Tuesday, June 29, 2010

MMA Passed the NYS Assembly -On to the Senate!

IMG_7464Thanks to your amazing efforts, we are half-way there!

In case you missed the amazing flood of energy on facebook today – we have incredibly exciting news!  The bill passed the Assembly today, with a stunning vote of support – 95 for, 17 against.   Your calls, faxes, e-mails and letters are what turned the tide.
As one constituent told us today:  “I was amazed that [my Assemblyperson] told me that after reading my email he spoke with the sponsor of the bill and discussed his concerns, and decided to vote for it because he realized that the original law does not provide the safety that he had thought it does.”
We cannot let up the pressure now – this is our moment to finish the job.
No one ever thought this bill could come so far so quickly – all we need to do now is get the bill through the Senate and then signed by the Governor.
The bill is poised for a Senate vote, but has not yet been placed on the schedule.  We need to encourage Senate leadership to schedule the bill for a vote – and ask our own Senators to vote yes when the time comes.
Time is short – legislators will soon leave Albany – so we need to make sure this happens right away.
Here’s how you can help.

1. Contact the Leadership of the Senate Just One More Time

Urge them to call the bill to a vote! These leaders hold the power to bring the bill to the floor or leave it behind.

Senate Leadership

Sen. Majority Leader Malcolm Smith (518) 455-2701

Sen. Majority Conference Leader John Sampson (518) 455-2788

Script: Hello, my name is ______ and I am calling to voice my strong support for the Midwifery Modernization Act (S5007-B), and I encourage Senator Smith/Sampson to move the bill to the floor for a full vote. Please do not leave New York women and families behind. Thank you.

2. Contact Your Senator This One Last Time

Take heart from the story above of one constituent who educated her legislator.  He ended up voting in support today!   If your Senator has told you he or she is voting against it, now is the time to politely educate him or her about what this bill is *really* about.
Remember that the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) is putting out urgent alerts for their members to call legislators now – we need legislators to know the truth about the Midwifery Modernization Act!

Find your Senator here and call them:

Script: Hello, my name is ______ and I am a constituent.  I am calling/writing to urge the Senator to please vote for the Midwifery Modernization Act (A8117-B/S5007-B) when it comes to the floor.   It passed the assembly with overwhelming, bipartisan support yesterday.  Can you tell me the Senator’s position on this bill? The women and families of New York need this bill passed this session. Thank you so much!
Tell us, (via Facebook), what you find out.

3. Keep spreading the word – it is working!

We are reaching every corner of New York – now is the time to tell every friend and family member in New York to contact their legislator RIGHT AWAY.
All it takes is for you to share this with your friends and family via e-mail lists, Facebook, and other social media outlets. Send it to people outside of New York and ask them to send it to their New York contacts!
There is one-click Facebook sharing at the bottom of this post.

4. Join the party – watch us on Facebook and we’ll keep you up-to-date

Did you get a chance to watch our Facebook page today?  We were able to update you all on who to call, when the vote was happening, and the exciting Assembly vote.  Your reports on your legislators’ status helped us develop our on-the-ground strategy – invaluable!   Keep watching and taking action throughout the day.   Be a part of the action here.

5. Help Support Free Our Midwives

Please consider taking a moment and donating to Free Our Midwives/BirthNet of the Finger Lakes.  We are a small group of dedicated consumer volunteers.  All donations are used towards upkeep of this website, educational materials and outreach.  Thanks!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Single-Layer C-Section Closure Ups Risk of Uterine Rupture

The article below is from MedScape. The information is not new but the study confirming what we already knew is new.

May all babies be born into loving hands...

