the use of our hands as tools to comfort and aid mothers in labor, post-date inductions, demand c-sections, and the state of maternal mortality in the United States.  

The most moving part was learning about how the maternal mortality rate has not improved since 1982!  And how it is actually rising.  And how no one really seems to care or be doing anything about it.  She started a quilt several years ago to comemmorate the women who have lost their lives after birthing their children.  Some of course, were unavoidable--but many were preventable.  She hopes to use it as a tool to help open the eyes of those that have power to make GOOD changes in healthcare to pregnant mothers.  She started a website devoted to this topic. 

I am excited about using some of here teaching in my classes. I have read her books and was familiar with most of the information but hearing it in person and connecting stories to the material put it together for me in a new way that I hope to apply to my classes.  I got my picture taken with her as she signed my book. I'd post it but a friend took it with her camera. 

It left me thinking about what can I do to help make an impact on the state of birth and health of pregnant women.  I've been thinking about going back to school after Jon's schooling is finished to get my degree in nursing.  I think I'd love being an advocate for women by helping those who do want a natural birth in the hospital.  If I get my nursing degree it open up the door to go to midwifery school later on if I desire to go down that road.  I've also been thinking about getting certified to be a doula. I'll have a while to decide on all these things but it is something I'm chewing on. Of course by the time Jon is done with his schooling I'd be entering school in my late 30s.  That seems so old to be going back to school and starting a new career.  People do it all the time, I know.  

If you haven't read Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, I highly recommend it.  It has several positive birth stories in it, and some great things to be consider as you think about giving birth.  


Amanda said...

I think you should totally be a doula! You would be GREAT at it.

I couldn't be midwife or nurse, because I hate blood. I couldn't draw blood or stitch up a tear.

I am sure if you go down any of those paths you would be wonderful.

How neat you got to go to the conference!

Jessie said...

Hey there, you don't know me, but I ran across your blog one day and really appreciated your links to midwife topics. It sounds like you have a real passion for helping women through their birth experiences. I say follow that passion! School as an older student is so much better than the first time around.

Lyndsey said...

OMG! I want to go back to school to be a midwife! lol Nick and I were just talking about it the other day! He seems to think I should skip the nurse part and just be a certified midwife, but I'm still leaning toward getting my nursing certification. It would be a while before I can do all that too...right now Kaius SCREAMS bloody murder if I leave him with Nick, so it'll be a few years :-)