The whirlwind adventures of 2013

New beginnings
New beginnings

I slipped away from my blog for what seemed to be a minute or two. In a blink of the eye so much happened. I started the year with a big surprise—I got engaged to my old lover from 20 years ago, dear friend, and very talented and sweet man, Fred Heltenen.

Baby barn for books and small tractors
Baby barn for books and small tractors

We built a baby barn in which to store my books—Into These Hands,Wisdom From Midwives—as well as tractors, garden implements, kayaks, homestead tools, building materials and other stuff.

My dive master and scuba team

I earned my PADI scuba certification and we went deep sea diving—a lifelong dream of mine—in a marine reserve in the Yucatan, way south near Belize. We visited an underwater fantasia of eagle rays, colorful corals and schools of gorgeous fish of all sizes and interesting shapes.

My daughter Leah got engaged to her sweetheart, JoMo, which was very exciting. I traveled all across the United States working with midwives, and I taught a half-dozen workshops around the country for the Healthy Native Babies Program.

Bob Russell, dear friend, shine on!
Bob Russell, dear friend, shine on!

My good friend and fellow environmental and peace activist, Bob Russell, gave up the good fight with cancer, fell into a deep sleep, and walked into the Spirit World.

Throughout the year I continued my work as the Executive Director of the Midwives Alliance of North America. Never a dull moment there.

Our wedding day, September 21, 2013
Our wedding day, September 21, 2013

And in the autumn my true love, Fred, and I got married on the Fall Equinox. It was also a full moon and the International Day of Peace. The ceremony was held in a cozy circle of family and close friends in a beautiful grape vineyard overlooking the Grand Traverse Bay.


Overlooking Petit Peton on St Lucia island
Overlooking Petit Peton on St Lucia island

We went on a honeymoon to St Lucia in the Caribbean Sea that was restful, adventurous, and simply divine. We also did more deep sea diving in the truly astounding underwater world. I am totally hooked!

Whew—and that’s only a small glimpse of the year. As 2013 begins to wind down and becomes a patchwork of amazing memories, I feel gratitude for blessings upon blessings, and for a life filled with both challenges and opportunities for growth and transformation.

Telling Our Stories

As seasoned midwives, each of us has stories to tell. Our years are filled with tales worth telling, and they will perish with us if they go untold. That is why I offered an invitation to these remarkable women to tell their stories in Into These Hands, Wisdom from Midwives about walking through the world in the shoes of a midwife.

Contributing author Marsha Jackson

The memoirs are not only about pregnancy and birth, newborns and new parents, but also about the politics and power struggles that have shaped how we do what we do. Many of us risked arrest or being jailed as we watched our beloved and honored profession become outlawed.

Almost every society in the world has midwives. Only two counties in the Western world have ever outlawed midwives. The United States is one. This book will tell you why.

An Elegant and Comprehensive Anthology

In order to give the reader a broad vista for viewing its multi-layered content Into These Hands, Wisdom from Midwives is divided into several sections: Opening, Introduction, Memoirs, Afterword, and Resources.


To set the mood and bring the reader right into the heart of the subject matter, the anthology begins with a short descriptive scene of a woman-centered natural birth attended by midwives in a family’s home involving three generations of family members.


Contributing author Casey Makela

You might wonder how midwives, who in many cultures are revered for their knowledge and wisdom, have become the oppressed class of maternity caregivers in modern America. The answer to that question is a long and fascinating story. The Introduction to the anthology provides the historical context readers need to comfortably navigate the entire text. The Introduction begins in the mid-twentieth century and continues through the end of the first decade of the twenty-first century.

By the mid-twentieth century the U.S. diverged from the deeply rooted traditions of woman attending woman in childbirth. By the mid to late twentieth century traditional midwives, such as Black Southern midwives and indigenous midwives, were successfully eliminated. In about 100 years, American women had lost control over childbirth. Into These Hands, Wisdom From Midwives© tell you how that happened.