K. Michelle Doyle, CNM, NYS LM

From Reuters Health Information

Single-Layer C-Section Closure Ups Risk of Uterine Rupture

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) Jun 21 - Compared with double-layer uterine closure, single-layer closure following caesarean section doubles the risk of uterine rupture during a subsequent trial of labor, Canadian investigators report in the July issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
The researchers therefore recommend that "single-layer closure be reserved for women undergoing tubal ligation or those who require very expedient closure of the uterus."
There is no consensus on the best way to close the uterus after c-section, the authors note. Single-layer closure has gained popularity because it shortens operative time and needs fewer hemostatic sutures.
Dr. Emmanuel Bujold, from Universite Laval, Quebec, and colleagues conducted a case-control study among women who underwent a trial of labor following a prior single, low-transverse cesarean delivery. Patients were selected from deliveries at nine centers in the Montreal area between 1992 and 2002.
The analysis included 96 cases of uterine rupture matched to 288 controls by time period and hospital. Rates of single-layer closure were 36% and 20% in the two groups, respectively
"In multivariable analysis, single-layer closure (odds ratio 2.69) and birth weight greater than 3,500 g (OR 2.03) were linked with increased rates of uterine rupture, whereas prior vaginal birth was a protective factor (OR 0.47)," the team reports. All ORs were statistically significant.
On the other hand, suture material had nothing to do with outcomes.
Dr. Bujold and associates say it's possible that a single, continuous suture technique does not approximate the tissues precisely together, and they suggest that single-layer closure leaves a thinner or weaker scar more prone to rupture.
Obstet Gynecol 2010;116:43-50.
Reuters Health Information © 2010

Audrey Grace

Here is a picture of a very cozy Audrey Grace, born June 24, 2010 with help from our friends at Seton. Welcome Audrey!

May all babies be born into loving hands...

K. Michelle Doyle, CNM, NYS LM

MMA on NYS Legslator Agendas:Let’s Take it All Way!

OK, the amended Midwifery Modernization Act is finally on the NY State's Legislatures' Agendas for Monday, June 28th (it has been on my agenda for years...). Your support by phone call is still appreciated to make sure that your legislator know that you want this brought up for a vote and then voted for. Below is the latest posting from Free Our Midwives.org, a wonderful and dedicated group in the Ithaca, NY area. Let's get this done!

May all babies be born into loving hands...

K. Michelle Doyle, CNM, NYS LM

Free Our Midwives.org

Let’s Take it All Way!
by admin on June 25, 2010
This is the big time folks! The Midwifery Modernization Act has been amended to satisfy legislators, midwives, doctors, and consumers — no easy task. It is now on the agenda meaning that it is eligible to be put to a full vote in the Assembly and the Senate on Monday! We need to keep the pressure on to assure it gets voted on and passed before the legislative session ends in the next few days.
For Friday:

1.  Call your Assemblyperson and Senator.

Find your Assemblyperson here and your Senator here and call them:

Script: Hello, my name is ______ and I am a constituent.  I am calling/writing to urge the Assemblyperson/Senator to please vote for the Midwifery Modernization Act (A8117-A/S5007-A) when it comes to the floor. The women and families of New York need this bill passed this session. Thank you so much!
We will be on facebook all day today asking people to call and thank Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver for his work on the bill and to urge him to bring it to the floor. We will continue to contact him by phone (518-455-3791) or email him until we have his full assurance of a full vote. Please watch for that information via facebook and keep us updated on your progress.
This has been a long haul for everyone, but standing here in the final moments with the bill poised to pass we want you to feel proud of how far we’ve come and empowered as we take these final steps.
We have come this far, let’s take it all the way! Please act now!
Please consider taking a moment and donating to Free Our Midwives/BirthNet of the Finger Lakes.  All donations are used towards upkeep of this website, educational materials and outreach.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Dear NY Midwifery Supporter, letter from NYSALM

Here is a letter from Laura Sheperis, CM, President Extraordinaire of NYSALM.

May all babies be born into loving hands... 

