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Public Education: Promoting The Midwifery Model Of Care In Partnership With The Maternity Center Association


  • Maureen P. Corry MPH,

    Corresponding author
      Send correspondence to Maureen P. Corry, MPH, Executive Director, Maternity Center Association, 281 Park Avenue South, 5th Floor, New York, NY 10010.
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    • Maureen Corry has 20 years experience as an executive in the not-for-profit voluntary health sector. She joined the Maternity Center Association (MCA) as its executive director in 1995. Prior to MCA, she spent 14 years at the March of Dimes Births Defects Foundation in several positions. As national director of education and health promotion, she was responsible for planning, evaluating, and marketing health promotion programs for the general public, pregnant women, and health care providers. She also served as director of community services and executive director of a local chapter. She received her MPH from Yale School of Medicine in health policy and administration and her BS degree in health education from Texas Woman's University. She has served as an officer for several national health education organizations, including chair of the National School Health Education Coalition and treasurer of the Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition. Currently, she is a member of the ACNM Evidence-Based Midwifery Practice Task Force.

  • Judith P. Rooks CNM, MS, MPH, FACNM

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    • Judith Rooks is a nurse-midwife and epidemiologist. She has taught in a school of nursing, a school of medicine, and a school of midwifery and has worked at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the Office of the Surgeon General, and for the U.S. Agency for International Development. She has authored more than 50 scientific and professional publications, including a comprehensive book, Midwifery and Childbirth in America (Temple University Press, 1997). She received the American Public Health Association's Martha May Eliot Award for exceptional service to mothers and children in 1993 and the American College of Nurse-Midwives' Hattie Hemschemeyer Award for outstanding contributions to midwifery and maternal child health care in 1998. She lives in Portland, Oregon, is an associate of the Pacific Institute for Women's Health in Los Angeles, and serves as a consultant to the Maternity Center Association in New York City.

Send correspondence to Maureen P. Corry, MPH, Executive Director, Maternity Center Association, 281 Park Avenue South, 5th Floor, New York, NY 10010.


Most people who are ignorant or misinformed about midwifery are also misinformed about birth, the needs of pregnant women, and problems related to the care provided to most pregnant women in this country. An understanding of these issues is the conceptual substrate that makes it possible to understand and value midwifery. Although midwives need to educate people about midwives and midwifery, it is also necessary for them to educate people about the nature of childbirth, the needs of pregnant women in general, and appropriate (and inappropriate) maternity care. Midwives are experts in these subjects, but they have to go beyond talking about midwifery—beyond talking about themselves. To maximize their effectiveness, midwives should work in partnership with individuals and organizations that support the midwifery model of care—regardless of the professional background of the person who practices this model. Midwives can advance public education by collaborating with organizations, such as the Maternity Center Association (MCA), which supports family-centered maternity care, based on the midwifery model. MCA's current public education activities are described and two new MCA brochures are presented. Information that supports midwifery care may be particularly effective when it is presented by an organization with broader objectives.

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