MIDWIFERY EXPOSED: A Sliver of Accountability In a Sea of Injustice

Out-of-hospital midwife Eileen Stewart has finally been recognized for her involvement in the deaths of multiple full-term babies (including my beloved sun Kali).

Shortly after Kali's death in August 2016, I submitted a complaint against Stewart with the New York State Education Department's Office of Professional Discipline (NYSED). After a painstakingly slow investigation, lasting nearly two years, Stewart was charged with various counts of negligence, contributing to the catastrophic injury and death of multiple full-term babies.

Kali on colling, with his father by his side. Stewart in background.

Kali on colling, with his father by his side. Stewart in background.

Kali was just one of Stewart’s victims (NYSED charges relating to Kali’s death are highlighted in the image below) . The horrifying death of breech “Baby Binder" was an entirely separate case and complaint.

Baby Binder's family also pursued legal action against Stewart and her accomplices through the NYS Supreme Court, and ended up settling that case in February for an undisclosed amount and nondisclosure agreement promising to keep quiet (See: New York State Supreme Court complaint).

Despite several decades of recklessness and substandard care, Stewart's license had never before come under scrutiny. Up until May 2019, Stewart quite literally possessed a license to kill.

One NYSED investigator explained to me that the agency had been getting word about Stewart's shoddy care through the grapevine for years, but never received a formal complaint until 2016, the year Kali died. Without families filing complaints, NYSED is not able to investigate.

I was told that NYSED waited to act, until they could conjoin multiple complaints, because investigators were "unsure if they could get her" for maiming and killing just one person...

Following enactment of a 30-month license suspension and $2,500 fine, Stewart is still entrenched in Buffalo's birth community, just as much as she ever was.

Uncontested   charges  and NYSED disciplinary action orders (enacted May 7, 2019).

Uncontested charges and NYSED disciplinary action orders (enacted May 7, 2019).

After the slap on the wrist she received from NYSED, Stewart feigned "retirement," and simply switched gears from out-of-hospital midwifery to her new shtick-- "childbirth education."

Playing the role of white savior, Stewart now markets her very own brand of allyship through her "Full Term Program," selling dreams of equity, while preying upon an already underserved community.

The proposal that white midwives are the solution to the maternal health disparities plaguing Women of Color and their babies is among the most flagrant falsehoods being peddled by white midwives.

The fact that Eileen Stewart, a reckless provider with a history of maiming and killing Black babies, is out here peddling her propaganda, is outrageous.

As Michelle Drew, DNP, MPH, CNM, FNP, RN succinctly stated in her recent Facebook post: “Midwifery is not the solution to Black perinatal health disparities… In Great Britain where midwifery care is the standard for pregnant persons and the majority of babies are welcomed earth-side by nurse midwives, Black maternal mortality is worse than American Black women, and Black babies outcomes are just as bad.”

Nurse midwife Michelle Drew further posits, “Dismantling the institutional racism in education that determines and limits who becomes an OBGYN, midwife, perinatal nurse and doula will improve outcomes.”

Unfortunately, Stewart's suspension didn't come quick enough. In the time it took NYSED to mount a case against Stewart, another full term (Black) baby died just months ago under Stewart's "care."

I wonder if Stewart tells all the Women of Color she enlists for her "Full Term Program" about how many full-term Black and Brown babies have died under her "care." Now THAT might get close to "Informed Consent."

Eileen Stewart’s grotesque opportunism at work.

Eileen Stewart’s grotesque opportunism at work.

Being transparent about your history of gross negligence might afford birthing people the opportunity to make TRULY informed decisions. After all, isn't that a cornerstone of quality healthcare?

How much does a person value "informed consent" and autonomy when that same person masquerades as a competent provider, selling lies to protect profit margins and shield herself from just criticism?

Perhaps Stewart could offer a tidbit of truth and transparency for the $100 she now charges Buffalo's Black community for the privilege of attending her "prenatal care classes."

Better yet, if Stewart is serious about eradicating racial disparities within maternal healthcare, she ought to put her money where her rhetoric is and donate all her “retirement” income to support the midwifery education tuition costs for BIPOC. …I’ll be over here holding my breath.

#BUFFALODESERVESBETTER #BabiesDeserveBetter #BlackBirthMatters#Opportunism #Charlatan #ShameOnYou #EileenStewart #FullTermProgram #KaliRaIman #SayHisName