The authors of this anthology came of age in the mid-to-late twentieth century during the Cultural Revolution that rocked the world. It was a time when many traditions were dismantled and anything was possible. At that time it was customary for women to be drugged and strapped down during their labors and births. But as a result of the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s and 1970s birthing women reclaimed responsibility for their reproductive choices.  A woman-centered, family-focused, social model of childbirth was fashioned and popularized in which women sought family physicians and midwives to be primary birth attendants for their low-tech natural births.

Contributing author Shafia Monroe

Women (and men) across the country fought hard for social and cultural reform, including childbirth reform. They re-learned how their bodies were designed to function in accommodating the natural processes of pregnancy, birth and lactation. And they discovered alternatives to drugs for dealing with pain and fear. In essence, they got off their backs and took charge.

It is during this era in which the authors in this book burst onto the American childbirth scene. Each authors had a unique path that influenced her calling to midwifery. Professional and general readers alike will find inspiration when reading these stories.

25 Memoirs of Courageous Women

Each author was asked to write a memoir by answering a series of 10 questions. Each memoir begins in the author’s early life and carries the reader along the path of what lead her to becoming a midwife, healer, revolutionary and reformer. Each author shares stories of the risks and rewards of her chosen profession. Each author shares pearls of wisdom about women’s procreative lives—conception, pregnancy, birth, lactation and parenting.

Contributing author Saraswathi Vedam

Because most of these authors are approaching the end of their active careers as midwives, they were also asked to share wisdom about what really matters in life. They expound upon the ethics of self-determination, serving one’s community, and living a life of compassion, activism and meaning.

Every story is filled with unforgettable gems. They contain luscious nuggets about crafting the kind of life one desires and deserves.


The Afterword draws together all of the individual strands of these extraordinary life stories and examines the fundamental question of why midwives matter in today’s society. In the Afterword the editor, Geradine Simkins, describes the midwives’ belief that every woman is a living environment and the chalice in which all human life gestates. She asserts that birth is not just a physiological event; it is a soul journey.

In the Afterword the editor summarizes the importance women attach to creating authentic relationships with midwives as healthcare providers, particularly in light of the fact that the average allotted office encounter with an obstetrician is only seven minutes long.

The editor also summarizes the fundamental question of self-determination. As women, are we in charge of our bodies, our births, our babies, our decisions and our lives, or not?

Contributing author Katsi Cook

For Midwives, courage underpins almost everything that we do. It is beyond boldness, it is beyond valor, and it is beyond daring. It is a way of life in the wake of risks we face to do the work we do. Every midwife in this anthology has breathed through the frightening process of freeing a baby stuck in its mother’s birth canal, or worse, staring death in the face.

Some of the authors in this text have opened their office doors to police, been charged with criminal activity for practicing midwifery, and sat in courtrooms while judges determined their fate. Courage is willingness, no matter how afraid we might be, to walk through life with an attitude of fearlessness.

Click here to see What Matters to Women, Matters to Midwives—13 Essentials

Click here for brief author bios

Insight Into A Different Kind of Healthcare Model

It is clear that our U.S. maternity care system is in crisis. In the Afterword of this book, the editor describes how the lives of these extraordinary women have been dedicated to a maternal and child healthcare model that is built on love, respect, justice, autonomy and the biological imperative of compassion. This model is different from the corporate bio-medical model and deserves serious consideration. Why? Because it works well, reduces unnecessary medical interventions, satisfies clients, saves money, and is fulfilling to those providing healthcare. If you are not already convinced, Into These Hands, Wisdom from Midwives© might just convince you.

Who Should Read This Book?

If you are a woman of reproductive age, her partner, or someone who loves her, you should read this book.  If you are a healthcare professional or a birth worker, you should read this book.  If you are a student or teacher in the fields of midwifery, medicine, history, sociology, anthropology, or women’s studies, you should read this book. If you are a general reader interested in memoir, social movements or healthcare reform, you should read this book. Why?

