Title: B.E.S.T
Location: Trillum Waterbirth Center Medford, OR
Description: BEST=Birth Emergency Skills Training
Contact the Birth Center for more information
Start Date: 2013-09-16
End Date: 2013-09-17

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LD&D renewal

Title: LD&D renewal
Location: BIrthingway College of Midwifery
Link out: Click here
Date: 2013-11-15

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Oregon HB 2997 Has Passed

Oregon HB 2997 has passed. This bill calls for Mandatory licensure of Direct Entry Midwives with an exemption for Traditional Midwives.
The text of the bill can be found here-


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HB 2997, the final push!

We are in the home stretch with HB 2997.  If all goes well, legislators in the House and Senate will be voting on the bill next week.  Now would be a great time to call or e-mail your State Representative and State Senator and ask them to support options for birthing families in Oregon by voting yes on HB 2997.  The legislators are pretty overwhelmed by this point in the session so keep it short and sweet.  Thanks! You can look up your legislators here:
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HB 2997 passed Ways and Means

HB 2997 passed unanimously out of Ways and Means this morning!  Now on to a floor vote in the House and Senate.  We have had incredible support from families, midwives, and legislators in this process and couldn’t be more thankful.

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Eugene Region Meeting

Title: Eugene Region Meeting
Location: Sacred Waters Birth Center 2035 W 12th Ave, Eugene OR 97402
Description: Eugene has a Regional Meeting and Peer Review on Friday, June 7th. We begin the Regional meeting at 9:00, break for lunch, and the Peer Review is following.
Location is Sacred Waters Birth Center located at 2035 W 12th Ave, Eugene, OR 97402.
Start Time: 09:00
Date: 2013-06-07

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4/17/13 Legislative update

Thank you for all the input and engagement in the this legislative process!  HB 2997 made it out of the House Health Care Committee last Friday and will move to the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services after going through Ways and Means.  The bill passed with all of our bottom lines intact and with an amendment passed to the exemption for traditional midwives.  The amendment removed the cultural, religious, and philosophical requirements but prohibits traditional midwives from advertising.  I have included the exact language of the exemption at the bottom of this post.

This current incarnation of the exemption was a very last minute compromise among legislators on the committee and I think it has much stronger support than the earlier version since it doesn’t rely on the hard-to-define and contentious categories of religion and culture but still, functionally, limits unlicensed traditional midwifery to communities by barring them from advertising.

Once the bill gets to the Senate Health Care and Human Services committee, another public hearing will be scheduled which will be the next major avenue for public comment.  There definitely will be attempts to get the Senate to either remove the exemption completely or have it expire in 4 years, so the work to preserve an exemption is by no means over.

The amended version of HB 2997 is not available yet and may not be available for weeks.  I will post it as soon as it becomes available.

Thank you again to everyone who has written to or called their legislators and to everyone who has come to the Capitol for hearings!

Silke Akerson
Oregon Midwifery Council

The current bill says that a person may practice midwifery without a license if:

“(b)(A) The person is acting as a traditional midwife and does not use
legend drugs or devices, the use of which requires a license under the laws
of this state;
“(B) The person does not advertise that the person is a midwife; and
“(C) The person discloses to each client on a form adopted by the State
Board of Direct Entry Midwifery by rule:
“(i) That the person does not possess a professional license issued by the
“(ii) That the person’s education and qualification have not been reviewed
by the state;
“(iii) That the person is not authorized to carry and administer potentially
life saving medications;
“(iv) That the risk of harm or death to a mother or newborn may increase
as a result of the information described in sub-subparagraphs (i) and (ii) of
this subparagraph;
“(v) A plan for transporting the client to the nearest hospital, as defined
in ORS 442.015, if a problem arises during labor or childbirth;
“(vi) That the client will not have recourse through a complaint process;
“(vii) The types of midwives who are licensed by the state.”.

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Work session for HB 2997 4/12/13

This Friday, April 12th at 1 pm, at the capitol in Hearing Room E, is the next work session for HB 2997, the midwifery regulation bill. The house health care committee will be voting on amendments including an amended exemption.  There won’t be a time for public comment at this meeting but we would love to see a good turnout of midwifery supporters there.

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2012 Preliminary Data on Oregon Birth Outcomes by Planned Birth Place and Attendant

March 18, 2013

Today we received a preliminary report from the Oregon Public Health Division on 2012 birth outcomes by planned place of birth and provider type.  In 2011, the Oregon Midwifery Council worked with legislators and partners in public health to pass HB 2380 which changed the Oregon birth and death certificates so that data on planned place of birth and provider type could be more accurately captured.  The 2012 data in this preliminary report is the first data set collected since the forms were changed.

Though the report raises more questions than it answers, the initial numbers are disheartening and they substantiate our decision to prioritize accountability and quality assurance as an organization. It is hard to know whether these numbers would be accurate over time with a larger sample size, but the preliminary report gives a term perinatal mortality rate for planned out-of-hospital births of 4.0/1,000 in comparison to the in-hospital rate of 2.1/1,000 for 2012.  We are saddened by the losses that these numbers represent and take seriously our responsibility to examine these deaths for areas where our care could be improved.

The Oregon Midwifery Council actively supports the movement towards greater clarity and transparency about birth outcomes in our state.  We will use this and future data to inform us in our ongoing programs for quality improvement including chart review, continuing education, review of standards of care, and advocacy for appropriate midwifery regulation.

Silke Akerson, CPM, LDM, President Oregon Midwifery Council


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Dismantling Racism Workshop for Midwives

Title: Dismantling Racism Workshop for Midwives
Location: Central Lutheran Church 1820 NE 21st Ave Portland, OR 97212
Description: Dear Midwives and Students,

Please join us for our first workshop for midwives on increasing cultural understanding and dismantling racism on Friday, March 22nd in Portland, Oregon.

Institutional and interpersonal racism have huge impacts on birth outcomes, access to midwifery care, and access to midwifery training for people of color. In this workshop two excellent trainers, Shafia Monroe and Sally Eck, will help us understand the impacts of racism in our daily lives, as well as in motherbaby care, and give us tools to move towards greater human connection and better access and outcomes as individual healthcare providers and as a midwifery community.

Don’t miss this excellent workshop! Also please note that this is the only workshop we have planned so far this year that fulfills the NARM continuing education requirement in cultural competency.

Dismantling Racism Workshop for Midwives
Friday, March 22, 2013
9:00 am to 5:00 pm
$90 ($80 for OMC members) Lunch included
Central Lutheran Church
1820 NE 21st Ave Portland, OR 97212

To register: Please send a check for the full registration fee made out to “Oregon Midwifery Council” and include a note with your full name and contact information to Lorell Miller 5126 NE 20th Ave Portland, OR 97211

Shafia Monroe, MPH, is a midwife, and president of the International Center for Traditional Childbearing which is widely recognized for its work to improve birth outcomes for African American mothers and babies.

Sally Eck, MS, is a social justice trainer and a professor of Women’s Studies at Portland State University.

Please e-mail silkeakerson@yahoo.com with questions
Start Time: 09:00
Date: 2013-03-22
End Time: 17:00

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