K. Michelle Doyle, CNM, NYS LM

Dear NY Midwifery Supporter,

As you most likely know, we have been working closely with midwives and midwifery supporters across the state to urge legislators to move the Midwifery Modernization Act (New York State bill S5007/A8117-a) to a full floor vote. We are entering the last week of this legislative session, and therefore a very crucial moment.

Some highlights so far:

·         We had a wonderful Lobby Day in April with a record number of participants, legislative visits, and overwhelming consumer support

·         Consumers created an amazing website, www.FreeOurMidwives.org

·         An online petition for the MMA has received over 4,600 signatures

·         The bill was voted out of the Higher Education Committee in both the Senate and Assembly and is now eligible for a full floor vote

·         We have an incredible number of co- and multi- sponsors in both houses

·         Despite a statewide focus on budget issues, our bill has continued to get attention from the media and legislators

·         The American College of Nurse Midwives (ACNM) issued a press release urging passage of this legislation

·         Our sponsors, Assemblyman Richard Gottfried and Senator Thomas Duane, have committed to making this a priority issue

A big thank you to everyone who has worked hard to move this legislation forward! If you have not already done so, please contact your legislators and urge them to bring this bill to a full vote immediately! This is our last week and our last chance for this legislative session.

There is a wealth of information about the MMA on our website. Visit www.NYSALM.org/mma.htm. Please consider joining NYSALM as an associate member or donating to the cause if you can. Visit www.nysalm.org/donate.htm.

Reply to this letter or give us a call at 518.852.7965 for more information.

In the midwifery spirit,

Laura Sheperis, CM, MS
NYSALM President

We Love New York

Another posting from Free Our Midwives.org on the Midwifery Modernization Act. We are so close!

May all babies be born into loving hands...

K. Michelle Doyle, CNM, NYS LM


We Love New York

by admin on June 21, 2010
img_0757_0Welcome to Monday and New York State politics!!! As of this writing, it looks like a budget deal will be voted on soon, meaning that we are nearing the end of the legislative session. The original Midwifery Practice Act of 1992 passed during the last 15 minutes of the legislative session! We believe that the MMA will be no different.
We are in great shape and we have lots of support. It is nothing short of astonishing that we are where we are. All of us — midwives, consumers, advocates, supportive doctors — have brought us to this moment. We have asked you to engage in this process, and you have all done so energetically, joyfully, and effectively.
We will likely only ask you to act one more time and when that time comes, it will probably require a super-quick-drop-everything-for-5-minutes-and-call kind of response. No one knows exactly when that moment will be.
Let’s all stand at the ready so we can mobilize quickly when the call comes out.

Friday, June 18, 2010

MMA Update: MMA is in the News

Here is the latest update from Free Our Midwives.org. Have a great weekend. Kiss a father! 

May all babies be born into loving hands... 

K. Michelle Doyle, CNM, NYS LM

MMA is in the News

by admin on June 18, 2010
untitled album - 28 Thursday was Midwifery Modernization Act in the news day!  The physician trade organization, The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) held a press conference in Albany today, voicing strong opposition – not surprising, but still disappointing! Their comments revealed a clearly misinformed  understanding of midwifery as a profession, the role of the written practice agreement,  and the current maternity care crisis confronting New York State women in the face of restricted access to midwives.  Fortunately, NYSALM was prepared (thanks in part to a Free Our Midwives consumer who shared with us the ACOG press release in advance).  We reached out to reporters across Albany and New York State with the truth – midwifery is safe and the written practice agreement does not enhance the safety of mothers or babies.  The result?  Balanced coverage that did not just echo ACOG’s party line.
It is important for us to remember, as we contact legislators and speak with our friends and family about this bill, that the  MMA will change nothing  about how midwives practice and consult with physicians. A written practice agreement does not ensure the safety of women and babies. It is the midwifery model of care, including collaboration and consultation with physicians as needed, that provides for the excellent outcomes we see with midwife-attended birth.