Contributing author Diane Holzer

Into These Hands, Wisdom from Midwives © is an important piece of contemporary literature. It is attracting a variety of readers because the authors are passionate (which draws the reader in), controversial (which stimulates discomfort, response or self-examination), intriguing (with remarkable characters facing high stakes and extraordinary situations), complex (which speaks to a diverse readership), educational (with valuable historical insight, data and resources), and enduring (because of the universality of the central themes.)

Into These Hands, Wisdom from Midwives is a must read!

What Matters to Women, Matters to Midwives – 13 Essentials

In the Afterward of Into These Hands, I identified common themes in the memoirs by analyzing “what matters?” to each of these midwives. I discerned 13 identifiable themes.


What Matters to Women, Matters to Midwives – 13 Essentials ©

1. Context Matters

CONTEXT is the circumstance in which events occur that will, to a large degree, determine meaning, define who is in power, and have a profound effect on those giving birth, those being born, and birth workers.

“Birth, this elegant, simple, yet intricate process has had unnecessary, complex, expensive technology superimposed onto it, creating a dangerous environment for birthing women.”
–Alice Bailes

2. Content Matters

CONTENT of maternity care is defined by the model of care. The midwifery model and the medical model each utilize different content, such as values, beliefs, ethics; skills, tools, interventions: practices, protocols, providers; politics, economics, and so on. While birth remains the same the world over, the model of care is a cultural construct.

“Midwives carry sacred knowledge of reproductive processes. The mother-infant bond, for example, is so central to the aims of healing and social transformation that it’s not just about delivering babies. It’s about the power of women to transform life.”
–Katsi Cook

3. Holism Matters

HOLISM in midwifery practice recognizes that what affects one part affects all parts because everything is intimately connected.

“At the moment of birth, there is a rare and brief glimpse of the connection between this world and another, of before and after, of mortal and immortal, of spiritual and physical, of known and unknown.”
–Ida Darragh

4. Nature Matters

NATURE has designed the elegantly complex processes of pregnancy, birth, lactation, and mother-infant attachment to work innately, and in most cases, no amount of tampering can improve them.

“I think midwifery was developed by people with common sense, people who were close to nature, and people who observed other species of mammals and saw that there were lessons there to be learned.”
–Ina May Gaskin

5. Sacred Matters

Midwives say there is a SACRED and invisible domain through which women and infants must pass to birth and be born. Birth is not just physiological; it is a soul journey.

“I pushed three times, and for a moment I felt I had the Universe between my legs…an image of the Hindu Goddess Kali giving birth to the Universe. It left me joyfully ecstatic. It changed my life forever.”
–Arisika Razak

6. Relationship Matters

It is essential in human nature to be in RELATIONSHIP with one another. Midwives and the clients they serve are dynamically intertwined like a braided grapevine of interlaced roots, branches and fruits that feed and support one another.

“I have learned that when you are with a client, she must feel as if she is the only person in your life. She is the center.”
–Abby J. Kinne

7. Compassion Matters

COMPASSION is not a luxury, it is a biological imperative, because as humans our brains are hardwired to care about one another.

“Women need to be cared for and given a safe haven as they walk through the sacrament of birth. Babies need to be properly welcomed as they begin their Earth Walk.”
–Geradine Simkins

8. Self-Determination Matters

At the core of the ethic of SELF-DETERMINATION is the critical question: Are women in charge of their bodies, their births, their babies, their decisions and their lives, or not? Midwives resoundingly say “yes” and relentlessly advocate for women.

“Years of standing by, of listening to thousands of birth songs, birth cries, complaints, years of seeing joy, blood, sweat and tears have taught me…a woman and her baby are wise together.”
–Kip Kozlowski

9. Service Matters

The ethic of SERVICE affords deep connection to a community, creates an experience of belonging and purpose, and allows us to live our passions.

