Providing insights into midwifery, a team of reputable contributors describe the development of nurse- and direct-entry midwifery in the United States, including the creation of two new direct-entry certifications, the Certified Midwife and the Certified Professional Midwife, and examine the history, purposes, complexities, and the political strife that has characterized the evolution of midwifery in America.
Including detailed case studies, the book looks at the efforts of direct-entry midwives to achieve legalization and licensure in seven states: New York, Florida, Michigan, Iowa, Virginia, Colorado, and Massachusetts with varying degrees of success. It studies core issues which produce problems in mainstreaming midwives, including the tensions between the social activist midwifery movement and midwives' professionalization projects, "renegade" midwives who practice outside of state protocols, and home-to-hospital transport.
The conclusion describes the barriers to the growth and prospering of American midwifery and efforts to overcome them, focusing deeply on "why midwives matter" to American birthgiving women and why midwives should be the primary caregivers in this country for pregnancy and birth. Mainstreaming Midwives is essential reading for every midwife and midwifery supporter, and for social scientists seeking to understand how marginalized professionals work to move into the mainstream.
"The works is at its strongest when examining the impacts of having a fractionalized movement, exploring the tensions between a need for movement unity while also maintaining space for differences in midwifery philosophy and practice." -- Natasha Pinerics, Atlantis, 2008