“Where’s My Midwife?”: Our Mission

There is a core group of us committed to creating a positive outcome. Our mission is to increase access to midwives in hospitals, free-standing birthing centers and at home through education and advocacy.

We are in no away against obstetricians; we are for choice! Doctors themselves are advocates. Consider the over 200 local doctors who are part of StopTitan.org Another corporation directly affecting the health of local families!

Dismantling of the midwifery program was a “corporate decision” because of “operational requirements”. This is the way decisions are made and explained by those in executive offices. The letter that was sent out to the midwifery patients is a fine example of “politically correct”, cold and uncaring language, as many of you have expressed. This was not written by the obstetricians who will absorb the midwifery patients. Those doctors want the patients to know that they do care about them, but how would you know? The Midwifery Model of Care allows a midwife to get to know her patients and create personal bonds. The phrase itself, “operational requirements” is open-ended and leaves lots of room for misunderstanding.

I suggest to the almost 100 patients who expected to be delivered by the midwives at Carolina Ob/Gyn between Aug 2009-Jan 2009, as I suggested to the Office Manager of Carolina Ob/Gyn last Thursday, to request a town hall type meeting with those patients and the doctors who will now deliver them. These patients need to ask their questions and air their concerns with their doctors. A second suggestion I made was to make an appointment to speak to a doctor about the style of care they provide and how they can best serve you. This should not be a prenatal check up where your urine is sampled and cervix checked. The idea is to have the time to get to know your doctor as a person, like we know the midwives, before they preform intimate procedures. The Office Manager, Elizabeth Lesh, assured me that time will be made for these appointments. Now, it is up to the patients to schedule them. As a doula, I have worked with many doctors who were supportive of a family’s birth plan. Please, speak with your care provider to find out how they feel.

As for the corporate angle, I cannot be convinced it wasn’t a money issue. I own a business and the majority of my business decisions are based on making money! Therefore, it is directly up to the patients of Carolina Ob/Gyn, the consumers who pay for their care, to address Wilmigton Health Associates with their concerns. As a group “Where’s My Midwife?” needs to remain positive and work toward future goals of open access to midwives in our town and nationally. This means:

1. New Hanover Regional Medical Center needs to change their policy on midwifery care to a more open and accessible one. This is why we are picketing them and will remain doing so until they set a time and date to meet with us! (See the post that shows the letter sent to Dr. Cooper)

2. We want a free-standing birth center in Wilmington. All the proceeds of the “Where’s My Midwife?” fundraisers will go towards this goal. (I am sorry, NHRMC, but deciding on widescreen tv’s instead of a bathtub installed in each labor room doesn’t appease me!)

3. We want licensure for CPM’s to practice in our State. (Join NCFOM, North Carolina Friends of Midwives)

“Where’s my midwife?” is taking on a life of it’s own! There are many families directly impacted by the dismantling of the midwifery program at Carolina Ob/Gyn. For those families interested in letting Carolina Ob/Gyn know how their decision affected them please join with the others who were patients of Suzanne and Pamela. Infomation will be posted on the Facebook group “Where’s My Midwife?” and the new website authored by such a mom: http://www.WheresMyMidwife.org



  1. Brenda said

    I too have owned and operated more than one business. In my initial letter to Carolina Ob/GYN, I stated:

    “In the past, I was the CEO of my own company. I realize the difficult and complex decisions that must be made in ensuring the fiscal health and viability of a business. ……so I am not naïve to the reality of it being a business, despite the mission of human care. But having that experience also gives me insight into the nature of acceptable vs. non-acceptable risks in achieving the business objectives.”

    When I received a call from the CEO, he assured me it wasn’t financial and that the mid-wifery program was actually very profitable for them. However, when the statement and letter were subsequently issued referencing operational requirements, I couldn’t help but wonder what actual decision point was. I also couldn’t help but wonder why when I came to the practice there were three midwives and one was never replaced if the program was so profitable. What I do know is that in the medical world, doctor satisfaction has generally reigned supreme over patient satisfaction.

  2. sherry barbee said

    I love the practice in Albemarle, For Women Only with Becky Yates she has helped me more than any other doctor ever has. I have been trying to get help for menopause for 10 years and she has made me feel like my old self again and I am so thankful and her office is so nice they all make you just feel at home. I do not want to loose her practice and will do whatever I can to help keep it. Thank you , sherry barbee

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