Let’s Get Along 6


I was recently lucky enough to attend the MANA/CAM Conference in Niagara Falls, Ontario. It was my first MANA conference and it was a lot of fun! It is an amazing experience to be surrounded by people that you share a passion with. To meet others walking on the same path. I was very proud to count myself in the company of so many great midwives, doulas and birth workers!

A heard a quote that was very powerful for me,

“All midwives need each other, and the women need all the midwives.” -Judi Mentzer

This struck a particular chord with me. On paper and by training, I am a Certified Nurse Midwife or a CNM. In my heart, I am a Midwife, just simply a midwife. I do not feel that I am any better or worse of a midwife based on the initials placed after my name. Other midwives may have different initials, like CPM, RM, DEM, LM or any other number of options. To me, these are all midwives. One of my biggest frustrations in this profession is the “in-fighting” and the tearing down of eah other based on the initials we carry. How can we as birth workers expect to grow our numbers and support more women when we spend too much energy bickering amongst ourselves? Who needs the “establishment” to hold us down, when do such a good job of it on our own? Let’s face it….women come in all stripes and persuasions….and they all deserve and need midwives…so midwives should also come in all stripes and persuasions!

I don’t want to get too high on my soap box, but I do want to make my point. We have so many struggles facing our profession, let’s just get out of our way, try to move forward from the divisions of the past and focus on the incredibly important task at hand….supporting, educating and empowering women!!


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6 thoughts on “Let’s Get Along

  • Aubre

    @Nicolle, it was nice to get a chance to meet you at the Six Nations dinner.
    While there were deffinitely some moments when I did feel the heat, I thought that overall the conference was very welcoming. When I had the chance to speak with people directly, everyone was very kind. In this post I am more referring to our profession as a whole and experiences that I have had throughout the years. The conference just made me think of those situations I guess.

  • Carrie

    Oh Aubre, I think this is such an important topic!! There have always been deeply rooted insidious means of creating mistrust and infighting amongst women and the midwifery credential difference is just another one… Divide and conquer works all too well with us! Perhaps in the arena of providing safer, hands-on, woman centered care we can try a bit harder to lift each other up and support MIDWIFERY rather than fighting about where we learned, where we practice and which "initials" are better. Thanks for posting this!!!

  • Aubre

    I am so glad to hear this response. I have long felt frustration over the fact that while we work to empower women, we can so easily tear each other down. It is an unfortunate irony of circumstance.
    So, what are some stratgies we can utilize to help turn this tide?…

  • Nicolle L. Gonzales CNM

    Perhaps in my naiveness, I expected more supportive relationships and handholding, rather then undertones of negativity. Meeting the midwives from Six Nations and feeling their outward vibes of love and support for one another, made the conference pail in comparison. For me, what the Six Nations midwives have going on is what is in my heart and something worth cultivating. I very much believe the negativity we carry within our bodies can very much touch the "life" growing within the women we care for. Being in environments where feelings of negativity are hidden behind smiles is not a comfortable space for me. This is what I meant by feeling the heat. I had many lovely side conversations with "women," but returned home with a heavy heart. Whatever has brought us all to the midwifery path has made us stronger in many ways, but I think it is always important to remember that the kind of work we are doing is sacred. It is a positive environment I try to create around me today, because the negative environment is the sort that we are all forced to live in sometimes. Which was part of my disappointment with this conference. I pray daily at dawn for peace in everyone's hearts and to aspire to the greater purpose they are called to, for we all set the example for the generations to follow…Blessings.