NMI Course Work Modules

In addition, NMI Study Group Coursework now requires all students complete two social science modules as pre-requisites to continuing further in Study Group Coursework education: Anti-Racism in Midwifery and Gender & Sexuality. Each module has their own set of recommended resources, including some print and extensive online resources appropriate to their topics. These can be viewed at https://www.nationalmidwiferyinstitute.com/anti-racism-in-midwifery and https://www.nationalmidwiferyinstitute.com/gender-and-sexuality.

MEDLINE with Full Text Subscription

With NMI’s subscription to MEDLINE with Full Text, you can search for relevant research articles by keyword on the subject of Racism (3,884 results), Anti-Racism (32 results), Social Diversity (91 results), Neurodiversity (53 results), Gender Diversity (188 results), Immigrant/Migrant communities (26,665 results), and more. 

Midwifery Matters Subscription

NMI’s institutional subscription to Midwifery Matters provides students and faculty with online access to resources that address and build competency in diversity and cultural versatility. Below is a list of articles that are available in the NMI Media Library for students and faculty that address and build competency in diversity and cultural versatility:

NMI Video Library

The NMI Video Library includes numerous resources available for loan that build competency in diversity and cultural versatility. Many titles in the library are available for streaming directly from the Video Library. Others are available as DVD loans by mail. To request a title, complete and submit the NMI Media Loan Agreement, and then submit your request directly through the Media Library online form. The DVD is then mailed to you. Below is a list of streamable videos, and DVD titles available for loan, that address and build competency in diversity and cultural versatility:

NMI Print Media Library

The NMI Print Media Lending Library includes numerous resources available for loan that build competency in diversity and cultural versatility. To request a title, complete and submit the NMI Media Loan Agreement and then submit your request directly through the Media Library online form. The print media resource will be mailed to you.
Below is a list of print media titles available for loan that address and build competency in diversity and cultural versatility:

NMI MP3 Library

The NMI MP3 Library includes numerous audio resources that build competency in diversity and cultural versatility. These resources are streamable directly through NMI’s Media Library. The MP3 Library includes conference session recordings from annual Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA) Conferences 2008-2016, California Association of Midwives conferences, and other midwifery conferences.
Below is a list of streamable audio resources available in the Media Library that address and build competency in diversity and cultural versatility:

●      MA1707: Black Women Birthing Justice - Dr. Sayida Peprah, PsyD - The “Battling Over Birth” research study justice project releases the power of collective knowledge and action. It is the documentation of 100 black women’s birth stories. These stories reveal repeated reports of medical coercion and over-medicalization. They unpack black women’s attitudes toward birth alternatives and set the platform to build a campaign for change.

●      MA1710: Plenary 2 - Midwives In Cuba - Geradine Simkins, CNM, MSN; Marina Alzugaray, MS, CNM, ARNP; Diane Holzer, LM, CPM, PA-C ; Yeshi Neumann, CNM, MA, MPH & Ana Ester Rivero, MS, NM - This presentation will share the process of people-to-people educational exchanges that occurred among numerous Cuban women, traditional Cuban healers, Cuban health service providers, and American midwives in 2016 and 2017.

●      MA1712: Reclaiming Indigenous Midwifery- Stories Of Honoring Ancestral Knowledge, Resisting Medical Colonization And Returning Birth To Native American Communities - Rhonda Lee Grantham, Midwife & Autumn Cavender-Wilson - Midwives & healers have forever served their communities throughout the journey of pregnancy & childbirth. But for many of today’s Native American families the realities of intergenerational trauma, forced relocation, and Indian Health Services policy have resulted in both disconnection and undeniable health disparities. But the resistance is growing and indigenous communities are demanding to keep their families together and their communities whole. As we honor the truth that birth is both a physical experience and a sacred ceremony, we are restoring family traditions while healing generations. From community- based doula programs to birth centers to midwifery at Standing Rock, the movement to Reclaim Indigenous Midwifery is here.

●      MA1713: How To Use A Racial Equity Toolkit For Decision-making In A Predominantly White Organization - Wendy Gordon, LM, CPM, MPH - This session is geared primarily toward leaders in predominantly white midwifery organizations. Decisions are often made by white leadership without being aware of the white-dominant context of those decisions. Incorporation of a racial equity toolkit can help to create an intentional pause in the decision making process to consider all policies, initiatives, and actions with a racial equity lens. Examples of the components of a midwifery- specific racial equity toolkit are included.

