The Final Push for the MMA!

If you’ve been paying attention, you know that the Midwifery Modernization Act passed out of the Higher Ed committees in the NY state Senate and Assembly last week. This was HUGE news and all thanks to the efforts of all of the consumers and midwifery-supporters who flooded Albany with phone calls, emails, and faxes. This week is another crucial moment for the MMA. The state gov’t is preparing to end their session and close up shop for the summer so we need to get the MMA to a floor vote ASAP. Please check out the new alert from below and act today. EVERY CALL MATTERS.

If the MMA does not pass this session, homebirth will remain illegal in New York City until we can pass it — unless some hospital does an abrupt about-face on signing written practice agreements.

This is important stuff, folks. Don’t let our amazing midwives remain outlaws.




We have arrived at the final phase of getting the Midwifery Modernization Act passed. Thanks to your amazing outpouring of support the bill was moved out of the Higher Education Committee last week.  Now it is poised to be brought to a full vote in the Assembly and Senate.  This is the moment!

This week is going to unfold step by step and we will keep you updated as the bill progresses. Watch here for up to the minute updates.  Our current strategy involves two rounds of phone calls. The first starts now!

Monday: Contact your Assemblyperson and Senator.

  1. Call your Assemblyperson and Senator.
    Find your Assemblyperson here and your Senator here and call them.
    Hello, my name is ______ and I am a constituent.  Please encourage the leadership of the (assembly / senate) to bring the bill to a floor vote and please vote for this bill.
  2. Call the Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver at 518-455-3791.
    Ask him to move the bill to the floor for a full vote.
    Script: Hello, my name is ______ and I urge Assembly Speaker Silver to move the Midwifery Modernization Act (A8117-A) to the floor for a full vote. Thank you.

  3. Help Us Develop Strategy: Report Back to Us
    If you learn where your legislator stands please report your findings back to Free Our Midwives either by leaving a comment on this action alert, letting us know on facebook or shoot us an email (



The majority of these calls will take less than 30 seconds and be without any questions. Just in case you do speak to your legislator and/or are asked a question, here is some info to help you.

If you can not answer a question, politely let them know that you will find out the answer and you or a representative will call them back with an answer. Please contact us immediately so we can quickly and effectively answer legislative concerns.

  • Don’t midwives need a written practice agreement to secure malpractice insurance?
    No. Midwives can and do secure malpractice insurance in New York state without a written practice agreement
  • Don’t midwives need to work and consult with doctors to ensure women’s health and safety?
    Yes! Midwives are obligated to consult, collaborate and/or transfer care to a higher level practitioner as soon as a birth shows signs that it is outside what is healthy and uncomplicated.  A written practice agreement is unnecessary and the requirement for such an agreement creates a barrier for New York State women to receive the care they need from midwives.
  • Without a written practice agreement what a will a midwife do for back-up?
    Midwives can and do have supportive relationships with physicians without a written practice agreement. Back up plans are a necessary and integral part of midwifery care. Written practice agreements do not play a role in back up plans.


We are continuously amazed at the outpouring of support we receive from all of you. We are full of gratitude for all you have done. These final actions will ensure that women and families across New York State will have access to the quality midwifery care they deserve.

We are making a difference.

Dear Baby Jogger

I just finally sent this off to Baby Jogger. If their past behavior is any indication, they’ll ignore me completely. Oh well. Their loss.


To Whom It May Concern:

If past service is any indication, I’m assuming you’ll never answer this email. But I thought it only fair that I sent it along anyway.

I recently had really crummy communication with your customer service department. I sent the email below in late April, asking for advice on getting my Baby Jogger stroller repaired, and after waiting nearly a month with no response, called directly. My interaction with the customer service rep was much less friendly or helpful that I expected from a company selling luxury products. As I’m wont to do, I took to my blog to complain. Poor customer service is a serious pet peeve of mine and I not only wanted to warn my readers away from your company, but I wanted to ask them to recommend other stroller companies to me so that I could start looking for something new.

