birth rights

24 petitions

Update posted 3 weeks ago

Petition to North Carolina Midwifery Joint Committee

Support for Independent CNM Practice & Magnolia Birth Center

Support Magnolia Birth Center, as well as North Carolina midwives and expectant families by contributing your name and city to this virtual petition. This petition will accompany our representative when she testifies next week in front of the Midwifery Joint Committee. This is incredibly helpful in documenting community support for independent practice of NC midwives and consumer demand for safe, out-of-hospital birth options. The larger issue: Certified Nurse Midwives (CNMs) are advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) specializing in nurse midwifery. This means that they are required to have obtained a degree in nursing, which typically takes four years. They then enter into practice, generally in Labor & Delivery, where they must acquire a minimum of 2-3 years of clinical experience before even applying to graduate school. Graduate programs in nurse midwifery take another 2-3 years to complete, and many of those are followed by an apprenticeship or residency. These are highly trained medical professionals, with a minimum of 8 years of education and experience before they can even take the rigorous national certifying exam to enter into practice. The CNMs at Magnolia are certified by the American Midwifery Certification Board, members of the American College of Nurse-Midwives, licensed by the state of North Carolina, and credentialed by Cone Health System under the supervision of a MD. NC has the most restrictive laws against midwives in the country. Elsewhere, CNMs are recognized as certified professionals with a full scope of practice including hospital privileges and admission like any other physician.  Magnolia Birth Center is being forced to close because their supervising physician has to step away, for reasons beyond his control. If NC did not have supervisory restrictions on midwives, they would be able to continue to provide safe, respectful, evidenced-based care, and the center would remain a place of community support and education. Furthermore, midwifery care consistently shows safe outcomes, with lower rates of potentially dangerous unnecessary interventions. Requiring physician supervision of midwifery only limits care options for expectant families, especially in rural and low-income areas. Triad area mothers--and indeed mothers statewide-- deserve better.

Friends of Magnolia Birth Center
2,229 supporters
This petition won 2 months ago

Petition to Andrew M. Cuomo, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Phil Murphy

Safeguard the Right of All Laboring People to Have Support During COVID-19 Crisis

On March 21, the NYS Department of Health issued clear guidelines on treating patients in labor during the COVID-19 crisis.  These guidelines determined a support person, whether a spouse, partner or other chosen person, is essential to care for the patient during labor, delivery and in the postpartum period.  The World Health Organization (WHO) agrees.  We agree. As of March 26, all New York Presbyterian and Mount Sinai affiliated hospitals, and Staten Island University Hospital in the New York City area will act against WHO, CDC and DOH guidance and ban all support people--including spouses--from Labor & Delivery and Postpartum units.  This means people in labor will give birth alone and parent alone.  Parents will miss the birth of their child. Fundamentally, risks for the people laboring alone will increase substantially. Not only can partners and spouses provide physical and emotional comfort during labor and postpartum, they are also essential in alerting staff when something has gone wrong and the laboring patient cannot notify nurses themselves, like in the event of an eclamptic seizure or a fainting episode.  Timing is critical in these cases and monitors can be unreliable. We cannot expect nursing staff, already spread thin, to spend the limitless hours needed with each patient to ensure their health and their baby's health, to provide physical assistance and emotional support.  We know the hospital system is overwhelmed in this crisis.  However, the burden will only be increased by banning support people from Labor & Delivery. We must ensure no one gives birth alone. We must ensure the maternal mortality rate does not increase during this time.  

Jessica Pournaras
613,629 supporters
Update posted 1 month ago

Petition to Pete Ricketts, Nebraska State Senate

Doula Support in Nebraska Hospitals during COVID-19 Outbreaks

Dear Governor Ricketts, We are experiencing an unprecedented public health and national emergency. However, in the midst of a pandemic, mothers are still giving birth and are now facing additional stress and anxiety caused by the uncertainty of this virus, a change in their birthing plan, healthcare, and even their healthcare provider. Due to COVID-19, all hospitals across Nebraska have enacted a variety of policies that limit the birthing mother to one birthing partner and prohibit professional birth doula support from entering the birth space. But, in an effort to save lives, these policies are putting the birthing woman and baby at a higher risk.  Studies have shown that continuous birth support from a doula has a dramatic effect on mom/baby outcomes. [From Evidence Based Birth] * 39% decrease in the risk of Cesarean; the largest effect was seen with a doula (39% decrease)* *15% increase in the likelihood of a spontaneous vaginal birth; the largest effect was seen with a doula (15% increase)* *10% decrease in the use of any medications for pain relief *Shorter labors by 41 minutes on average *38% decrease in the baby’s risk of a low five-minute Apgar score *31% decrease in the risk of being dissatisfied with the birth experience COVID-19 is taxing our hospital systems, and yet many hospitals are prohibiting the very people who could help carry the burden. In study after study, it is evident that doulas reduce the rate of unnecessary interventions and cesarean births (which requires three to four times as many health professionals as vaginal births do). Vaginal births also shorten the length of hospital stays, which means that more hospital beds will be open and families will be able to isolate at home much sooner.  In the midst of this crisis, obstetric organizations agree that doula support is essential.  AWHONN (the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric, and Neonatal Nurses) released the following statement on Wednesday, March 11th: AWHONN’s Position on Doulas with Patients During COVID-19: AWHONN recognizes that doula services contribute to the woman’s preparation for and support during childbirth and opposes hospital policies that restrict the presence of a doula during a woman’s active labor. “Doulas are not visitors and should not be blocked from caring for patients in the antepartum, intrapartum, and postpartum period. Most doulas have been contracted by patients weeks to months ahead of time and have established provider relationships. They are recognized by AWHONN and ACOG as essential personnel and part of the maternity care team,” said AWHONN member Nancy Travis, MS, BSN, RN, BC, CPN, CBC, Florida Section Chair. AWHONN supports doulas as partners in care and acknowledges their ability to provide physical, emotional, and partner support to women. AWHONN opposes hospital policies that restrict the presence of a doula in the inpatient setting during an infectious disease outbreak. Read more about AWHONN’s position on continuous labor support for every woman here. The CDC States "If restriction of all visitors is implemented, facilities can consider exceptions based on end-of-life situations or when a visitor is essential for the patient’s emotional well-being and care." [ The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM) joint statement: Obstetric Care Consensus: Safe Prevention of the Primary Cesarean Delivery says this about the effect of labor support: “Increasing women’s access to nonmedical interventions during labor, such as continuous labor and delivery support, also has been shown to reduce cesarean birth rates.” “Published data indicate that one of the most effective tools to improve labor and delivery outcomes is the continuous presence of support personnel, such as a doula.” “…the presence of continuous one-on-one support during labor and delivery was associated with improved patient satisfaction and a statistically significant reduction in the rate of cesarean delivery.” “Given that there are no associated measurable harms, this resource is probably underutilized.” We are asking that Governor Ricketts follows suit of New York’s Governor Cuomo’s executive order that clarifies “doulas are considered an essential part of the support care team and should be allowed to accompany a pregnant individual during labor and delivery as an additional support person, as medically necessary.” We are asking that you please confirm the use of doulas as an essential personnel team member in hospital births and follow New York and Michigan in protecting our role in the birth space. 

Nebraska Labor & Birth Professional Doulas
3,355 supporters