●      MA1722: Whiteness And Racism In Birth In The US - Heather Thompson, MS, PhD & Zoë Williams - This session will provide an overview of how racism emerges personally and systemically in general, and especially in birth. A discussion of the history of race in the US will provide a backdrop for the de nitions of important terms, historical review of race and birth in the US. Participants will learn about how race a ects birth outcomes through both physiologic factors and healthcare system inequities. This session will end with a discussion of the racial factors at work in the current “natural” birth movement and what participants can do to begin to incorporate racial awareness into their practice.

●      MA1731: Plenary 6- Centering Collaboration - Kimberly Seals Allers - In this dynamic presentation, Kimberly draws on examples and lessons from over seven years of work in Southeast cities, Philadelphia and Detroit to create a blueprint for transforming birth and breastfeeding outcomes by leveraging the unique power of community.

●      MA1738: The Giving Voice To Mothers Study - Communities Of Color Speak Of Disrespect And Inequity In Access To Birth Options - Saraswathi Vedam, RM FACNM MSN SciD - The Lead Investigator of the Birth Place Lab and convenor of the Home Birth Summits speaks on new research and tools and the landscape of patient oriented research so we can better understand the discrepancies in women’s experiences of maternity care and treatment by care providers, based on race and socio-economic status. We will learn about global initiatives to address respectful maternity care and ways to increase equitable access to choice of birth place and autonomy in decision making for all women in the US.

●      MA1739: Plenary 8 Birth Justice 101 - Jamarah Amani, LM, CLC, Community Midwife - Black low income women have a higher primary c-section rate than any other group. In the United States, Black women are almost four times more likely to die from pregnancy- related causes than white women and black babies are more than twice as likely to die in the first year of life as white babies. How do interpersonal, institutional and internalized racism impact life and death in our communities? How do poverty, immigration status, economic disparity and various forms of discrimination ffect an individual’s ability to receive quality reproductive health care? What is the responsibility of midwives who have historically been advocates for and caretakers of people from marginalized communities?

●      MA1608: Plenary 2 - How to Pass Go in the Game of Midwifery - Indra Lusero - Session explores the concepts of equity and equality: Internalized, interpersonal, institutional and structural oppression; Social determinants of health, health disparities, and health inequities; Antitrust law and how it impacts health care; Open Records requests, explorations of state and federal agencies. Increase your  confidence and get involved!

●      MA1634: Transgender Cultural Competency 101 - As the USA becomes a more diverse nation, health care systems and providers need to respond to patients’ varied perspective around health and well-being. Providers will explore skills to develop more inclusive practices.

●      MA1636: Strengthening Midwifery in The Caribbean - Debrah Lewis - In 2012 a group of 30 midwives representing 13 Caribbean nations met with the goal of launching a regional midwifery association. The goal of the fledgling organization was to provide a forum for a united voice for midwifery and a way to share and knowledge across multiple governments and regulatory bodies. In two years, the CRMA has become a strong voice for midwifery in the region as well as a sponsor of educational opportunities for member countries. This presentation will describe the development of the CRMA, its progress toward representation at regional and global levels, and the active work to strengthen midwifery education. CRMA presenters will address the challenges of working across 13 nations, a variety of regulatory and educational systems and small budgets. The achievements of the regional association can offer important global lessons for development of strong collaborative midwifery networks.

●      MA1506: Beyond White Bellies: Reflecting Families of Color in Birth Imagery - Carrie Murphy; Esperanza Dodge - This session will present an analysis of the imagery of pregnancy and birth as seen in pregnancy manuals (books, pamphlets, etc) as well as birthing websites, both mainstream and those geared towards unmedicated birth. Participants will be able to identify why and how the majority depiction of white women is dangerous and problematic for pregnant people both emotionally and mentally, and come away with a greater awareness of systemic racial and socioeconomic inequities in maternity care today.

●      MA1508: Plenary: Umbilical Cord Stories - Navajo Perspective - Ursula Knoki-Wilson, CNM, MSN,MPH - An exploration of Navajo cultural views and meanings of the umbilical cord, the importance of keeping the sacred in Navajo birth practices and the human experience of umbilical cord stories and connection to other cultures.

