Here is the first in a series of stories about Mothers and Midwives in Action across the country. We hope these stories can inspire you to hold an event in your own community!
Missoula, Montana (population 60,000) is in the middle of the northern Rocky Mountains and the home of an active home birth community. This last May I hosted a public talk on on health reform, maternity care and Certified Professional Midwives and asked for volunteers to participate in local organizing. Five people signed up. We have met 3 times so far to generate ideas for a political action/fundraising event in our community. All volunteers are recipients of midwifery care for their combined 13 home births.
The first meeting was an inspirational discussion about how the MAMA Campaign was trying to protect the right to have a birth at home with a Certified Professional Midwife by including CPMs in national health reform. The consensus of the group was to raise money to support the MAMA Campaign as well as engage in lobbying efforts with our state’s senior senator, Max Baucus, head of the Senate Finance committee.
As a political action we decided to plan and sponsor an informal parade of mothers, dads, babies, children and supporters. The participants will meet with signs, costumes, props, etc. to march over the Higgins Ave. bridge into downtown and end at Senator Max Baucus’ local office. We will present Senator Baucus with a petition signed by all parade participants. The petition will state our support for Certified Professional Midwives to be named in the Medicaid portion of the Senate health reform bill.
The next day will be a silent auction/pizza party to raise money and support the MAMA Campaign. We are in the process of finding a place for the auction and getting auction items donated. One person is the advertising genie, two are auction item genies, one person is the location captain and I am the overseer/blogger. Today, one business owner donated an auction item and stated, “I am still paying out of pocket for a hospital birth that cost $11,000 since I did not have insurance. I am all for this reform!”