Marsden Wagner, MD, MS

We mourn the passing of Dr. Wagner on April 27, 2014 and send our deepest condolences to his family, friends, and colleagues.

wagner“As the former Director of Women’s and Children’s Health for the World Health Organization, I strongly endorse the Friends of Michigan Midwives. Midwives are the providers of choice for the more than 80% of prenatal women who are at low risk. Obstetricians should limit their service to hospital based care for high risk pregnant and birthing women.”

Marsden Wagner received his MD from UCLA and went on to earn an advanced scientific degree in perinatal science. After serving as faculty at UCLA and practicing clinically, he spent fifteen years as Director of Women’s and Children’s Health at the World Health Organization. He was the author of many scientific and popular articles and books. The best-know was Born in the USA: How a Broken Maternity System Must Be Fixed to Put Women and Children First, in which he called attention to the dangers of using Cytotec (misoprostol) as an induction agent during trial of labor after a previous cesarean section. He testified as an expert witness on maternity care before the United States Congress, the French National Assembly, the British, Italian, Danish, and Israeli parliaments, and consulted with numerous governmental and non-governmental organizations. He was widely known and esteemed as a friend of midwives.

Barbara Katz Rothman, PhD

katz rothman“We need midwifery care available to every woman, in the interests of health, of cost, of safety and of humanity. The Friends of Michigan Midwives is doing the solid work that supports midwives, and ensures that women in Michigan can give birth how they want to and where they want to, in or out of hospital. Join me in supporting their efforts.”

Barbara Katz Rothman received her Ph.D. in Sociology from New York University and is currently Professor of Sociology, Public Health, Disability Studies, and Women’s Studies at at the City University of New York. For over three decades, she has studied the subjects of midwifery and birth. She is the author of many works examining pregnancy and childbirth, including In Labor: Women and Power in the Birthplace, and her influential essay, “Spoiling the Pregnancy: Prenatal Diagnosis in the Netherlands.” She is the recipient of the “Midwifing the Movement” award from the Midwives Alliance of North America. Visit her website: www.barbarakatzrothman.com.

Robbie Davis-Floyd, PhD

davis-floyd“I am pleased to give my personal endorsement to the Friends of Michigan Midwives. As a cultural anthropologist, studying childbirth and midwifery extensively, I understand the important role midwives play in giving women positive birthing outcomes. The work that FoMM is doing is vital to ensure that the women of Michigan will continue to have the option of midwifery care available to them, especially those who choose out-of-hospital birth.”

Robbie Davis-Floyd received her PhD in anthropology from the University of Texas and currently serves at that institution as Senior Research Fellow. Her own traumatic birth experience spurred her to study the birth experiences of one hundred women, a process that ultimately led to the publication of her seminal book, Birth as an American Rite of Passage, and her interest in the anthropology of reproduction. She has published and lectured extensively on the topics of women-centered pregnancy, childbirth, obstetrics, and midwifery. In 2009, the North American Registry of Midwives presented her with an award for fifteen years of service to NARM and to American midwifery. Visit her website: www.davis-floyd.com.

Henci Goer

goer“Research shows that planned home birth with a qualified home birth practitioner in a woman at low risk of complications results in equally good outcomes for babies and mothers. Indeed, such women may be better off because they are much less likely to experience potentially harmful medical interventions such as cesarean surgery. Women deserve complete, accurate information about childbirth options available to them for childbirth beyond the typical medicalized hospital birth, and they are entitled to care from qualified home birth providers, should home birth be their choice. That is why I feel that organizations like Friends of Michigan Midwives are so valuable. Their tireless work with midwives is helping educate women to achieve better experiences and outcomes for Michigan mothers and babies. I am proud to give my endorsement to FoMM.”

Henci Goer is a researcher and author in the field of evidence-based maternity care. Her 1999 book, The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth, is a favored resource for women seeking a physiologic birth, while her 2013 book, Optimal Care in Childbirth: The Case for a Physiologic Approach, earned the “Best Book of the Year” by the American College of Nurse-Midwives. Her long association with Lamaze International includes regular guest contributions to the Lamaze blog Science and Sensibility. Visit her website: www.hencigoer.com.

Barbara Harper, RN, CD, CCE

harper“Friends of Michigan Midwives has my full support as they provide much needed education and support to the community on the safety and efficacy of home birth, birth in birthing centers and identify midwife friendly ob practices. It is vital that we keep the public informed about the Midwives Model of Care and what it means to have an undisturbed birth process. Our future generations depend on it! Thank you for all the work you do for the families of Michigan!”

Barbara Harper is the founder of Water Birth International, an organization dedicated to educating women about gentle, undisturbed labor and birth in water. Her passion for the care of mothers and babies originated with her observations of her grandmother, a nurse and midwife, and continued in her own career as a nurse. Extensive research and experience in the field led her to publish the book and DVD, Gentle Birth Choices. She currently travels the world lecturing at universities, midwifery programs and conferences, in addition to providing waterbirth certification for birth providers. Visit her website: www.waterbirth.org.

Raymond De Vries, PhD

devries“Unfortunately, facts do not speak for themselves. If they did, the American maternity care system would deliver care that women find more satisfactory, with fewer interventions, fewer sick moms and babies, and at less cost. The facts show that every pregnant and laboring woman needs a midwife and some also, on occasion, need an obstetrician. But in the United States, because the facts do not speak for themselves, midwives attend only about 8 percent of all births. In other developed countries, countries that have better outcomes, happier and healthier mothers, and lower costs — midwives attend the majority of all births. We need FoMM to speak for these facts and for the mothers and babies that will benefit from the sensible, safe, and quality care that midwives deliver.”

Raymond de Vries is a medical sociologist and bioethicist with broad experience in the study of maternity care systems and the comparative study of health care systems. He holds professorships at the University of Michigan and at Maastricht University. He is widely known for his analyses of the organizational and cultural influences on obstetrics and midwifery. In his 2005 book, A Pleasing Birth: Midwifery and Maternity Care in the Netherlands, he examines the effect of social forces on the way maternity care is delivered. He recently co-edited a special issue of the Journal of Clinical Ethics on the ethics of choice of birthplace. His 2001 collection, Birth by Design: Pregnancy, Maternity Care and Midwifery in North America and Europe, was the product of the work of a collaborative team of international scholars focused on the comparative study of maternity care systems. His early book on midwife licensure was updated and republished in 1996 as Making Midwives Legal: Childbirth, Medicine, and the Law.