●      MA1511: AME Presents: Forgotten Midwives: A Better Look at the History of Midwifery - Neve Gerke, LM, CPM, MSM; Eve German, LM, CPM, MSM - Most history written about United States midwifery focuses only on the political side of midwifery's demise and the medicalization of birth, making no acknowledgement or analysis of ways the issues of race, class, and privilege contributed to midwifery's mid-century disappearance from the U.S. healthcare system. Our research utilizes the specific lens of Native American, African American, and Japanese American midwives in Washington State to show through their stories and history how the loss of midwifery was not only the result of a choice to uphold the rising medical field and extinguish traditional healthcare systems, but was also the result of social and racial discrimination. We draw direct parallels to the effects of both medicalization and racism on midwifery nationally then and now, but more importantly to how these same events are directly connected to today's devastating health disparities. We feel strongly that this in-depth study of midwifery history brings clarity and insight into the events that created these disparities in the first place, and therefore instructs us as a profession in how we might work to resolve health inequities today. Identifying specific ways that racism shaped the midwifery of the past—and our current system—is deeply relevant to today's activism, bringing important clarity to the complex problems our profession faces today, empowering us to gain vital insight as midwives and leaders in our efforts to help midwifery fully thrive in our current healthcare system, and to overcome barriers to both midwifery education and midwifery care.

●      MA1515: MANA Special Event - An Evening with Sam Killermann - Join us for a lively Q&A with comedian and social justice advocate, Sam Killermann, who is also the guy behind It's Pronounced Metrosexual, a one-man comedy show and blog about snap judgments, identity, and oppression (presented in a totally funny way). Sam participated in last year's MANA conference, leading two breakout sessions, and was so well-received we thought we'd invite him back to speak with the larger group about gender issues, justice, sexuality, and other topics that might pop up. Each $25 ticket includes a copy of Sam's book--A Guide to Gender, which is a full exploration of gender from a social justice perspective, with humor and comics sprinkled in. He'll be doing a book-signing after the talk.

●      MA1524: Bringing Cultural Diversity to Midwifery - Tamara Joy Littles, RN, BSN, SNM; Nandi Andrea M. Hill LM, CPM; Felina Ortiz, CNM, DNP; Michelle Pino, CNM, MSN; Nichele R. Salazar, CNM, MSN; Brittany K. Simplicio, CNM, MSN; Hien Tran, SNM, RN- We will examine health disparities and the growing field of epigenetics, or how racism affects the health of women and their children. The discussion will include the importance of increasing the number of midwives of color, in order to address these issues. The rich history of midwifery, including the Partera and Curandera in New Mexico will be examined as well as an overview of the pathways and challenges for culturally diverse students of midwifery. We will also identify the strengths and assets women of color bring to midwifery.

●      MA1533: Fostering the Future of Latina Midwifery Care - Vanessa Caldari, Melissa Cheyney, PhD, CPM, LDM - International midwifery is in the early phases of acknowledging and attempting to rectify its underlying "white savior complex", where midwives have historically used international midwifery practices and schools to meet their clinical requirement for their education, while often simultaneously (and inadvertently) undercutting local and traditional midwifery practices. As a labor of love and with an emphasis on maternal, infant, and family well-being, midwifery has the potential to de-colonize practice through the engagement of community-led research, collaborative midwifery practice and service-learning.

●      MA1536: Plenary - Medicaid Payment For Homebirth: A Closer Look at the New Mexico Birthing Options Program - Cassaundra Jah, LM, CPM, IBCLC - In 2009, the percentage of home births was three to five times higher for non-Hispanic white women than for any other racial or ethnic group, this growing gap in midwifery care could be shrunk if each state mandated payment of out-of-hospital births for Medicaid participates which are 58% non-white nationwide.

●      MA1403: Saving Ourselves - Black Midwives and Doulas Impacting Inequities—Sherry Lenore Payne RN MSN CNE IBCLC - This session examines the state of childbearing and maternity care in the African-American community, with a review of the literature, and a subsequent look at successful community-led models around the country driven by the resurgence of Black midwives and doulas and their impact on birth outcomes and breastfeeding rates.

