Ginger Breedlove, CNM confirms that midwifery leaders don’t give a damn about dead babies


Is there medical professional more devoid of ethics, morality and simple human compassion than a midwife who ignores dead babies?

I doubt it, but Ginger Breedlove, CNM, former president of the American College of Nurse Midwives, appears willing to ignore all three when her profits and those of other birth workers are at stake.

Breedlove has produced what she imagines is a riposte to Gatehouse Media’s incredible expose of American homebirth midwives (CPMs, LMs), Failure to Deliver. Instead she confirms what seems to me to be its central contention: babies are dying as a result of substandard midwifery care and the midwifery leadership can’t be bothered to give a damn.

[pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Breedlove tries to bury dead babies twice, first in tiny coffins and then by refusing to acknowledge that they lived and died.[/pullquote]

The central characters in Failure to Deliver are the babies who died. Their lives and preventable deaths are engraved on the hearts of their bereaved parents. In a 600 word rant, Breedlove doesn’t mention the babies even once! Instead, like many homebirth advocates and midwifery leaders Breedlove attempts to bury dead babies twice, first in tiny coffins and then by trying to expunge their existence from public consciousness.

Yesterday, in writing about Failure to Deliver, I identified some of the tactics homebirth midwives use to mislead consumers. Today, Breedlove demonstrates them.

She starts with the bait and switch:

I submit we would NOT see this type of clear attack on midwives and birth centers in ANY other high-income country where midwives have worked for decades, in all settings, with far better outcomes while delivering far more babies than their OB counterparts.

Duh! The most important revelation in Failure to Deliver is that homebirth midwives (CPMs, LMs) don’t meet the standards of midwives in ANY other high income country, but try to trade on the achievements of those other midwives. Homebirth midwives seek to confuse consumers about this second, substandard class of midwives, and Breedlove continues the deliberate deception.

She includes the classic midwifery red herrings:

WHY NOW? When we are battling the highest rate of maternal mortality in over 20 years, untenable inequities for black and brown communities in receipt of comprehensive maternity care, the battle over respectful maternity care and realities of consumer choice?

Maternal mortality has risen because women are dying for LACK of high tech interventions, the very interventions that midwives don’t provide. Untenable inequities for black and brown communities? Indeed, the number of black and brown midwives is tiny. Perhaps midwives ought to look to their own glass house before throwing stones.

Breedlove rails against fear:

ANY news that begins with emergency 911 recordings is intentionally designed to evoke fear in the readership. For me, it leads with an intentional set up as a page turner that keeps you on the edge of your seat, and ends with provoking the same reader emotions – FEAR.

But why shouldn’t we fear the preventable deaths of babies? Oh, right, because it would hurt the incomes of midwives and what’s a few dead babies compared to midwife profit?

Again and again Breedlove ignores the dead babies to focus on midwives:

As we work at #GrowMidwives to advance the Midwifery profession among many stakeholders including hospitals, physicians, midwives and consumers, it is quite frustrating to have to sort out fact from fiction, misuse of titles, and a void of comparison to hospital birth with similar populations including relative risk data.

I can’t begin to imagine how Breedlove believes her “frustration” is more important than the preventable deaths of babies and the shattered lives of their parents, but apparently she does.

She has papers!

We have numerous studies to counter some of the cited associations made in the article about home birth and birth center birth.

So what! The tobacco companies had numerous studies to counter the association between tobacco and lung cancer. That didn’t make them true.

There is absolutely no question that CPMs and LMs have neonatal death rates triple (or more) death rates from comparable risk hospital birth. What does Breedlove plan to do about that? Absolutely nothing!

Ethical medical professionals put the wellbeing of their patients first. Not Breedlove:

And, #GrowMidwives will continue to help #GrowConsumers and others who see the value in full integration of Midwives in this country.

In the meantime, the rest of us will continue to work tirelessly to see the value in live, healthy babies and mothers. And we will continue to marvel and mourn the fact that enablers like Breedlove don’t give a damn and keep burying dead babies twice.

Breedlove should be ashamed of herself, but that would require both ethics and insight and apparently she has neither.