For Friday:

1. Check out the New York Times article that just came out and leave a comment.
2. Pat yourself on the back – we are all doing a great job keeping the consumer energy strong and present while lobbyists and midwives work on the ground in Albany.
We will be on facebook all day tomorrow with updates and requests for specific constituent contact as the needs arise.
Together we will see this bill to the floor and watch it pass! Have a great weekend everyone — your hard work is so appreciated.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Avalon Marie

Sweet Avalon is petite and charming. However, at 6 pounds, 11 ounces, she is not as tiny as her daddy's huge hand makes her seem. Welcome, Avalon!

May all babies be born into loving hands...
 K. Michelle Doyle, CNM, NYS LM

MMA Update: Wednesday is Tell Your Story Day

Here is the latest update in the Midwifery Modernization Act game plan: We are still waiting for the bill to be presented for a vote to the NY State Assembly and then the Senate. Support always appreciated. As outlined below by Free Our Midwives, personal stories are very effective. Pray, breathe, think good thoughts and contact a legislator or two!

May all babies be born into loving hands....
K. Michelle Doyle, CNM, NYS LM

Wednesday is Tell Your Story Day

by admin on June 16, 2010
One thing we’ve learned from all your calls is that legislators need to hear the real stories of New York State women who have received the safe care of a midwife.
While our on-the-ground team is working their magic in Albany, let’s show legislators this is a real issue for women.  Today contact your legislator via email and answer one or more of the following questions. (Bonus points: Visit your legislators home office and tell them your answers.)
Why did midwifery feel like a safer choice?
In what ways did your midwife ensure the safety of you and your baby during your pregnancy and labor?
If you had a positive collaboration with a physician during your pregnancy or labor please share.
If your ability to secure a midwife is compromised due to the written practice agreement please tell your story.
Please don’t share conflicts between doctors and midwives.  This is not the time to share intimate details of your birth.  We are looking to give real examples of how midwifery looks as a profession from a constituent point of view.
Find your Assemblyperson here and your Senator here and share your answers with them via email.
We want to hear too!  Copy and paste your emails in the comment section at the end of this post.

(Go to the following link: freeourmidwives.org/)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

FDA alert about Vit D dropper and infants

The following is from the FDA. With all the info out there now about the importance of getting enough vitamin D, please remember, too much vitamin is not good. Moderation, moderation, moderation.

May all babies be born into loving hands... 

K. Michelle Doyle, CNM, NYS LM

Vitamin D Supplement Products: Medication Use Error
Audience: Pediatrics, Family Practice, Consumer

ISSUE: Some liquid Vitamin D supplement products are sold with droppers that could allow parents to accidentally give harmful amounts of Vitamin D to their infant. Excessive amounts of Vitamin D can be harmful to infants, and may be characterized by nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite, excessive thirst, frequent urination, constipation, abdominal pain, muscle weakness, muscle and joint aches, confusion, and fatigue, as well as more serious consequences like kidney damage.

BACKGROUND: The American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended a dose of 400 International Units (IU) of Vitamin D Supplement per day to breast-fed and partially breast-fed infants (AAP Pediatric Nutrition Handbook, 6th edition, p.466).

RECOMMENDATION: The easiest way to insure that an infant will not get more than the recommended dose is to use a product supplied with a dropper that will give no more than 400 IU per dose. If a caregiver cannot clearly determine the dose of Vitamin D that should be given to an infant or has any other questions, FDA recommends consulting with a healthcare provider before giving any of these products to an infant.

Healthcare professionals and patients are encouraged to report adverse events or side effects related to the use of these products to the FDA's MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program:

Online: www.fda.gov/MedWatch/report.htm
Phone: 1-800-332-1088
Mail: return the postage-paid FDA form 3500, which may be downloaded from the MedWatch "Download Forms" page, to address on the pre-addressed form
Fax: 1-800-FDA-0178
Read the complete safety alert, including links to the FDA Note to Correspondents and the FDA Consumer Update, at:


Monday, June 14, 2010

MMA -The Final Week???

