Birth is the most fundamental human rights issue. Safe and successful childbirth options are the strong foundation upon which every healthy society grows.
Because of standards of care and scope of practice established over nearly four decades, Washington state midwifery care is positioned to become an example of excellence in maternity care to the rest of the nation. These standards must be maintained and expanded upon if we are to bring our national birth outcomes up to the level of care being provided by other developed countries worldwide, which utilize higher levels of midwifery than does the United States.
The most basic human right for every woman is the right to choose her place of birth and who will attend her. Personal autonomy and responsibility are paramount to a civilized and peaceful society.
Childbirth is the most profound pivotal life event. Because the health of each individual is literally imprinted during pregnancy and at birth, physically, mentally, and emotionally, we recognize the inherent truth that Peace on earth begins with birth and the importance of First, do no harm (the historic touchstone of medicine), as the foundations of birth care.
Mothers and babies do best in an environment conducive to respect for the physiology of birth, and which encourages and actively promotes better health. Classical midwifery has been shown to best serve that need.
WARM recognizes each womans unique spiritual, psychological and biological experience of childbirth. All forms of midwifery should be legal and available, with educational and inter-professional support to ensure that all families have safe access to models of care which best serve them.
Studies based upon non-physiological birth are not applicable to physiological birth. Physiological birth results in superior outcomes for most mothers and babies.
Midwives were the original healthcare providers to birthing families, and are still the experts on physiological birth.
No single limited or narrowly-defined model of maternity or midwifery care will ever be appropriate for all women; many styles of individualized care must be legal and available in order to serve the needs of birthing families.
Outcomes are further improved for mothers and babies through continuity of care from preconception through lactation, with professional cooperation and collaboration and with rapid and easy access for midwives to make referrals for medical and complimentary medical care whenever indicated.
© 2014 by WARM. Last revised 2014 March 30.
WARM credits the Global Midwifery Council's Mission Statement for inspiring much of the wording adopted by WARM.
To ensure that safe, legal, and respectful midwifery care options during childbirth are available to every woman in the state.
To maintain a community platform for issues pertaining to childbirth.
To receive and respond to needs and requests about birth from mothers and babies statewide, and diligently protect the rights and freedoms of birthing families.
To promote midwifery, with a variety of models that work to provide safe, humane, respectful, organic, culturally-appropriate maternal and infant care throughout the childbearing years.
To promote professional respect and cooperation among all styles of midwives regardless of type of credentials or lack thereof, and between midwives and other types of birth professionals.
To strengthen midwifery education, continuing education, and access to a local, national, and international network of experienced and aspiring midwives and supportive caregivers.
To improve outcomes by offering inclusive educational opportunities for all types of midwives, birth professionals, and students.
To encourage the expansion of the autonomous scope of practice of midwives, both collectively and individually, to regain all of the original scope of practice traditionally exercised by midwives, as well as incorporate related elements of modern science whenever appropriate and useful.
To respond to specific educational needs and requests to help develop and support local midwifery to achieve a standard of skills and excellence that empowers Washington midwives to exceed the nationwide outcomes for maternity care.
To work in association with sister midwifery organizations around the world.
To work with state entities to maintain these goals at all times, to include proper legal authority of and protection for the midwifery profession as a whole and its members individually.
To protect these goals and philosophy of midwifery, and diligently guard against the erosion, diminishment, or legal encroachment upon these goals and philosophy, or upon the expanded scope of practice which is critical to the attainment of these goals.