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Lobby Day 2014- April 29 in Albany!

Come join us in Albany and advocate for midwifery and women's health in New York State!

We will be meeting in room 211 of the Legislative Office Building (LOB 211) in Albany at 8 am on April 29. Continental breakfast will be provided. 

At 8:45 am, Assemblymember Gottfried will be speaking about his sponsorship of the upcoming Birth Center Bill and there will be an award ceremony for Assemblymember Ellen Jaffee. We will then review the bills for which NYSALM will be advocating during visits with legislators and discuss how to lobby ("The ABCs of Lobbying").

Lunch is on your own. Appointments with Assemblymembers and Senators are scheduled until 4 pm.

How do I make an appointment with a legislator?
1. To verify who your representatives are and obtain contact info, visit and

2. Call the office numbers provided on the websites and say you'd like to make an appointment with the Assemblymember or Senator. You may be transferred to the scheduler, who will usually want to know:
-who you are with (the New York State Association of Licensed Midwives)
-what bills you are talking about (Assemblymember Paulin's bill to reduce malpractice premiums for those physicians and licensed midwives who complete a risk management strategy course, which is bill # A00414A/S1674A, and the Women's Equality Agenda. You only need to mention one bill to make an appointment. They will receive a written letter (from Nancy K) about our visit with more details. We will be going over these bills at the ABCs of Lobbying in the morning.)
-how many people are coming with you (groups will be of 4-5 people. If they ask for the names of all who will be coming, please tell them you will call them back within the week with that information. Neila Smith-Dorfman may add students to your group.)

3. They will give you an appointment time. Please send the appointment information to Connie Coker along with the rest of your registration info (see below), including the names of any others who you know will be joining you for your appointment.

How do I register for Lobby Day?
Please send the following information to Connie Coker:
Your Name
Your Address (including zip code)
Your Affiliation (school or job)
Your New York State Senator (and appointment information including others in your group)
Your New York State Assemblymember (and appointment information including others in your group)
Yes/No for the dinner on the evening of April 28th (held at Buca di Beppo, 44 Wolf Rd, Albany. Arrive at 6:30 to mingle and 7:00 to eat. Cost is $29, alcohol not included.)

Connie Coker can be reached by email at or by phone at (914)-522-6128. Please send the above info ASAP and contact her if you have any questions.

A group of rooms has been reserved at the Fairfield Inn, (518)-435-1800. A double room is $104 plus tax, so grab a friend and reserve at this special rate! Reservations can also be made at other area hotels.

We look forward to seeing you in Albany!

Two new books published by New York State midwives in 2013!

Sakina O'Uhuru, LM, published Journey to Birth: The Story of a Midwife's Journey and a Reflection of the Heroic Women She Served Along the Way. Sakina writes, "This book is about my life journey as a home-birth midwife. It includes the many home births I attended during my sixteen years as a practitioner, with particular attention to the last ten years. During this journey, I have learned a myriad of life lessons. Most of them strengthened me and my ability to continue on this path. There were incredible challenges, both joyful and painful. The most challenging lessons happened to be the most life-changing and transformative. Those lessons impacted my life tremendously, first as a woman, second as a mother and grandmother, and most assertively as a basic human being." 

Ellen Cohen, LM published Laboring: Stories of a New York City Hospital MidwifeEllen writes, "This book was written in hopes of promoting the midwifery model of providing safe, respectful and empowering care to every woman in the often challenging environment of hospital practices." For a wonderful review of Ellen's book, please visit NYSALM's blog.

New International Confederation of Midwives representative from Puerto Rico

Frances Ganges, newly named Chief Executive of the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM), sent the following message after a conversation with Dorothea Lang, who represents ICM at the UN:

I just spoke with Dorothea and she asked me to let you know that Irene De La Torre (head of the program in Puerto Rico) is now the new ICM Board member for North America and The Caribbean! We are very excited. Please see the news item on the ICM website (home page near bottom).

Barriers to practice?

Are you a midwife who is experiencing obstacles to practice? Are you a consumer who is experiencing obstacles to working with the midwife of your choice?

If so, tell us: participate in NYSALM's data collection survey.

New study released about benefits of midwifery care

As health care costs and the rate of cesarean births for expecting mothers have escalated over the past two decades in the United States, a new study shows that women who receive care at midwife-led birth centers incur lower medical costs and are less likely to have cesarean births compared to women who give birth at hospitals. For ACNM's press release, visit this link.

Our Moment of Truth: a new understanding of midwifery care

ACNM's new website to learn more about modern midwifery. 

Find Midwife Jobs

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Distance: miles

New season of "Call the Midwife" kicks off!

Nancy Kraus, LM reviews the season premiere in NYSALM's blog.


Our Annual Gathering this year was held in Seneca Falls, NY.  The mid-October date meant that we were treated to the vibrant fall colors of the Finger Lakes region, and we were lucky to have fabulous weather throughout the weekend!
On Friday night, attendees enjoyed wine and cheese followed by a presentation by Dr. Ellen Biggers. Dr. Biggers is an attending physician and clinical faculty member at St. Peter’s Health Partners in Albany. She spoke to us about the importance of collaborative relationships between healthcare providers, and the different ways collaborative relationships are implemented across the United States.  Her powerpoint presentation included discussion of power dynamics, communication, and the varying levels of success with different collaborative models. 
The business portion of the Annual Meeting was held on Saturday morning.  NYSALM’s treasurer, Lily Dalke, gave a report on NYSALM’s finances. We also heard our ACNM regional representative, Annie Gibeau, speak about the many benefits of ACNM membership.  NYSALM President Patricia Burkhardt presented an award to Dr. Biggers for her wonderful collaboration with midwives and her work in her community and beyond. Dr. Biggers has served three terms on the state Board of Midwifery, has completed volunteer service in Peru and Rwanda, lectured widely, and has been an educator and preceptor for many physician assistants, midwives, and nurse practitioners.
After the Annual Meeting, many attendees headed to the National Women’s Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, where Ina May Gaskin was inducted.  Ina May and the other inductees (including Bernice Resnik Sandler, Kate Millet, and Nancy Pelosi) were presented with medals and made speeches.  Rep. Pelosi also brought many of her female colleagues with her to the ceremony.  It was a fascinating, moving afternoon—and don’t despair if you missed it! A recording of the event is available via the National Women’s Hall of Fame (link)(video here).
In the evening, we returned to our hotel for dinner and a presentation on a new IUC, sponsored by Bayer.  Frances Ciavaglia told us about the research on Skyla, a new, levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine contraceptive system.  After her presentation, we enjoyed a lecture by Evelyn Resh, CNM, (link) on the sexual health needs of peri- and post-menopausal women, as well as a discussion of how gender and power dynamics affect sex.  It was a very educational evening!
On Sunday morning, Ina May Gaskin joined us for brunch and a discussion of the future midwifery in the United States and beyond.  We had a lively conversation with contributions from many of our attendees.
All in all, it was a beautiful weekend in Seneca Falls.  A big thanks to the organizing committee for getting this great event together.  We hope to see you all next year!