“My walls were lined with honors, yet I reflect that somehow it seemed wrong to reward me for doing what I loved to do. I consider myself blessed beyond measure to live and work in such an authentic manner as I was granted.”
–Sister Angela Murdaugh

10. Activism Matters

ACTIVISM is about ordinary citizens taking charge of creating what we want and fighting for what we feel is right. It is not idealistic. It is a pratical way to live, a way that many culture have, and still do, function.

“I love catching the baby, it is the ultimate experience, but I am also birthing a movement that will eradicate infant mortality, increase breastfeeding rates, and increase the number of Black midwives to improve community health.”
–Shafia Monroe

11. Courage Matters

COURAGE underpins almost everything that midwives do. It is beyond boldness, it is beyond valor, and it is beyond daring. Courage is not a skill, it is a way of life, a willingess to walk with an attitude of fearlessness.

“I never intended to be an outlaw, but I was born at a time when the midwifery profession was illegal in many states. Future generations will wonder why we risked jail and our freedom to do midwifery. It is our hope that our grandchildren and our great grandchildren can be born without fear, safely and surrounded by love, into the hands of midwives.
–Kate Bowland

12. Lineage Matters

Midwives know and value that we stand on the shoulders of a LINEAGE of ancestor midwives. They may be blood relatives or the family tree of indigenous, traditional, immigrant or grand midwives of the past. They are connected throughout time to this lineage.

“The Smithsonian exhibit celebrated the impact and work done by ‘granny’ midwives from the 17th century to the present and included my authentic birth bag and supplies I take to home births. I learned so much about my sister midwife ancestors. It was in my blood!”
Marsha Jackson

13. Midwives Matter

MIDWIVES matter because what they offer women, infants, and families is unique, ephemeral, artisanal, precious and rare. Midwives will relentlessly advocate for women and will continually take risks in their own lives to support women’s choices.

“I know how we are born makes a difference. The midwives who fought to keep birth sacred and free can be seen as folk heros. We are legendary! I am proud to be part of this noble cause.”
Linda McHale

Birth Matters. How one gives birth, and how one is born, matters deeply.

Whether we enter it intentionally or unintentionally, happily or unhappily, prepared or unprepared, giving birth is a rite of passage like no other. And afterwards, birth is forever embedded in our memories and embodied in our flesh. It is something we remember deep in our bones and our souls our whole lives.

Photo Credit for images on this page: Tina L. Williams

New Life, New Family

Vanessa, Sam & Lyla Simkins

This year my nephew Sam (whom I caught when he was born) married his love, Vanessa, and they gave my brother & sister-in-law their first grand baby, and my mother her first great grand baby.

Her name is Lyla, and she was born at home with midwives, as was her daddy and most of his siblings. I caught a few of them.

My mother, Margaret already has a flock of fabulous grand kids, but she was thrilled to be adding the next generation to her tribe. She was especially jazzed to be in Detroit (from her home in Arizona) just when Lyla was born. Most of her grand babies (including my three kids) have been born at home with midwives, and Grandma Margaret has been present for many of their births. What a blessing for the babies, the parents and for grandma.

Grandmother Margaret and her batch of grand babies

Along with Lyla we received a new bunch of relatives this year. All of Vanessa’s people are from Macedonia so it was interesting to see how the Irish and the Macedonians mingled. As it turns out we had a wonderful, wild and memorable time together with multiple parties, venues and events.

So, even though the extended family looks rather serious in the photo below-it is a cover for what turned out to be a rather robust and spirited gathering together. Weddings and new babies are the best!

The merged tribes at the day-after party at Camp Simkins

Been Gone, I’m Back

It’s been a wild and crazy summer. I have been traveling in the air, on the ground, and across the waterways of the Great Lakes. It is that time now, however, that we in the North woods think about settling down and tucking in for the winter, and gathering the resources we need for the short days and long nights ahead.

