Sisters on a Journey:
10 Best Ways to ensure the midwifery profession continues to struggle

or How to Self-Destruct While Providing Entertainment for the Medical Community

by Yvonne Lapp Cryns

1) Do not make students feel welcome – Being a student midwife is particularly difficult in states that do not embrace out of hospital birth. Ensure that the dinky group of practicing midwives remains miniscule and ineffective by alienating as 

many new recruits as possible. Whenever students are present at educational meetings, discount whatever comments they may add to the conversation, after all, they are merely midwives-to-be and couldn’t possibly know more about a topic than you. And if a student expresses an opinion different than yours – she’s wrong. 

2) Allow clients to not pay you – turns your business into an expensive hobby and ensures that future clients are treated in a discriminatory manner if they pay you. 

3) Criticize and belittle – whenever possible, particularly with a public audience, discuss how another midwife handles prenatal care, labors, births, postpartum care wrong – meaning – she does it differently than you do it. Consumers who are privy to a number of these shred fests, come to believe no midwife knows how to do anything properly. Point Fingers & Wag Tongues – Each time some poor midwife ends up with her name plastered in the media, tell the media “this” would not occur if only there were licensing. Never mind that consumers don’t “get it” because they know bad things happen with licensed professionals and everybody knows someone whose physician or nurse made an error. 

4) Create exclusive organizations - Ah, what better way to snip the growth of midwifery in the bud than to slam the doors of membership shut on those who are not your clones. Of course, it’s ok to revere foreign midwives, particularly those from 3rd world countries because they have preserved customs. 

5) Permanently entrench a select few in national and state 
professional organizations – A puppet board is the best way to be sure that no change will occur. Keeping control to only those sharing a narrow view keeps the midwifery “race” pure and myopic. 

6) Adopt ever more invasive technology as the standard of care – Midwifery is heavy duty science and must incorporate all the latest devices and lab tests in order to provide the best care for women. Or does it? Are all those tests producing healthier moms, babies? Whose best interests are really considered -- yours or mom’s? 

7) Talk out of both sides of your mouth – Be a passionate supporter of the rights of competent adult women to make their own childbirth choices but deny those women a lawful opportunity to experience those choices by encouraging licensure that criminalizes those midwives who provide the particular care those uppity pregnant women want. 

8) Join a gossipy discussion group – talk a lot, do nothing productive –This little enterprise is about as productive as those advertised “stuff envelopes from home” and make a ton of money jobs. It’s a great time-waster and generally produces nothing of value. Permits a handful of those with lots of time and hot air to spew their view of the world. If only those who log on would donate a nickel each time, midwifery causes would be well-funded. 

9) Do not support a midwife fighting the State – At all costs, make the midwife caught in the cross-hairs of the state stand alone, lest her bad luck may rub off on you. Never mind that any midwife could be in her shoes because of faulty logic and greedy aspirations of political State’s or District Attorneys. Proclaim her a heretic who deserves what she is getting, just because. Discourage others from providing emotional, financial and physical support by announcing her conduct to be unorthodox, peculiar or without any standards. Engage in gossip speculating on the unknown details and embellishing on those released by the prosecution to the media. Under no circumstances open your wallet for a midwife in need, especially if she needs money to defend her practice from the state. Rationalize that you can’t be sure she did everything “right”, whine about how poor you are, how broke because … but then fly to a conference, stay in a hotel, hold hands in a circle of midwives and sing about the sisterhood. Buy stuff. 

10) Be a Judas midwife: Agree to be a witness against a midwife – There’s no surer way to destroy midwifery than to hold yourself up as the savior of women and proper midwifery because your way is the only way and the best way. Ignore the fact that unexpected bad outcomes occur without any fault. You can be especially effective if you lack any experience dealing with the specific problem. For example, if it is a breech birth or shoulder dystocia under scrutiny and you have no experience as a primary midwife attending a breech or shoulder dystocia, you can criticize away because your record is pristine.


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