Imagine my surprise when, shortly after publishing the post, MacLaren contacted me via Twitter, asking me what sort of stroller I was in the market for. When I answered ‘small, durable, and easy to travel with,’ they almost immediately responded with both a recommendation for a stroller from their line — and an offer to send me one. For free. And they did. My new MacLaren Quest arrived before the end of the week, and they threw in a free “comfort pack” for my daughter as well.

Baby Jogger, that is how you do customer service.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not some sanctimommy who believes she’s entitled to butt kissing or free products just because I blog. My readership is not large and I primarily keep the blog for the benefit of our friends and family in the Midwest. I was both surprised and humbled when MacLaren unexpectedly reached out and said, “Hey! We know how to treat our customers. Mind if we help you out?” Not to mention impressed. And it will probably pay off for MacLaren. I’m both opinionated and vocal; I am intimately tied to the birth world in New York City as I launch my own doula and childbirth education business; and my personal social circles include many a new mom, moms-to-be, and grandparents, all eager to stock up on baby gear for their little ones.

Since receiving the MacLaren stroller a couple of weeks ago, we have put tens of miles on it. I have taken it on buses and trains, pushed my daughter around the neighborhood and through the park, run errands and picked up groceries, hung out with friends, and — talked up MacLaren’s service and generosity whenever people ask about our buggy.

In the meantime, your stroller sits — broken — leaning against the wall of my apartment. We may get it repaired. We may not. But either way, I’m disappointed in your company. I would’ve expected better.


How Am I Supposed to Get Any Work Done with Them Around?

I’m slowly but surely getting my Lamaze course design together.

More slowly than surely these days, but everything in time. Right?

Big News for Midwives — Though We Still Need YOUR Help!

* Update * (1:45 p.m.): The Assembly Higher Ed committee voted in favor of the MMA! The bill is going to the Assembly floor! Thanks, everyone, for all of your hard work and phone calls! WOO HOO!


The Midwifery Modernization Act (MMA) has been stuck in the Higher Education Committee of both the NYS Senate and Assembly — until now. Because of consumer support and advocacy (your phone calls!), the heads of each committee have decided to bring the bill to a vote. This is no small feat considering the sheer number of bills before these committees at any time. If the bill passes in both of the committees, it will then be brought to the Assembly and Senate floors for a full vote. We are hopeful that this will happen before the current legislative session closes at the end of this month, but we need your help now — right now.

The Assembly Higher Education Committee is set to vote on the bill tomorrow — Tuesday! — at 11: 30 a.m. We need to flood the entire Higher Education Committee with consumer support from now until then.

Call/fax/email  – do it all! Let them know in a short statement or a long one that you want this bill now. If you need ideas about what to write visit For some archaic reason, fax is apparently a strong statement to politicians. If you don’t have access to a fax machine tonight (which I’m guessing, like me, is most of you), there are websites which will allow you to send a fax from your computer (check out for one example). If you send a fax tonight, please also follow up with a phone call in the morning.

Also, be sure to contact *all* the committee members, not just your own legislators. This is a state-wide issue!

ACOG sent out an alert this afternoon to their members asking them to contact their reps to vote no. We need to make sure they do not get heard in anywhere near the numbers we do. Do not let a professional trade organization take away your reproductive choices. This is a consumer issue!

We can do this, folks! Get on those phones!

Visit and for more information.

Action Alert: The Final Push

This is the latest Action Alert on the NYC (and NYS) Homebirth Crisis. Visit for more information, but the long and short of it is…

  • The Midwifery Modernization Act is stuck in committee.
  • Homebirth midwives are still illegal in NYC (since May 1) and, despite their stellar records of care, are still unable to find a new hospital willing to sign Written Practice Agreements with them.
  • Pregnant women in NYC are still left making tough decisions about their care, scrambling for providers, or opting to take their births underground. Every day that the MMA does NOT pass is another day this serious issue remains unresolved.