The bounty of my friend Nancy Curley’s garden

It’s a really good time to write, and to think about ways to promote what I have already written. If you have any ideas about how to get Into These Hands, Wisdom From Midwives into the hands of a broader audience please let me know. It’s a great read.

Be well, especially those who are on the East coast battling hurricane Sandy.

On the road with my book!

Robbie-Davis-Floyd, medical anthropologist (left), endorsed Into These Hands: Wisdom from Midwives. Robbie kindly took a picture with me at the CIMS Conference in March 2011.

I have been told I am a captivating public speaker, and certainly, I have enjoyed going on the road, presenting at national and international professional meetings and conferences. I have delighted in designing a presentation detailing my work as editor of the Into These Hands, Wisdom from Midwives anthology and sharing the wisdom contained.

I’ve structured my roadshow presentation around the anthology themes outlined in the Afterword of the book. I analyzed the 25 individual memoirs in the context of the anthology as a whole and identified common themes of “what matters” to all of the book’s authors. I did this by listening to what they talked about, how they lived their lives, and how they practiced professionally. I discerned 13 persistent themes, which I promise to dive into in a future post.

Here is a picture from a recent presentation I gave:


Looking back across 2012, 2011, and 2010 and to give you a sense of how busy I’ve been lately and the incredible response to Into These Hands, Wisdom from Midwives, here is the log of my presentations, from most recent to oldest:



  • Midwives Alliance Annual Conference (MANA), Monterey, California, September 27-30


  • Michigan Council of Nurse-Practitioners, March 23-25
  • National Healthy Start Association, Washington, DC, March 11-14


  • Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA) Region 5 Conference, Mesa, Arizona, February 17-19
  • Unity Wisdom Seekers, Phoenix, Arizona, February 14


  • Joint Conference of the Canadian Midwifery Association, Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA) and American College of Nurse Midwives (ACNM), Niagara Falls, Canada, November 9-12


  • Very excited to meet the Diva of Soul, Erykah Badu (right), who went home with my book!

    International Center for Traditional Childbearing (Black Midwives and Healers), Biloxi, Mississippi, October 14-16


  • Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan, Healthy Start Conference, September 21
  • 2nd International Meeting on Indigenous Women’s Health, Albuquerque, New Mexico, September 14-16
I was thrilled to be able to give a copy of Into These Hands: Wisdom from Midwives to Buffy Sainte-Marie, Cree Indian, and celebrated singer-songwriter, musician, composer, and activist (center) in New Mexico in September 2011.










International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) Council members assemble in Durban, South Africa in June 2011.
  • International Confederation of Midwives (ICM), 29th Triennial Congress, Durban, South Africa, June 19-23


  • American College of Nurse Midwives (ACNM) 56th Annual Meeting and Exposition, San Antonio, Texas, May 24-28
  • Horizon Books, Traverse City, Michigan, May 7
  • Michigan Midwives Association, Lansing, Michigan, May 5-6


  • International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN) Conference, St. Louis, Missouri, April 8-10
  • Mama’s Rising, hosted by CHOICE (Center for Humane Options in Childbirth Experiences) and the Midwives Alliance of North America, Columbus, Ohio, April 4
  • Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA) Board of Directors Meeting, Columbus, Ohio, April 3


  • Coalition for Improving Maternity Services (CIMS) Mother-Friendly Forum, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, March 11-12


  • American Public Health Association’s (APHA) 138th Annual Meeting & Exposition, Denver Colorado
Contributing authors Jennie Joseph (front left) and Saraswathi Vedam (front right) joined me in presenting at the MANA Conference in Nashville, TN in October 2010.


  • Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA) 28th Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee
  • 7th International Black Midwives and Healers Conference, sponsored by International Center for Traditional Childbearing, Los Angeles, California
Presentation at the 7th International Black Midwives & Healers Conference, Los Angeles, California, October 2010. I’m on the left and joined by Contributing Authors Marsha Jackson, Jennie Joseph, Makeda Camara and Diane Holzer (left to right).







