Monday, October 24, 2011

An open letter to Bridget Lynch, past President of ICM

This letter, written by midwife Robyn Thompson, is addressed to Bridget Lynch, immediate past President of the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM).  The Australian College of Midwives (ACM) is a member organisation of ICM.

I was privileged to be introduced to, and speak with you Bridget at the Australian College of Midwives Conference on Thursday October 20th 2011 in Sydney. I was in the right place at the right time in midwifery history.

A passionate midwife of 38 years, 25 of those having been invited to midwife with women in their homes, it was an unbelievable relief to hear your wise midwifing, your words of wisdom and direction.

Bridget, your presence and words were even more important after years of repeated professional horizontal violence in this country. Very similar at times to that of, the professional violation that we witnessed during the Annual General Meeting at this conference.

That aside now, it is hard to fathom as an elder of rich midwifery experience and many more years with life experience, how midwives, the very people who nurture the mother and her baby can contemplate disrupting the human rights of any woman. The right to be in her quiet, protected space, the place where she finds it safe to journey with her womanly‐mammalian strengths through growing, giving birth and mothering her new baby.

I remind myself how lucky we all were at this time in history to hear your guiding direction, the leader of ICM displaying her true connection ‘with woman – with midwife’. A voice of experience, advising Australian Midwives to avoid the pitfalls of political power and dominance, to stand strong and united, with one voice as a profession in our own right.

Bridget through your encouragement, you have provided the unique opportunity for Australian midwives to rethink their professional redirection. Your advice for strategic planning with the members, a ‘bottom up’ rather than the ‘top down’ approach will certainly be a new challenge. Your advice to seek out expert advisors in specific areas and to feel good about paying for that expert service, will be another new challenge.

If we are smart we will draw on your advice to strategise the way we will steer and strengthen the future of midwifery.

My hope, like yours has been to move healthy women out of hospitals for the sick and injured, back into Community Birthing Homes, where midwives attend women.

With many new challenges for future direction we should be ready to reclaim the "silos" of Midwifery Education, Midwifery Regulation and Association to ensure that our right as a Midwifery profession is distinct from nursing and medicine.

You made me feel like there is new hope and because of that I can now look forward to some happy twilight years because of your sensible, expert advice and international leadership.

In appreciation, yours in midwifery 
Robyn Thompson
Maternal & Child Health Nurse
(Formerly Registered Nurse)
Bachelor of Applied Science
PhD Candidate

1 comment:

Sarah Stewart said...

You must have read my mind because I have just written a similar post , inspired by Bridget, which is scheduled to be published this time next week. Totally agree with what you've said here :)