It’s National Midwifery Week! As a future midwife, it’s exciting to have a designated week to celebrate all that is awesome about midwifery care.
I will say, I wish they included more about our midwifery colleagues who are Certified Professional Midwives. This is a pretty CNM-focused campaign, which I think in the end, is a disservice to potential midwifery clients everywhere. Everyone deserves to know all their options regarding midwifery care, and nurse-midwives are just one piece of that picture.
I’m also incredibly disappointed that the Our Moment of Truth website continues to feature predominantly white, heterosexual imagery and language. Yes, midwifery care is for women, but really, it’s for everyone, no matter how you express your gender identity.
Let me repeat that. Midwifery care is not just for women, despite the language and images you’ll see on the ACNM website.
ACNM released a position statement about trans-gender care earlier this year, so I was hopeful that I would start to see that language reflected in this year’s National Midwifery Week campaign. Sadly, it is still very women-focused. As an example, on the bottom of the front page, the reader is directed to
CLICK HERE to download a new document, designed especially for women, which clearly explains normal, healthy childbirth.
According to the Transgender/Transsexual/Gender Variant Health Care position statement, ACNM has adopted the following goals:
- Work toward the incorporation of information about gender identity, expression, and development in all midwifery educational programs;
- Make available educational materials that address the identities and health care needs of gender variant individuals in order to improve midwives’ cultural competence in providing care to this population;
- Support legislation and policies that prohibit discrimination based on gender expression or identity;
- Support measures to ensure full, equal, and unrestricted access to health insurance coverage for all care needed by gender variant individuals.
But really, the first step is to publicly acknowledge that transgender people exist.
You do this by making your websites inclusive in language and imagery. You speak directly to the people you aspire to serve. I don’t see this happening yet.
I’m not trans, but if I were, and I were looking at the ACNM website this week because a friend recommended I check out midwifery care, I would not see anything that reflected my experience and my health care needs. And as a future midwife, that’s a huge disappointment. Because midwives do make a difference and not just for women.