  • International Midwifery and Humanized Birth Conference, San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico


  • International Confederation of Midwives (ICM), 3rd Americas Regional Conference, Kingston Jamaica, West Indies

By the way, I am available for media interviews, book signings and other opportunities for book promotion and sales for Into These Hands, Wisdom From Midwives. Feel free to contact me: Geradine Simkins,, 231.228.5857.

Activism Has Many Faces

3 Social Activists: Midwife Marinah Valenzuela-Farrell (immigration rights), Buffy Sainte-Marie (indigenous rights), Geradine Simkins (women's rights)

I met one of my activist heros at the 2nd International Indigenous Women’s Health Conference held in Albuquerque last month. Buffy Sainte-Marie made history with her song—Universal Soldier—during the Vietnam War era. The song was actually about the individual responsibility we all share for war, for making, financing or sustaining wars. Her song won her fame in the anti-war movement, but as a Canadian Cree singer and songwriter, it also got her banned from many U.S. concert and educational venues.  That song is what she is most known for—but Buffy remained an activist on many fronts for the next four decades using her music and poetry to educate and affect social change, and to work for the rights of indigenous people and their lands.

Buffy was a keynote speaker at the Indigenous Women’s Health Conference. I was there to represent Healthy Native Babies, a SIDS risk-reduction program sponsored by the National Institute of Health. I have been a co-designer and consultant for this project since its inception over eight years ago.

I had the great good fortune to hear Buffy speak and sing, and then to offer her a signed copy of my book as a gift for her years of activism on the planet. I figured she would love to read about the courageous midwives who have been relentlessly working and advocating for women’s rights during the same time period in which Buffy has been working for human rights. It was real honor and very exciting to stand next to Buffy Sainte-Marie and to send her home with my book!

My Beloved Friend Abby Died Today

After the long and tedious four-year cycle of conception, gestation, growth, and birth, my

Co-Authors, Geradine Simkins & Abby J. Kinne

first book—Into These Hands, Wisdom From Midwiveswas finally published in Spring 2011.  As it turned out, the first people to see it in print were the Board of Directors of the Midwives Alliance. Our spring board meeting was held in Ohio at the gorgeous handmade dream home of Abby J. Kinne, one of the co-authors in my book, and a former MANA board member.

Abby and I had served on the MANA board for many years together in a variety of capacities, most recently when she was 1st Vice President, Diane Holzer was President, and I was 2nd Vice President. We were a dynamic trio with very different personalities and skill sets that blended to make a rather lively and effective leadership team for MANA.  Among the many things we did together was to create the framework for the Division of Research, authoring the first draft of the document that described the structure and function of the MANA DOR so that the Division could get up and running.

Coming Out Party at Abby's House At the 2011 spring board meeting we had a “Coming Out Party” for my book. One of our board members, Adrian Feldhusen, made chocolate covered strawberries, somebody had chilled bottles of Champagne, and board members clambered to get signatures of the four co-authors who were present —Abby Kinne, Jennie Joseph,

Co-Authors, Jennie, Gera, Abby & Linda

Linda McHale and me (Geradine Simkins.)  It was one of the most exciting, emotional, proud, humbling, and amazing moments of my life. Abby was a gracious host, sharing her home, land, pond, and sanctuary with the MANA board.

Abby willingly accepted my invitation to be one of the co-authors for my book. But somewhere between her acceptance and her commitment to write her memoir, her beloved firstborn son, Rick, was killed in a motorcycle accident. As you would expect—Abby did not feel that she could go on. She was in a deep depression and could not function well much less write a memoir. I encouraged, cajoled, and begged her to write. I said that her living children deserved to hear her story, to have her legacy, in her own words. Reluctantly, Abby agreed.  And what happened is that Abby wrote, and wrote, and wrote. It was cathartic. She told her story; the story of her loved ones, and included photos of her family throughout. In the end Abby thanked me for pushing her because writing her story was one of the most therapeutic things she could have done. Each time she included a piece about Rick in her memoir she released a piece of her grief and replaced it with celebration of Rick’s life. Here is a sketch that illustrates this point.

