It Is the Others That Need Us the Most

Posted by Katie Moriarty on
© Neal Street Productions

Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in this blog post are solely those of the author.

“The people were reclaiming their city from the bombings of an old war.
There was now a drive to cleanse …… a desire to build anew and a need to forge a world that was worthy of its citizens."

This episode did not steer clear of hard subject matter – sexuality, hatred of people different than yourself (in this case the Irish), and housing conditions for the poor. Also, Shelagh uses her investigative skills for a public health situation using data linking and tracking.

As a Modern Day Midwife in Detroit all of these issues are all too real in the year 2015. This past week I attended a task force meeting which addressed inequity in birth outcomes in Detroit and this past Friday morning a W.K. Kellogg morning café talk about the Detroit Equity Action Lab which has as a goal the support for a movement for racial equity. They discussed how children born in Detroit are systematically excluded from the ‘American Dream’. The presenter (Dr. Peter Hammer) discussed varied metrics. These metrics were mapped out and there was a discussion about ‘spatial racism’. Some of the metrics or examples of opportunities to a region were things such as housing, employment, schooling, health, transportation, food security, and living environments. There was a discussion about the dynamic interactions between belief systems and institutions and how we need to envision the Detroit we want!

Throughout my career as a midwife I have seen many women, couples, and situations. We have to be very open and listen and help people through many challenges. Sometimes we are in protection mode and need to give that safe spot for people to land. People need to be seen and to be heard. As a midwife I have worked with every configuration of family you can imagine and it is an honor to help them walk with dignity through the door into motherhood.

Recently a fellow certified nurse-midwife told me about an initiative to expand on the childbirth education experience for people. The current course structures tend to be heterosexual focused and there are many people that do not fit into this tidy scenario. And there has been a lot of work at the American College of Nurse Midwives in the area of addressing diversity and inclusion within our profession. We had a recent workshop about Diversity and Inclusion. Diversity means all the ways we differ. Some of these differences we are born with and cannot change. Anything that makes us unique is part of this definition of diversity. Inclusion involves bringing together and harnessing these diverse forces and resources, in a way that is beneficial. Inclusion puts the concept and practice of diversity into action by creating an environment of involvement, respect, and connection — where the richness of ideas, backgrounds, and perspectives are harnessed! To be successful you really need to address both diversity and inclusion. This coming June at our National Meeting in Washington, DC there will be workshops and open sessions exploring this much more- this is a good thing for our profession.

I thank Call the Midwife for addressing this tough topic. The show had me thinking for days.

“That place which we call home must be the place in which we are ourselves…no facades, no foundations weak below us. Only then can we face outwards with our heads held high playing the roles assigned to us with open, honest hearts.”


KatieMoriarty.jpg Katie Moriarty (CNM, PhD, CAFCI, RN) is the Director of Nurse-Family Partnership at Detroit Wayne County Health Authority and currently serves on the regional board of directors for the American College of Nurse-Midwives. Prior to her current position, Katie served as the Associate Director of the Nurse-Midwifery Education Program at the University of Michigan.
Read More About Katie |  Read All Posts by Katie

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