Also — if you are in Sen. Parker‘s district (Bklyn – District 21), PLEASE see this post, check out the attached flyer (PDF), and call, email, fax, or show up at his office. He is ignoring his constituents on this issue, and won’t meet with us or give us information on where he stands on the issue. He needs to hear from you — and he needs to hear from you OFTEN until this issue is resolved.

From Free Our Midwives:

The session is almost over – let’s move this bill now!

Three weeks ago we poured on the pressure as doctors tried to tell New York State legislators to deny women and families access to the excellent and professional care of midwives. Our voices were heard and now it’s time to drive home our message before the legislative session ends.


Thanks to the efforts of NYSALM, every legislator will arrive in their office on Tuesday morning to receive two carefully crafted documents:

  • A myth/fact sheet that clarifies the common misconceptions legislators have about the MMA.
  • A summary of the online petition that shows massive statewide support for this bill as well as detailed consumer support from various New York regions.

What You Can Do to Help

  1. Contact your legislators.
    Find your Senator here
    and your Assemblyperson here. Please call, email or – if you have access – fax a letter to their office. If possible, visit them at their home office. Tell them 3 things:

    • You are a constituent.
    • You’d like them to support, co-sponsor, and vote for the MMA (Senate Bill S5007/Assembly Bill A8117). Please check if your legislator is already co-sponsoring the bill here. If they are, thank them!  (James Brennan, Assemblyman from Brooklyn, is our newest multi-sponsor.)
    • Midwives are safe, independent health care professionals who provide necessary care to New York State women and families.
  2. Contact the Higher Education Committee Chairs.
  • Assemblywoman Glick
    Call (518)-455-4841
    Email Assemblywoman Glick here.

Please tell both Assemblywoman Glick and Senator Stavisky:

  • We want this bill to pass THIS SESSION. Time is of the essence!
  • Women and families across the state of New York want this bill to pass.

Note: We have learned that Assemblywoman Glick believes that this legislations “would make a significant modification to the practice of midwifery in New York”.  This is simply NOT TRUE! When contacting Assemblywoman Glick please emphasize the following:

  • The MMA does not expand a midwife’s scope of practice.
  • Urge them to move the MMA (Senate Bill S5007/Assembly Bill A8117) out of the Higher Education committee
  • The midwifery model of care involves cooperation with doctors (of all types) and referrals when needed.The only thing that will change by passing the MMA is the removal of the written practice agreement which is an unnecessary piece of paper that is directly prohibiting midwives from practicing all over New York State.
  • Midwives are highly trained, licensed professionals.

The voices of consumers like you are critical to preserving access to midwifery care for women and their families across New York State. Thank you for your continued support, time, and effort.

Please take a moment to share this action alert with your social media networks!

YouCapture: Your Best Shot

This week’s YouCapture challenge is to post your best shot from the week. As usual, mine involves Poppy. I mean, what else do I take photos of these days?

What kind of kid hates food?!

What kind of kid hates food? Kids like mine, apparently. The only thing I’ve managed to feed her without her launching into full-out melodramatic gagging and choking is Earth’s Best Organics Peach/Oatmeal/Banana. I’ve made homemade purees, bought jarred purees, given her chunky whole foods (banana, etc.), let her gnaw on my apples, let her suck on carrot sticks and celery sticks. I even gave her some bits of bread the other night and she gagged on those, too. And when I say, “gag,” don’t think I mean she’s choking. She’s not. In fact, she starts the gagging and dry heaves the minute anything touches her lips much less gets anywhere near her throat. The theatrical little jerk.

We’ll get there… we’ll get there…

Also, don’t mind the unibrow-esque gash between her eyes. She woke up with that this morning. Grizzly bear attack in bed, perhaps? Or just a sign that we need to clip her claws, I mean, nails? The latter seems more likely.

My Favorite Sound in the World

Penny’s giggles that is… not Tony’s mouth popping :)

I could listen to this all day.