National Midwifery Week in the USA: midwives commit to being 'with women, for a lifetime': Melissa Garvey of the American College of Nurse Midwives describes some of the activities organised during 5-11 October, 2008, to promote midwifery.

Author:Garvey, Melissa
 
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Midwives across the United States raised awareness of midwifery during National Midwifery Week, held this year October 5-11. From pizza parties to poetry readings, the celebrations were as diverse as the profession of midwifery, but each event had a common goal--to recognise midwives' dedication to serving women and their families. Here is a sampling of the many ways that members of the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) chose to celebrate the week:

Kansas

Midwives at Irwin Army Community Hospital in Fort Riley, Kansas, said they 'we made every day a celebration at our hospital' holding a community birthday party for the women, babies, and families they have served. showcasing midwifery services at their facility with a lobby display and exchanging cards and gifts with medical and administrative colleagues.

Illinois

Janet Engstrom, professor of Women's and Children's Health Nursing at Rush University, wanted to round out the nursing students' experiences during National Midwifery Week. She organised an all-day workshop for student nurses on alternative models of care during pregnancy, parturition, and the purperium. There were talks on 'Centering Pregnancy and Centering Parenting', a wonderful model of care developed by a nurse-midwife, and the Rush Model of providing lactation support in the NICU, an innovative programme that includes the use of breastfeeding peer counsellors.

Finally, there was discussion with a midwife panel, which included the president of the Illinois Chapter of ACNM, Sabina Dambrauskas, and Linda Graf, a midwife who ran a model homebirth practice for two decades in the Chicago area.

Maryland

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Pennsylvania

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Chapter of ACNM celebrated in King of Prussia with awards to legislators, policy makers and midwives. The event included a focus on midwifery history in the area and a slide show of photos and historical milestones in Philadelphia area midwifery practices. A unique part of the event was a show of models of the pelvis created by midwives. These were evaluated...

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