News & Events
Not entirely finished yet, but Little Blessings Birth Services' new location is already beautiful and comfortable.
With her practice already booming, Janelle has expanded her space to:
3405 W Nob Hill Blvd Ste B
Yakima WA 98902
She has been gracious enough to invite me to continue to see my clients at her office on Wednesday afternoons (by appt), and April Haugen from Sky Valley Midwifery in Ellensburg will sometimes use the office, too.
I think it looks lovely, and so far clients are loving it too, with all of the extra space and privacy!
Good job again, Janelle.
Planning a Hospital Birth? You may need this!
Birth Classes, taught by an experienced doula with a long reputation for achieving an outstanding success rate of only 5% C-sections in an area which has a 60% C-section rate!
Lauren offers personalized classes with just you and your partner face-to-face online. These are the real thing; hard information, not fluff classes!
Best of all, I have managed to talk her into a large discount that is ONLY available for folks who go through Silver Sage's website.
Check out the details HERE.
Help License a Midwife in WA/ID
Many of you have had care from this lovely lady:
Please spread the word and help raise funds to license a midwife in Washington and Idaho!
Adria is a mother of 5 who started attending births as a doula in 2000. She has since attended hundreds of births in multiple states across the pacific northwest (and Utah) as either a doula, birth assistant or student midwife.
Adria received a Bachelor's degree in Herbal Science from Bastyr University in 2004 and begun formal midwifery training in the Master's degree in Midwifery program at Bastyr in 2007. Due to unforseen circumstances her educational plans took an alternate route and she completed the requirements for midwifery licensure from the Midwives College of Utah.
Currently the only thing between her and her career goals is the cost of the nation certification and state licensing exams.
Contribute to her GoFundMe HERE!
Are you ready to repel the lovely little microbes that will be coming home with your kids soon? Silver Sage is running a special bonus-bottle offer on colloidal silver, in the prettiest bottles I have ever seen (the bottles shown here are the 24 PPM silver). Buy one bottle and get an extra matching nasal sprayer bottle (full) with it for free!
Click on the picture of the gorgeous bottles to check out the sale.
Also some very happy news - some of the Silver Sage products are now being sold by Azure Standard! (Hint: if you are looking for one of the herbal tinctures or special essential oils blends, check there first, because it might be on sale.)
New Way to Pay for Your Birth!
I am delighted to announce that I now have a provider account with United Medical Credit, where you can log in to get quick financing for your care!
This will make it possible for many more families to save money by qualifying for my prompt-pay discount. For details, see the Fees page.
The new office in Goldendale is working out exceptionally well, with a lot larger space, and easier access off Hwy 97 at the north exit, the larger brown complex right behind the 76 station. The address is 1040 E Broadway #B, next door to Sodbusters Restaurant. My door is the one behind the big boulder, the main entrance to the building.
As it gets slowly remodeled, there will be a nice large well-lit classroom area available for events and community meetings (complete with refreshment area and big screen/projector), and a second exam room available for another medical provider to use, which may double as a room for local moms who do not have suitable places for home birth.
Once it is all finished, we will have a grand opening - stay tuned!
After years of revisions by Highland Midwife, and literally hundreds of hours of analyzing charts to find better ways to format and organize data, our copyrighted midwifery charting forms are now approved for WARM and ready for publishing!
Midwives give far better and more detailed care than what most people realize, and these forms are designed to capture advanced maternity care details.
Laser-printed on heavy, quality paper.
View and purchase the documents here.
Help buy a training model for South-Central Washington!
Fundraising Websites - Crowdrise
We are planning to donate office space for training sessions for newborn resuscitation among other skills. Each time we offer a workshop or training day, we will invite some of the local volunteers to attend for free. Can you help with a few dollars to make this area safer for new babies?
An Important Article to Consider
Are we creating an epidemic of mental disorders?
And if we are, can we start working to prevent and reverse this trend? Read "Antisocial Behaviours from a Primal Health Research Perspective" by Michel Odent.
Almost 13 Pounds, Born at Home
One of my clients in Goldendale just had her baby. Everything went very well, only 6 minutes of pushing, not even the need for stitches; a typical beautiful home birth. Mom was back on her feet in just hours; baby had Apgars of 10/10 and is thriving.
So what makes this one different? Baby nearly maxed out all of our scales, both spring and digital, at a whopping 12 pounds, 11 ounces! That just might be a record weight for a home-birthed baby in Washington, and I would bet money it would set a record for a perfect uncomplicated birth.
Congratulations to the happy family!
Meanwhile in Olympia...
Lies, Deception...and more Lies
While members of the Washington Alliance for Responsible Midwifery and other licensed midwives across the state have watched the ListServ for any indication of legislative activity that affects our practices, a new bill was written that sets out new mandates for how newborn screening is collected, entirely without our knowledge or input. Another midwifery organization claims online that they are arguing and opposing the wording of the bill. Below is my letter to the Sec. of Health and the legislators who sponsored the bill, and the response I received from the author of the bill. I just want everyone to know who is who, what is what, and who is telling the truth. You know, transparency and all that jazz...
To: State of Washington
Secretary of Health
Aug. 13, 2014
Dear Sec. Weisman,
I am writing to bring a serious problem to your attention and request your assistance in finding a remedy.
