THE TRANSITION FROM LAY MIDWIFE TO CERTIFIED NURSE-MIDWIFE IN THE UNITED STATES

Authors

  • Fran Ventre CNM, MPH,

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      Fran Ventre, CNM, MPH. 22 Wharf Lane, Haverhill, MA 01830.
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    • Fran Ventre received a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Wisconsin in 1962. After the bixles of her three children, she tought childbirth classes in 1972 in situation Washington, DC. She became certified by the American Society for Psychoprophylaxis in Obstetrics and in 1974 helped [Text missing in PDF] Maternity Experience, a national organization providing information and support to home birth couples. In 1975, she became licensed as a lay midwife in Maryland under

      [Text missing in PDF] “[Text missing in PDF]aminity midwife” [Text missing in PDF]ow. She was also one of the founding mothers of the Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA) and served as its first New England regional representative.

      In 1977, Ms. Ventre received a nursing degree from Montgomer College in Takoma Park. Maryland, and went on to complete the nurse-midwifery educational program at Georgetown University in 1978. As chair of the Massachusetts chapter of the American College of Nurse-Midwives, she wanted to change a Massachusetts law that restricted certified nurse-midwife attendance at home birth. From 1980 to 1984, she directed the first licensed free-standing birth center in Massachusetts, the North Shore Birth Center, and she served on the state's Department of Public Health Task Force to write birth center rules and regulations

      Ms. Ventre received a master of public health degree from Boston University in 1990 and is working as a nurse-midwife with Harvard Community Health Plan.

  • Peggy Garland Spindel CNM, MPH,

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    • Fran Ventre received a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Wisconsin in 1962. After the bixles of her three children, she tought childbirth classes in 1972 in situation Washington, DC. She became certified by the American Society for Psychoprophylaxis in Obstetrics and in 1974 helped [Text missing in PDF] Maternity Experience, a national organization providing information and support to home birth couples. In 1975, she became licensed as a lay midwife in Maryland under

      [Text missing in PDF] “[Text missing in PDF]aminity midwife” [Text missing in PDF]ow. She was also one of the founding mothers of the Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA) and served as its first New England regional representative.

      In 1977, Ms. Ventre received a nursing degree from Montgomer College in Takoma Park. Maryland, and went on to complete the nurse-midwifery educational program at Georgetown University in 1978. As chair of the Massachusetts chapter of the American College of Nurse-Midwives, she wanted to change a Massachusetts law that restricted certified nurse-midwife attendance at home birth. From 1980 to 1984, she directed the first licensed free-standing birth center in Massachusetts, the North Shore Birth Center, and she served on the state's Department of Public Health Task Force to write birth center rules and regulations

      Ms. Ventre received a master of public health degree from Boston University in 1990 and is working as a nurse-midwife with Harvard Community Health Plan.

    • Peggy Spindel began her midwifery career in 1975 assisting an obstetrician in home birth She spent her early years as a primary lay midwife with family physicians in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with whom she co-authored a textbook on home birth in 1982, she opened a home birth practice that evolved into a joint practice with a certified nurse-midwife in 1988.

      Always active in midwifery politics, Ms. Spindel helped to found Birthday, a feminist-oriented home birth education and advocacy group in 1975. In 1982, she was integral to the creation of the Massachusetts Midwives Alliance and was its first president in 1983. As chair of its legislative committee as well, she drafted legislation for lay midwifery licensing. In addition, she served as the chair of the credennaling committee of MANA and developed the original proposal for the registry board of MANA, which now offers national certification for direct entry midwives. She also organized the Midwifery Communication and Accountability Project, a gross was effort to reinforce the dialogue among midwives and ensure the participation of the childbearing and general public in this activity.

      Ms. Spindel involved from the Boston University School of Public Health Certified Nurse-Midwife MPH program in 1993.

  • Kate Bowland CNM, BFA

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    • Kate Bowland was educated first as an artist at the San Francisco Art Institute where she received her BFA in 1968. She received her RN in 1982 from Cabrillo College and graduated as a certified nurse-midwife from the University of California San Francisco in 1983.

      She was best known as one of the entry home birth midwives in the country through her affiliation with the Santa Cruz Both Center, which was in her house. She was one of the first lay midwives to be arrested for performing home births (see Bowland v Municipal Court for Santa Cruz County Judicial Dist 1976, 18 Cal 3rd 479, 134 Cal Rptr 630. 556 P2d 1081).

      She was featured in PUSH A Woman's Western, a 29-minute documentary film on the roots of home birth and midwifery in Santa Cruz, California. In 1991, she was awarded Outstanding Woman of the Year in Santa Cruz County for her contribution in improving the status of women.

      She lectures frequently in Bay Area colleges and writes for Midwifery Today. She has been in private practice doing home births since 1972.


Fran Ventre, CNM, MPH. 22 Wharf Lane, Haverhill, MA 01830.

ABSTRACT

This paper presents the results of a survey that was conducted between November 1992 and March 1993. Its target group consisted of midwives in the United States who began their careers as lay midwives and later decided to become certified nurse-midwives (CNMs). Questions address their demographic and socioeconomic characteristics to compile a profile that can be compared with other midwife populations. The survey elicited information regarding what motivated the decisions to change status and how these decisions have made an impact upon respondents' personal lives, family life styles, and income; identified how becoming a nurse-midwife changed the respondents' work in regard to their own community, the clientele they serve, and their style and site of practice, and how the change in identity affected their self-perceptions as midwives as well as their relationship to the health care system, the legal system, and the established midwifery system; it investigated how respondents viewed their preparation for midwifery and how they felt about the relationship of nursing to midwifery; and, it addressed how these midwives related to, were influenced by, and influenced the two major professional midwifery associations in the United States, the Midwives Alliance of North America and the American College of Nurse-Midwives. The results showed that, overall, the respondents valued their lay midwifery background, felt positive about their CNM educational programs, and showed a preference for direct entry and apprenticeship programs in which the RN is not a prerequisite.

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