This past weekend I had the distinct honor and pleasure of participating in the first annual "Delivering Action Summit."
I can't express how deeply appreciative I am for the opportunity to present about Kali's story and contribute to the critical dialogue surrounding much-needed social change.
A gathering of this kind has been long overdue, yet it was organized and executed with impeccable precision. Despite the dedication and effort it took to bring this summit to fruition, I don't believe anyone could have predicted how incredibly impactful and perfect the event turned out to be.
Those in attendance were riveted by back-to-back talks from speakers across a wide range of professions. Midwives and whistle blowers, physicians, researchers, journalists, medical malpractice attorneys, legislators and the judiciary all came together to effect meaningful change!
Sunlight is the best disinfectant, so it makes complete sense that the first efforts to organize and expose the secreted underbelly of out-of-hospital birth be carried out in the sunshine state.
Birthing people deserve access to the truth, no matter how inconvenient.
As medical malpractice attorney Virginia Buchanan succinctly stated during her presentation, "misinformation is NOT informed consent."
Transparency and truly informed consent are central to patient safety and so this gathering focused largely on accountability and justice.
NO MORE free-for-all selling of dreams. NO MORE suppression of grieving families and inconvenient birth stories. It's high time we smash the echo chambers. Honest. Competent. Non-illusory. THIS is the midwifery model families deserve.
Our babies deserved better
than the lies their mothers were sold.
Truth and transparency could provide those leaning toward an out-of-hospital birth with a snowball's chance of preventing unnecessary devastation. Therefore, in the name of informed consent, we will continue to expose the sordid underbelly of American midwifery so that mothers are able to protect their families and make fully informed decisions about their care.
The Delivering Action Summit was not an echo chamber-- Attendees heard from homebirth providers and acknowledged the various shortfalls of our current, hospital-based maternal healthcare system.
There was contention without quieting.
Debate without diminishing the voices of grieving families.
This weekend provided proof positive that unapologetic truth telling, difficult conversations and collaborative efforts to improve maternal healthcare are possible. Indeed, these essential components of progress are the recipe to success and saving lives.
We must develop humility over hubris to push past the rhetoric and arrive TOGETHER at a place where critical safety issues are acknowledged AND improved.
A question I pose directly to ACNM, MANA and NARM is-- When will my sun Kali and I be acknowledged by you and your cohort? When will I, and other grieving mothers critical of American midwifery, be invited to speak at your conferences?
UPDATE: Gatehouse Media affiliate Sarasota Herald Tribune just published an article about the summit! CLICK HERE to check out the Herald Tribune article.