This should be the week the Midwifery Modernization Act gets passed! Support still needed in this final hour. Below find information on how to help; it was neatly and succinctly posted by the lovely and dedicated crew at Free Our Midwives. Phone calls, emails and faxes still needed. Just a couple more days!

May all babies be born into loving hands...

K. Michelle Doyle, CNM, NYS LM

The Final Week :: Let’s Get the MMA Passed!

by admin on June 14, 2010
img_9999_0 We have arrived at the final phase of getting the Midwifery Modernization Act passed. Thanks to your amazing outpouring of support the bill was moved out of the Higher Education Committee last week.  Now it is poised to be brought to a full vote in the Assembly and Senate.  This is the moment!
This week is going to unfold step by step and we will keep you updated as the bill progresses. Watch here for up to the minute updates.  Our current strategy involves two rounds of phone calls.
The first starts now!
Monday: Contact your Assemblyperson and Senator.

1.  Call your Assemblyperson and Senator.

Find your Assemblyperson here and your Senator here and call them:

Script: Hello, my name is ______ and I am a constituent.  Please encourage the leadership of the (assembly / senate) to bring the bill to a floor vote and please vote for this bill.

2.  Call the Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver

518-455-3791 :: Ask him to move the bill to the floor for a full vote.

Script: Hello, my name is ______ and I urge Assembly Speaker Silver to move the Midwifery Modernization Act (A8117-A) to the floor for a full vote.    Thank you.

3.  Help Us Develop Strategy: Report Back Us

If you learn where your legislator stands please report your findings back to Free Our Midwives either by leaving a comment on this action alert, letting us know on facebook or shoot us an email (jeanette@freeourmidwives.org).
The majority of these calls will take less than 30 seconds and be without any questions. Just in case you do speak to your legislator and/or are asked a question, here is some info to help you.
If you can not answer a question, politely let them know that you will find out the answer and you or a representative will call them back with an answer. Please contact us immediately so we can quickly and effectively answer legislative concerns.
*Don’t midwives need a written practice agreement to secure malpractice insurance?
No. Midwives can and do secure malpractice insurance in New York state without a written practice agreement.
*Don’t midwives need to work and consult with doctors to ensure women’s health and safety?
Yes!  Midwives are obligated to consult, collaborate and/or transfer care to a higher level practitioner as soon as a birth shows signs that it is outside what is healthy and uncomplicated.  A written practice agreement is unnecessary and the requirement for such an agreement creates a barrier for New York State women to receive the care they need from midwives.
*Without a written practice agreement what a will a midwife do for back-up?
Midwives can and do have supportive relationships with physicians without a written practice agreement. Back up plans are a necessary and integral part of midwifery care. Written practice agreements do not play a role in back up plans.
We are continuously amazed at the outpouring of support we receive from all of you. We are full of gratitude for all you have done. These final actions will ensure that women and families across New York State will have access to the quality midwifery care they deserve.
We are making a difference.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Slightly Early Births Linked to Autism, Dyslexia

Please take this article as information not as more fuel for guilt. As parents and health care providers we already have too little of the former and too much of the later. A link to the siting study is at the bottom of the MedScape article. 

For your viewing pleasure, here is a picture of Rinchen, born almost two weeks past his due date. It is hard to be patient, but our patience is often what babies need.

May all babies be born into loving hands... 