The Newborn Screening bill revisions (SHB 2544) and accompanying rules are fatally flawed. They will not work in the field. Here are some of the reasons why:
The law states that the out-of-hospital birth attendant MUST collect the first sample within 48 hours of the birth. It provides no authority whatsoever for the birth attendant to delegate the collection to any other person if the birth attendant is not going to be the person who provides follow-up care for that mother and baby (for example, if the birth attendant drove 200 miles one way to provide backup for another midwife). Also, because delegation is not permitted under the new rules, if the birth attendant is hundreds of miles away at another birth during that 48-hour mandatory window, they cannot have the first test collected by anyone else, even the baby's pediatric care provider. This will result in birth attendants being forced (in self-defense) to collect a sample prior to leaving the scene of the birth (impossible if the mother and baby are urgently transported for any reason), which will result in the parents paying $77.40 for a completely worthless test which serves only to create a false sense of security because the test will not be valid if collected that soon after birth. That is unacceptable, and serves no one.
Further, the birth attendant is made responsible for any abnormal result reporting, even if the birth attendant is not the baby's care provider. Home birth midwives in rural areas may be gone from home for a week or more at a time, nowhere near their desk, mailbox, fax machine, etc., and not necessarily even within cell phone service. That is the nature of our work. If we are legislated to be the only ones responsible for responding to abnormal notifications, and cannot delegate that responsibility to the baby's pediatric provider (remember, the state recently reduced our scope of newborn care to only 2 weeks, so we should not even be the ones who are notified), then those babies will be without treatment during the time that elapses before we receive any notification ourselves. That is also unacceptable, and also serves no one.
The billing issue around the newborn screening is another problem, as the current proposal for billing the midwives for the test places midwives in the position of being forced to participate in insurance fraud. We cannot bill for a lab, as we are not billing agents and we are not licensed laboratory facilities. The lab needs to bill insurance directly, or bill the patient, as does every other lab. This is especially true of policies under the new federal ACA Medicaid umbrella, as they will not necessarily reimburse us for the test as the state has done in the past, and we cannot by law collect the money from the patient. This leaves us caught between at least three different conflicting sets of laws and rules, under which compliance is not possible without being in violation of at least one if not two sets of laws/rules. This too is unacceptable, and serves no one.
It appears that those who drafted this bill failed to consult with those tasked with complying with the new rules, to have any idea whether what they were writing was even possible in real life, let alone preferable. That means that a legislative correction will be necessary. I would recommend that any action taken be done in practical consultation with rural midwives such as members of WARM, in order to prevent any future problems. Meanwhile, newborns will have far less protection than they had before the bill was written, so the sooner that correction is accomplished, the better.
I look forward to hearing from you about a realistic and prompt solution to this problem.
Thank you very sincerely,
Lorri Carr, LM CPM LDM
WARM Board Member
From the start, the newborn screenings bill was targeted at in hospital births in response to serious delay times being reported on newborn screening results in hospitals in Washington State and notably Spokane County where I am from. A provision regarding midwives was not included until a heavy lobbying effort by another midwives association was undertaken. After meetings and discussions and hearing directly from a number of midwives I agreed as the prime sponsor to the bill being amended in committee. Going forward there was only testimony in support and all concerns brought up were addressed. To my knowledge nobody heard anything from your organization at any point of the legislative process.
With that said, I appreciate you bringing up your concerns with how this bill and the rules will be implemented to ensure more newborns are screened and that it is done in a timely manner. I am in contact with DOH and understand they have decided to delay billing midwives until 1/1/15 and in the interim will work with midwives and other parties such as the Health Care Authority to determine an appropriate resolution.
I ask you to take a bit of pause when talking about "real life." Of course we want to see this legislation implemented in a practical manner - if not grounded in reality it is not good public policy. I was a parent of a newborn who did not receive notification of abnormal test results until 30 days later, and there is another legislator on this list who had the same issue. Thankfully for both of us everything turned out fine for our children. I guarantee you that this legislation came out of a very real concern that needed to be addressed in Washington and across our country and was directed initially at a very specific issue. The "realistic" aim of the initial legislation was to address the concerns with hospitals, but an active midwife association pushed to amend the bill as I mentioned above and it seemed like a good addition to ensure more newborns were screened. We can't go backwards only forward, and to that point I can say I look forward to working with your organization to find a resolution. I will mention that as legislators we do not know all the stakeholder groups that exist and quite frankly most of them reach out and let us know who they are and who they represent especially when legislation could impact them. As the current Vice Chair of the Health Care Committee I look forward to learning more about WARM and extend an invitation to meet with you and your members. Please keep me informed with other thoughts and concerns as we move forward with trying to address some of the issues brought to light.
Rep. Marcus Riccelli
3rd Legislative District - Spokane
New MANA Homebirth Stats Are Out!
The long-awaited statistics from midwife home births that we have been gathering and sending to MANA from 2004-2009 have been compiled and analyzed. Of course, it is no surprise that planned home births with trained midwives are safe, and result in fewer C-sections and fewer dangerous interventions.
Read the report in the Journal of Midwifery and Womens Health.
Yeah, I finally sent in all the paperwork for this one, too.
Now those Oregon insurance plans are running out of reasons to cheat their customers and blame it on me.
My Schedule Fills Fast:
Expectant parents, if you are wanting to get on my schedule for a home
birth, please check HERE for availability.
If there are no openings when your baby is due, contact me anyway if you live within 50 miles of Goldendale (in case an opening comes up), otherwise please check with the other midwives to see if they are available!
A side-note to the schedule being so full: I recently stopped to count the numbers, and apparently a tipping point has been reached. Now more than half of my home birth clients are in the medical profession. Hmm...
Archived articles, more information and links, and older news has been moved to HERE.