On one occasion, our oldest son, Rick demonstrated to us just how deeply affected he had been by having a midwife for a mother. He was sixteen at the time, and we had been living in a barn with an open floor plan. I taught childbirth education classes there each week. There were no walls in the barn, and the children had to retreat to their rooms in the loft to quietly read or play so I could teach class. On this occasion I had been at a birth that day, but the baby had been born, so I called home to ask Rick to tell my students that I would be late. I suggested that he show them a birth video while waiting for me to arrive. When I arrived home, I discovered Rick teaching my class, using my outline! He told me he had heard me teach it so many times from his bed in the loft that he knew it all by heart. He even asked one of the women if he could palpate her baby. Now, how many teenage boys would have done that?

Today my friend Abby died in her sleep. She had been at her midwifery office last night

Abby J.Kinne, Midwife, Mother, Wife, Grandmother, Friend

working with her colleagues.  She appeared healthy and no one suspected anything odd. In the morning, today, her husband Fred discovered that she was gone—passed on to the Other Side.

I share this story to honor my esteemed colleague and beloved friend, and to celebrate a small piece of her extraordinary and rich life. Abby, dear one, travel well and safely into the Next World. Ashe.

Geradine the Queen Meets Queen of Neo

In 2000, at the turn of the millennium, my music-savvy son Sean turned me on to Erykah

Erykah Badu has my book!

Badu. Since I grew up in Detroit during the Motown Era, Sean thought I would appreciate the eccentric neo-soul, hip-hop jazz sound of the Queen of Neo. He was right—I loved her music. And Erykah’s unique sense of fashion also intrigued me.


Never did I imagine that a decade later Erykah Badu would become the Spokeswoman for the International Center for Traditional Childbearing (Black Midwives and Healers) and a midwife aspirant herself.  I also could not have imagined that I would have written a book about midwives and would be gifting Erykah with a copy of my book.

Erykah and I met at the ICTC conference in Biloxi Mississippi last month. When I gave her an autographed copy she hugged me and said that she was going to take it to bed with her because she loves to read stories about midwives.   She also said she’d call me if she had any questions. I said, “For you, I’d pick up the phone any time of the day or night.” Wouldn’t that be fun—to get a call from the Queen of Neo?

The Three Pillars for Global Midwifery

The Three Pillars for Global Midwifery

In the triennium between 2008-2011, the ICM developed a group of essential documents through hard work by the Board, guidance from consultants who directed expert task forces, and support and participation by ICM member associations. These documents describe the “Three Pillars” of midwifery, which are education, regulation and associationE.R.A. The Three Pillars are interdependent. The Three Pillars embody ICM’s vision to strengthen midwifery worldwide in order to provide high-quality, evidence-based care for women, newborns, and childbearing families and decrease maternal and infant mortality. The documents together comprise the global standard for midwifery. The global standards were endorsed by the ICM Council members.

Geradine & ICM President Bridget Lynch

ICM President Bridget Lynch said, “I am proud to say that we are now the first health profession in the world to have achieved global standards for the competency, education, and regulation of our workforce. These, alongside the information provided by the UNFPA’s State of the World Midwifery Report, will be essential to the achievement of each country’s maternal mortality target.”

You can imagine how thrilled I was to be selected to present my book material at such an auspicious meeting as this historic meeting in Durban, with midwives from around the world.

Margaret & Geradine Simkins

It was an honor and very exciting. The presentation was well received.

In addition, my mother had also traveled to South Africa—in part to hear me give my presentation on the international stage—and so I was doubly thrilled to have her in the audience when I gave my talk.  It was a very exciting and memorable day—and in addition, it was my birthday!