Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Volume 2, Issue 1 - February 2015

Dear Students,

Gong Xi Fa Cai!!

In Singapore, celebrations are in full swing this month as we celebrate the lunar new year and welcome in the Year of the Goat.

My youngest and her schoolmate on a field trip to Chinatown
January was a super busy month for my family and I didn't get a chance to send out a new year newsletter, so I'm trying for the Chinese New Year date instead!  Along with some traveling, starting a new school term for three of my kids and myself and starting a new school year for my oldest, falling into new schedules and attending births, I'm starting to wonder if life will ever slow down, or will I just get used to this new "normal"?  Because the Chinese traditionally believe that those who are born in the Year of the Goat tend to be unlucky, perhaps the babies will slow down this year?  With my calendar already filled through August, it seems very unlikely!

I wish you all a happy and prosperous new year and look forward to hearing about your struggles and successes as you continue your journey toward certification.


Bringing Diversity Understanding to Your Practice
One thing that I'd like to address for my students is the idea of cultural diversity. CBI students come from all over the world and live in areas with practices that may not be fully familiar with everyone.  Even within our own countries there is great diversity in cultures and beliefs and it is important that you start your work with, not only an understanding of the diversity in your community, but with an understanding of to whom you are marketing yourself.  

The work we do is intimate, in the homes of our clients, and interacting often with their families.  It is so important that we know best how to work with our clients and how to show respect.  I encourage you to look into your community.  Who are the majority, and what other communities are present?  How are those in the margins being cared for?  Are you representing them in your marketing and your communication?  Who might you be leaving out?  How can you reach out to those under-served or underrepresented in your community?  You may not be the right doula for every one in your community.  You do not need to work with every client who seeks you out, nor do you need to seek out every women in your community who is pregnant.  But, it is the important act of a mature doula to know the community at large, to know the resources available, and be able to point women in the right direction.

In The News
I'm sure you all have heard by now the news that the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) said home births and midwife-led centres were better for mothers and often as safe for babies.  While this is excellent news for the advancement of natural births in the U.K., it also has implications world-wide.  As more countries normalize out-of-hospital and midwife-attended births, the rest of the world starts to take notice and question their own practices.

In early February, the American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) along with Society for Maternal and Fetal Medicine (SMFM) released a joint statement that identified Certified Midwives, Certified Professional Midwives and Licensed Midwives as appropriate health care providers, in addition to those health care providers which they had previously recognized, for low risk women in out of hospital facilities. 

What do these statements mean to the women giving birth where you live?