K. Michelle Doyle, CNM, NYS LM

From Reuters Health Information

Slightly Early Births Linked to Autism, Dyslexia

By Kate Kelland
LONDON (Reuters) Jun 09 - Babies born just 1 or 2 weeks before their 40-week gestation due date are more likely to develop learning difficulties such as autism or dyslexia, according to a British study published on Tuesday.
The findings show that even babies born at 39 weeks have an increased risk of a developing a learning disability compared with babies born a week later.
Scientists in Scotland, analyzing the birth history of more than 400,000 schoolchildren, found that while babies born at 40 weeks have a 4% risk of learning difficulties, those born at 37 to 39 weeks of gestation have a 5.1% risk.
"There was an increasing risk of special educational needs as the gestation date fell, so as deliveries got earlier, the risk went up," said Jill Pell, an expert in public health and health policy Glasgow University, who led the study.
"Even being just a week early put the risk up."
It is already known that a baby born prematurely is more likely to have learning difficulties. But the risks for babies born in the 24 to 40 week range had not previously been studied.
Pell found that although the risk of educational difficulties was much higher in preterm than in early term babies, the absolute numbers of children with difficulties in the 37 to 39 week group were higher, because many more babies are born at this time than before 37 weeks.
In her study, early term births accounted for 5.5% percent of cases of learning disabilities, while preterm deliveries accounted for only 3.6% of cases.
According to the World Health Organization, more and more women worldwide are delivering by cesarean section and a "significant proportion" of these surgical procedures are performed without any clear medical need.
Rates of autism have also been rising, but Pell said it would be "a leap too far" to link her findings directly to rates of autism, since autism was only one of a range of learning difficulties considered.
Pell, whose study was published online June 8th in Public Library of Science (PLoS) Medicine, acknowledged that cesarean sections were not the only factor behind early-term births. But she said doctors and women should include the risks of learning difficulties when considering a cesarean.
"It is now normal policy (in cesarean section) to deliver women a week early," she said in a telephone interview. "But if you make a decision...for an elective pre-term delivery, then it has to be a balance, weighing up the risks and potential benefits.
"What this study shows is that special education needs are another factor that need to be considered."
PLoS Medicine 2010.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Important! Do it Now! This Morning!

Below is a very important update from Free Our Midwives. It has come to light that consumer support of the Midwifery Modernization Act is CRUCIAL and we need it NOW. Please contact members of the Assembley Higher Education committee right now -fax, email or phone call. Here is a complete contact info for assembly higher ed committee.

May all babies be born into loving hands... 

K. Michelle Doyle, CNM, NYS LM


Contacting your legislators


Here’s the MOST IMPORTANT action you could take so far to ensure midwifery care! A critical committee vote today – Tuesday June 8th – means we must *flood* ALL the Assembly Higher Ed committee members with calls/faxes/e-mails *nonstop* from now until the vote at 11:30 am. Contact *all* the committee members, not just your own legislators.  Please send faxes (best) and e-mails (also great!) and follow up with a phone call – and watch here for news!
complete contact info for assembly higher ed committee
Only have time for one letter/call?  Contact Assemblywoman Glick, who is the committee chair.
Key messages:
- you support the Midwifery Modernization Act (S5007/A8117)
- you want the Higher Ed committee to report it out of committee so that it can be voted on by the entire assembly
sample letter here

Contacting your legislators

(for today, please focus all of your energies on contacting the members of the Assembly Higher Ed committees listed above – thanks!)
    Find your Senator here and your Assemblyperson here. Please send them a letter (Sample letter or write your own).   Fax (best) or e-mail and follow up with a phone call. If you can, visit them at their home office.  Legislators fax numbers.Tell them 3 things: -You are a constituent -Ask them to support, co-sponsor and vote for the MMA-Senate bill S5007/Assembly bill A8117  (Please check if your legislator is already co-sponsoring the bill here. If they are, thank them!  James Brennan, Assemblyman from Brooklyn, is our newest multi-sponsor.) -Tell them midwives are safe, independent health care professionals who provide necessary care to New York State women and families.  The MMA will not expand the scope of practice for midwives.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Exciting News About the Midwifery Moderization Act!

