Virginia Midwives Alliance Statement of Purpose:

  • To create an organization that can unite all midwives in Virginia.
  • To facilitate communication among all midwives in Virginia.
  • To further the education of midwives.
  • To educate the public regarding midwifery and childbirth.
  • To respond to the legal needs of midwives in Virginia.
  • To further the alliance between midwives and other health care professionals.
  • To maintain affiliation with local and national organizations who share our interests, as well as midwifery organizations from other states.

Virginia Midwives Alliance History

The Logo: Seven-Sided Coin. Many facets of Beauty. Seven-sided & triangular doorways. Invitation to magnetize spiritual and creative hopes and dreams.  Embracing the Mystery.

Virginia Midwives Alliance was, until a 2015, known as the Commonwealth Midwives Alliance.  The following is an account of VMA (and CMA) history as recollected by one of its founding members:

To the best of my recollection, CMA was started in about 1983 by Sher Willis, Diane White, Jane Hearren and myself. CMA was primarily started to promote educational opportunities to VA and WV midwives and their apprentices. We wanted to provide a safe environment for all sister midwives to meet, learn and grow together in a way that promoted the traditional art and science of Midwifery.

We told a lot of birth stories. This telling of the stories was a constant affirmation of the tradition of Midwifery. We were all consciously aware that we were preserving something precious and sacred and worked diligently to gather information that would deepen our resources for the women and families that we served.

We met loosely on a monthly basis pouring over Heart & Hands, Birth Reborn, Spiritual Midwifery, Oxorn & Foote & Williams Obstetrics. We were especially interested in older Midwifery and OB texts.

We learned how to do pelvic and cervical exams by practicing on each other. (I remember that we made cervical exam charts using cardboard with yarn. We pasted the yarn onto the cardboard in circles that represented cervical dilation.) We practiced Leopolds by putting baby dolls under our clothes. We practiced retained placental removal by peeling an orange inside a sock!! Our meetings were always full of information, good food, pregnant women and LOTS of babies.

There were not many midwifery education opportunities available to us, so we created what we needed in order to gather information, share experience/wisdom and serve women and families.

We would have never envisioned the path that we were forging or the places that CMA would go. What an honor to have been apart of the conception, labor and birth of this incredible organization.”

~ Martha Hughes

Thank you, Martha, for sharing. I remember the day CMA was resurrected in Trinlie’s living room in April 1999 and how enthusiastic Leslie Payne was for change. Martha Hughes and Jane Hearren were there as well as Jacki Rooke, Rosemary Taibbi, and probably others. It was really fun and exciting to be in the presence of all those midwives. We told birth stories and dreamed of the CPM credential being recognized in VA. Jacki and I felt very empowered that day as we drove home together afterwards. I had only been in VA since Dec. 1996 and that was my first encounter with VA midwives other than Susan Cochran (now Oshel) and CNMs I met while in school. It was wonderful to see the vibrance of the homebirth “wise women.”

~ Hannah Mann

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Uniting Midwives Throughout Virginia