Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Updated NARM Written Exam Reference List (2012)

The North American Registry of Midwives (NARM) recently published a revised Candidate Information Booklet (CIB) that includes an updated reference list for the written exam. The complete list can be found on the Amazon Listmania site.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Thanks to Heather Whitley, CPM, LM for her recent book review. A brief excerpt:

"This is a must read for new midwives, tenured midwives, students, midwives in conflict, educators of midwives and state organizations of midwives.  I believe if every midwife devours this text, we will see a paradigm shift in our field and practice. "

You can read the whole review here at The Sego Lily Midwife.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Why your doctor probably won't support your choice to birth at home

The scenario is familiar... Woman tells doctor that she's considering a home birth. Doctor says that it's not safe and that she should have a hospital birth. Woman says that home birth is a safe option for low-risk pregnancy, and doctor says... "you should really have a hospital birth."

Coming from a midwifery model of care perspective, client autonomy is put on a pedestal. After all, a woman's right to make an informed choice about where she chooses to birth is paramount. Yes, there are other factors that are sometimes at odds with this (e.g., midwife determines through careful assessment that a home birth may not be safe for someone, given their risk factors), but the woman's autonomy is always considered in this model. It begs the question, under what model are doctors working when they advise against home birth for all of their patients (note: of course, some doctors are supportive of home birth. Here we address those who are uniformly against it).

An article published in Obstetrics and Gynecology last year (Obstet Gynecol. 2011 May;117(5):1183-7)  allows us to peek into the window of medical model thinking. In the article's abstract, the authors write:

"Obstetricians have an ethical obligation to disclose the increased risks of perinatal and neonatal mortality and morbidity from planned home birth in the context of American healthcare and should recommend against it. Obstetricians should recommend hospital-based delivery and respond to refusal of these recommendations with respectful persuasion. As a matter of beneficence-based professional integrity, obstetricians should not participate in planned home birth."

This seems to suggest that the doctors' responsibilities (beneficence) trump women's autonomy (as may be the case with midwifery as well). Perhaps a more nuanced and thoughtful approach from physicians would be to consider each woman's unique circumstances and collaborate to make healthy, informed choices, rather than a categorical refusal to support home birth as an option.

Your thoughts?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Have an Ethics Presentation at Your Midwifery Conference

The authors of Professional Ethics in Midwifery Practice are available to present at your next midwifery conference. Illysa Foster and Jon Lasser are dynamic and experienced presenters who can engage your conference attendees in a thoughtful and meaningful exploration of ethical issues in midwifery practice. Foster and Lasser bring ethics alive and dispel the myth that it's a dry subject.

To learn more or arrange a presentation, contact drlasser at

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Interview with Illysa Foster

Author Illysa Foster was interviewed by the Central Texas Birth Network. You can read the interview here.

Also, be sure to check out the December issue of Midwifery Today, as it will feature an article by co-author Jon Lasser.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Ethics Presentation at Conference in Canada

Attending the North American Midwifery Conference 2011? Be sure to check out this presentation on November 11th:

Brynne Potter, CPM; Illysa Foster, CPM, Med: Informed Consent and the New Health Care Laws