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Advocacy & Activism

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MANA seeks to raise awareness and improve the quality, safety, equity, effectiveness and outcomes of maternal and child health care through the promotion of the Midwives Model of Care. Therefore, the Midwives Alliance devotes considerable resources to advocacy and activism to achieve these goals.

Advocacy

MANA's advocacy activities involve membership and leadership in several national coalitions including the Midwives and Mothers in Action (MAMA) Campaign, the national Coalition for Quality Maternity Care (CQMC), the Coalition for Improving Maternity Services (CIMS), and US Midwifery ERA (US MERA.)

The MAMA Campaign is a collaborative effort by the Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA), National Association of Certified Professional Midwives (NACPM), Citizens for Midwifery (CfM), International Center for Traditional Childbearing (ICTC), North American Registry of Midwives (NARM), and the Midwifery Education Accreditation Council (MEAC). This partnership is now at work to gain federal recognition of Certified Professional Midwives so that women and families will have increased access to quality, affordable maternity care in the settings of their choice. Please consider endorsing the campaign, making a donation, and sharing your birth story on our site.

The Coalition for Quality Maternity Care works to establish national strategies to ensure access to affordable, high quality maternity care for all women and infants. It seeks to achieve this goal by removing barriers to optimal maternal health practice, promoting models of care that are evidence-based, improving maternity care choices for women, and reducing disparities in maternal and newborn health outcomes. In the US, profound racial disparity in maternal mortality persists. African American women are more than three times more likely to die in childbirth than white women, and the infant morality rate is three times higher for both African American and Native American infants than for their white infant counterparts.

The Coalition for Improving Maternity Services is a coalition of individuals and national organizations with concern for the care and well-being of mothers, babies, and families. CIMS mission is to promote a wellness model of maternity care that will improve birth outcomes and substantially reduce costs. This evidence-based mother-, baby-, and family-friendly model focuses on prevention and wellness as the alternatives to high-cost screening, diagnosis, and treatment programs.

The US Midwifery ERA (US MERA) is a work group of the seven midwifery organizations who are responsible for education, regulation and professional associations related to the three U.S. midwifery credentials, namely, Certified Professional Midwife (CPM), Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM), and Certified Midwife (CM.) The goal us US MERA is to strengthen the foundation for organizations responsible for midwifery education, regulation and associations to work collaboratively to advance the midwifery profession in the U.S.

Activism

Activism has been a part of MANA's history, ethics and legacy since its inception in 1982, and activism for social justice is embedded in our organizational strategic goals. Activism in social justice and human rights arenas is intentional behavior with the goal of bringing about social change.

Being a midwife could be considered an "activist profession." Our ongoing quest to increase access to the midwifery model of care for every women, in every rural, urban, tribal or remote community in the country--when midwifery remains an oppressed even outlawed profession in some states--exemplifies our activist spirits.

Read more on our Health Disparities & Equity tab here.

Health Care Empowerment

In order to affect substantive changes in health care policy and practices average people need to feel empowered to do it.

In many ways the concept of empowerment is built into the midwifery model, and midwives assist clients to operationalize “empowerment” in their own lives—not just during pregnancy and birth. Employing the principles of empowerment learned in the midwifery model can be very useful in changing, affecting, and shaping maternity care policy.