The Midwifery Modernization Act finally has some movement within both the New York State Assembly and Senate. Early the week of June 7th, the bill will be brought to the Higher Education Committee of each chamber. This is truly exciting news! Please, if you have the inclination, send a faxed letter of support, an email or a phone call to a New York legislator. By following the links in the article below, you will easily find you the emails and fax numbers of legislators. The following information is from Free Our Midwives.org, a creative,dedicated and tenacious group in the Ithaca area.

May all babies be born into loving hands...

K. Michelle Doyle, CNM, NYS LM



Exciting News!

by admin
Against all odds the legislation is moving!!! Over the next few weeks there will be a few critical times to act. The first is RIGHT NOW!
The current two-year legislative session draws to a close at the end of June so all legislation must pass in the next few weeks. We are excited to announce that the MMA is taking a critical step — a vote in both the Assembly and the Senate Higher Education Committees early this week. This essential step will lead to a vote on the floor in both chambers of the legislature. This is amazing news!
We’ve heard from NYSALM who is organizing the on-the-ground efforts that the consumer voice has been critical in moving key legislators. Thank you for all you have done so far. Now we need to keep up the pressure.  By the end of the month New York State women and families could have access to safe, high quality midwifery care.

Take Action On Monday!

1. Contact Your Legislators (Find your legislators, sample letters, phone scripts and details here.)
All legislators need to hear from us.  A faxed letter is best (Legislators fax numbers). Email works too.  Please follow your letters with a phone call.
We’ve heard from other legislative movements around the country that a legislator hearing from as few as two constituents has made a huge difference.  If you haven’t had a chance to send a letter now is better than ever.  If you have already contacted your legislator please do it again.
Day by day we will be learning which legislators support the MMA and who we need to move.  We will be giving daily updates on our facebook page.  Find us here, “like us”, and watch for more detailed action steps.  (Not on facebook?  No worries–just contact your legislators by fax, email and/or phone.)
2. Spread the Word
Tell your friends, your playgroup, your mother.  Update your facebook status, tweet it loud and share on listserves.
If the MMA does not pass now we will be back to square one come next year. Make our effort count by passing this call to action around our entire state.  Who do you know that can help?
3.  Contact Your Supportive Doctor
The MSSNY (The Medical Society of the State of New York) has urged their members to oppose the MMA.  Supportive and informed doctors have already begun to speak up in favor of the MMA.  Please urge your doctor to do the same.  Watch for a sample letter coming soon.
Together, we are a community supporting our midwives who in turn support our families.  We can create a stronger, healthier New York for women and their babies. Thank you for being a part of this movement.