●      MA1409: What You Don’t Know Hurts Us: Racism, White Privilege, and Perinatal Health Inequities—Sherry Lenore Payne RN MSN CNE IBCLC - This workshop examines the issue of health inequities in the African-American community and how why white privilege promotes those inequities. We will discuss common barriers to care and health promotion and how practitioners can increase their own awareness of the problem. Finally, we will look at strategies for eliminating disparities through purposeful assessment and examination of beliefs and attitudes and the policies that proceed from them. This workshop offers practical steps that anyone can take to begin to rid themselves of bias in the provision of care.

●      M1411: Obstetric Fistula and Illegal Birth Attendants in Eastern Uganda—Bonnie Ruder CPM MPH MA - In Uganda, there are an estimated 200,000 women suffering from obstetric fistula, with 1,900 new cases each year. Overall, the number of women who have skilled attendants with them at the time of delivery is low; only 42 percent of women nationwide, and only 37 percent of rural women, deliver in health care facilities with skilled birth attendants. The majority of Ugandan women deliver with traditional birth attendants and family members. These figures, along with a persistently high maternal mortality rate led the government of Uganda to criminalize traditional birth attendants in 2010. In this presentation, I draw on ethnographic evidence from open-ended, semi-structured interviews with obstetric fistula survivors and traditional birth attendants to describe their experience of obstetric fistula.

●      MA1413: Recognizing Subclinical Hypothyroidism in Pregnant Mothers and Newborns—Erica Peirson ND - There is currently an epidemic of subclinical hypothyroidism in the U.S. that is not being detected or treated by conventional endocrinologists. Hypothryroidism is only treated by conventional doctors based on an elevated TSH and not based on physical symptoms. Physicians are currently trained to treat numbers on a page and not actual patients. This lack of treatment is not only leading to women who are fatigued, in pain and depressed, but also at risk of giving birth to a child with a birth defect or miscarrying. The child is also at increased risk for developing autism. Additionally, nearly 100% of children with Down syndrome (Ds) are at risk of having subclinical hypothyroidism and experience profound effects in all organ systems from inactive thyroid hormone on the cellular level. Recognizing these symptoms as subclinical congenital hypothyroidism and not dismissing them as “normal” for Ds is key to helping children with Ds thrive. The goal of recognizing and treating hypothyroidism in newborns and infants with Ds is not to fix their Down syndrome, but to optimize their health.

●      MA1417: WHY Equity?—Sam Killerman - Social Justice Comedian and Author Sam Killermann talks about his passion for social justice through his own experience in the world of Identity, Gender, and Sexuality. 1CEUs will be applied for from MEAC for this session.

●      MA1418: Supporting Muslim Families in the Childbearing Year: A Guide for Midwives—Shannon Staloch LM CPM IBCLC and Krystina Friedlander - Like other Americans, Muslim families are increasingly seeking out midwifery care. This session is designed to sensitize midwives to the incredible diversity of religious and cultural preferences that color the childbearing experiences of Muslim women, thus giving midwives the tools to better navigate issues related to working with Muslim families.

●      MA1427: HOW Equity?—Sam Killermann - Gender is one of those things everyone thinks they understand, but most don’t really understand at all. Kind of like the usage of the word “irony” (isn’t that ironic?) Sam will explain the complexities of gender, highlighting the obstacles with healthcare. He’ll follow up with a discussion to brainstorm strategies for dismantling these barriers. 1CEUs will be applied for from MEAC for this session.

●      MA1429: Panel - Midwifery in Native American Communities - The Challenge

●      MAX05: African-American Mothers and Prematurity and LBW in the US - A Qualitative Analysis of CPM Prevention Narratives—Melissa Cheyney PhD, CPM, LDM and Arika Makena Bridgeman-Bunyoli MPH

●      MAX09: Ethics and Social Justice in Midwifery Education—Wendy Gordon CPM, LM, MPH and Illysa Foster CPM, LM, M.Ed

●      MAX12: The Stories We Tell - Addressing Racism and Inequity in Midwifery— Sheila Capestany MPH, MSW

●      MAX24: Religious and Cultural Considerations When Serving Muslim Families—Aisha Al Hajjar AMANI