The New Year is a time to reflect back on the past and to step forward into the future with clear intentions. Here are some of our new year reflections:
In 2011 we test drove a sweet little idea called Pregnant Mayhem. This was an opportunity for mommies everywhere to hit the streets and demand better maternity care using theatre, public art, flash mobs, megaphones, protests, whatever it takes to get the word out about our broken system and the beautiful ways it could be better. The original idea was to have something simple and provocative every month. This something would take place all over the country.
Our initial action took place around Labor Day to coincide with the 5th anniversary of Karen Brody’s International movement – “Birth” On Labor Day. It consisted of four women in four different cities giving birth in public spaces, a conference, a street fair, a tourist destination and a parking lot. Of course we didn’t force any real babies to spend their first moments of life as a public spectacle. These women were all performing a scene from Karen Brody’s play “Birth”. In 2012 we want to further develop this idea of taking our birth activism to the streets. We want to reach more people in more places with bigger and more profound happenings. It is time for birth activists to stop talking amongst ourselves and to get the message out to where it can make the most impact.
Also in September of last year, Where’s My Midwife? planted roots in Canada with the birth of the Ontario chapter. Maria Radonicich relocated from Wilmington with her family only to find that a local midwifery practice, in Orangeville, Ontario, needed help. Maria told the locals about the success we had in Wilmington when mamas demanded change.
Soon, local families were painting car windows and marching for midwives, all in the hopes that the local hospital – Headwaters Health Care Centre – would see the community demand for midwifery care and grant privileges to the Midwives of Headwater Hills’ entire practice.
The new chapter saw one midwife granted privileges in November (bringing the practice total to 3 with privileges at HHCC) and are awaiting approval of a fourth midwife’s privileges. In the coming months we anticipate seeing the Midwives of Headwater Hills catching babies at Headwaters Health Care Centre again. We will be working on establishing non-profit status in Ontario and researching what town to head to next. We will continue reaching out to communities who have lost their midwives or seen their ability to practice be crippled by unfair laws and policies. We are ready to stand with communities across the U.S. and Ontario and help them develop an individualized plan to set things straight. If you need more midwives in your community give us a call!
And, finally, one of our favorite projects in 2011 was a short film titled “Midwives’ Diner”. This year look for more short films promoting midwives and the amazing care that they provide. We love making films and will continue to use them as our megaphone.
We are looking forward to a year full of positive, creative, engaging action. We hope your 2012 is full of all good things. Happy New Year!