Friday, June 4, 2010

MedScape:High Doses of Vitamin D May Cut Pregnancy Risks

From WebMD Health News

High Doses of Vitamin D May Cut Pregnancy Risks

Salynn Boyles

May 5, 2010 — Women who take high doses of vitamin D during pregnancy have a greatly reduced risk of complications, including gestational diabetes, preterm birth, and infection, new research suggests.
Based on the findings, study researchers are recommending that pregnant women take 4,000 international units (IU) of vitamin D every day -- at least 10 times the amount recommended by various health groups.
Women in the study who took 4,000 IU of the vitamin daily in their second and third trimesters showed no evidence of harm, but they had half the rate of pregnancy-related complications as women who took 400 IU of vitamin D every day, says neonatologist and study co-researcher Carol L. Wagner, MD, of the Medical University of South Carolina.
Wagner acknowledges the recommendation may be controversial because very high doses of vitamin D have long been believed to cause birth defects.
"Any doctor who hasn't followed the literature may be wary of telling their patients to take 4,000 IU of vitamin D," she says. "But there is no evidence that vitamin D supplementation is toxic, even at levels above 10,000 IU."
Fewer Complications With High Vitamin D Doses
Most prenatal vitamins have around 400 IU of vitamin D, and most health groups recommend taking no more than 2,000 IU of the vitamin in supplement form daily. Wagner says it took months to get permission to do a study in which pregnant women were given doses of the vitamin that were twice as high as this.
The study included about 500 women in Charleston, S.C., who were in their third or fourth months of pregnancy. The women took 400 IU, 2,000 IU, or 4,000 IU of vitamin D daily until they delivered.
Not surprisingly, women who took the highest doses of vitamin D were the least likely to have deficient or insufficient blood levels of the vitamin, as were their babies.
These women also had the lowest rate of pregnancy-related complications.
Compared to women who took 400 IU of vitamin D daily, those who took 4,000 IU were half as likely to develop gestational diabetes, pregnancy-related high blood pressure, or preeclampsia, Wagner says. They were also less likely to give birth prematurely.
The research was presented over the weekend at the annual meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Infants with very low vitamin D levels are at increased risk for soft bones, or rickets -- a condition that is now rare in the U.S.
But over the last decade, more and more studies suggest that vitamin D also protects against immune system disorders and other diseases, Wagner says.
Fortified milk and fatty fish are common food sources of vitamin D, but most people get only a small fraction of the vitamin D they need through food, Wagner says. Instead, the body makes vitamin D from sunlight.
But even in sunny climates like Charleston, few people are now getting adequate levels of vitamin D from sun exposure.
At the start of the study, deficient or insufficient levels of vitamin D were seen in 94% of the African-American women, 66% of Hispanic women, and 50% of white women who participated.
Vitamin D and Pregnancy: Is More Better?
University of Rochester professor of pediatrics Ruth Lawrence, MD, has been recording vitamin D levels in new mothers and their infants for three years. She did not take part in the new study.
Lawrence, who chairs the breastfeeding committee of the American Academy of Pediatrics, says exclusively breastfed babies whose mothers have low vitamin D levels and who don't take vitamin supplements are most likely to be deficient.
"It is clear that both for mothers and their babies, vitamin D levels are low," she tells WebMD. "This is true in northern areas like Rochester and in sunny climates like Charleston."
Lawrence sees no problem with the recommendation that women take 4,000 IU of vitamin D daily during pregnancy, although she says the impact of high doses of vitamin D on pregnancy-related complications remains to be proven.
"Four thousand IU may sound outrageous to some, but I believe it is really not unreasonable," she says.
"We have been searching for the causes of preeclampsia and premature birth for many years. It is reassuring that the risk of these complications are lower for women taking extra vitamin D, but it is premature to say it is the cause."
The independent health policy group the Institute of Medicine recommends 200 IU to 400 IU of vitamin D a day for everyone, including pregnant women, but this recommendation is under review. Revised guidelines are expected late this summer.
Pediatric Academic Societies annual meeting, Vancouver, British Columbia, May 1-4, 2010.
Carol L. Wagner, MD, neonatologist and pediatric researcher, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston.
Ruth Lawrence, MD, professor of pediatrics, University of Rochester School of Medicine, New York.
News release, American Academy of Pediatrics.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Burdett Care Center Community Forum

The Burdett Care Center is having a Community Forum tomorrow tonight. If you are planing on coming, a RSVP is appreciated to Joyce at 271-5047.

See you there?

May all babies be born into loving hands...

K. Michelle Doyle, CNM, NYS LM

Join us for the
Burdett Care Center
Community Forum
Thursday, June 3
6 - 7:30 pm
Northeast Health, Krause Center
2212 Burdett Avenue, Troy

Burdett Care Center will be a separately licensed hospital located
on the second floor of Samaritan Hospital offering prenatal care, maternity
and sterilization procedures. Following the anticipated merger of Northeast Health,
St. Peter’s Healthcare Services and Seton Health, maternity services from both
Samaritan and St. Mary’s hospitals will be consolidated at Burdett Care Center.
As we continue to move forward with the construction of Burdett Care Center,
we would like to share our design plans and welcome your feedback and suggestions.
Light refreshments will be served.
Your response is appreciated, please email Joyce
at Russellj@nehealth.com or call 271-5047.