Help Us Keep our Midwife!
keep their home birth midwife
The Choice of a Safe Natural Birth
is not an Inconvenience,
It is a Basic Human Right
"When I reflect upon my 9 month transformation, I recall the largest catalyst to my growth, my midwife. Dena. She helped me discover my inner courage. She guided me through the greatest transformation in my life. For this she will never be forgotten. She is a part of my son's life story forever. His story begins with the miraculous adventure of a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean) homebirth."
Dena Moes RN MSN CNM is a certified nurse midwife who has been providing the families of Chico California with expert, compassionate midwifery care for over a decade. She has provided her warm, respectful guidance to hundreds of pregnant and birthing families, with 100% healthy babies.
Why do Families Choose a Midwife?
Home birth midwifery care focuses on supportive, holistic care during pregnancy and birth. The philosophy of midwifery is that pregnancy and birth are natural processes, and women are well-designed to birth and care for their babies. Studies consistently prove that when midwives are utilized, medical complications such as inductions of labor and cesarean sections are vastly reduced.
Midwifery care appeals to women who intend to birth naturally, bond with their babies immediately after birth, and breastfeed.
Why is there a need for Midwives?
California's hospitals have an average 32% cesarean section rate, according to 2013 data. This means that one in three woman giving birth in California hospitals, will do so by major abdominal surgery. The World Health Organization states that a reasonable cesarean rate for our population is 10- 12%. The National Institute of Health has declared a national cesarean epidemic and urges communities to support the use of midwives as a proven method to increase natural birth with equally healthy babies.
What Happened to Chico's Midwife, Dena Moes?
Dena opened her legal home birth midwifery service in 2005. Home birth rates in Chico doubled within a couple years, and then quickly doubled again thanks to Dena's reputation among families in the community. More home births means more occasional transfers from home to the hospital, in the event of a medical complication. Dena averages 2 to 3 transfers to local hospitals per year.
In 2010 a few Ob/Gyn doctors wrote a complaint to the California Board of Nursing. They listed the names of four women who had been transferred to the hospital from home births. Two were women Dena had not been the midwife for (or had even met), and two were women who developed complications, and were transferred per her physician approved practice guidelines.
This summer Dena will face an expensive legal proceeding between herself and a prosecuting attorney for the California Board of Nursing. She will be responsible for the financial costs of her attorney, the Board's attorney, and the entire five year investigation.
Chico could lose access to their only home birth certified nurse midwife.
Dena says "Thank you for your support. I envision a future where midwives, doctors, and hospitals work together for safe and healthy birth for all families, regardless of where and with whom they choose to give birth."
Midwives are the guardians of natural, healthy birth.
Now is our chance to stand up for Dena, as she has stood up for our most vulnerable citizens, our mothers and babies, for over a decade.
Please donate what you can to her legal defense fund, and help us keep our midwife! This fundraiser is sponsored by Sentient Circle, a 501(c)3 whose mission includes eliminating birth trauma through gentle, midwife-led birth. For more information visit www.birthintobeing.com/mission.
All contributions are tax-deductible.
What can I do?
*donate to Dena Moes' legal defense fund – even $20 can make a difference
*share this website with friends, colleagues, and families; anyone you know who cares about the current state of maternal/child health in the U.S.
* Come to our Homebirth Celebration and Benefit Concert, “That Thing for Dena”, on May 17 2015 at the Women's Club, Chico California, from 3 – 7 pm. There will be music, family entertainment, food, and an epic silent auction of locally made artisan gifts, healing arts services, and more
*Support AB1306, a bill that will improve the laws in California governing nurse-midwives. www.midwivespass1306.com
*visit Dena's website www.chicomidwife.com for more info
“My husband and I absolutely loved having Dena as our home birth midwife! The tremendous amount of support, nurturing care, and expertise Dena has to give made having our baby at home an incredible experience that my husband and I will cherish forever." -- S.
Thank you for your support while I have navigated a complicated legal situation between myself and the California Board of Nursing. In helping me, you help the cause of womens rights during pregnancy and birth, and keep access to health care options for the families of Chico California.
There is still not a “final outcome” to this journey, but I do have some updates I would like to share. First of all, the donations I received from the Chico benefit concert and the Gofundme website have covered my legal expenses and the fines I am to pay the Board of Nursing. My family and I are deeply grateful for the relief of such a stressful financial burden.
But beyond that, this outpouring of support has deeply rejuvenated my strength and my commitment to continue to stand up for the rights of women and babies to have safe, gentle home birth experiences. While I thought I would close my business this fall, I have changed my mind, and am still helping families. Even just last night, with the bright Super Moon shining on us through the sliding glass door, I welcomed a beautiful baby boy into the world.
Meanwhile there are many positive steps being taken to change laws and regulations in California. AB 1308 has been tabled for the year, but it unanimously passed the State Assembly, and will be on the ballot again in 2016.
In the Superior Court of California, a judge ruled that the Board of Nursing must allow nurse-midwife Yelena Kolodgi to continue her home birth practice while on nursing license probation. This took a year-long battle to get her back to work after her probation began, but hopefully sets a precedent for other midwives (such as myself) placed on probation.
Thank you for standing with me, and with Chico California mothers and babies.
Dena Moes RN MSN CNM
Yesterday a benefit concert was held by the home birth community of Chico. It was amazing beyond anything I could have dreamed. It was colorful, full of people who ranged from not even born yet, to just born, to wizened elders. It was beautiful and delicious and the music and performances were beyond fantastic. We had a taco bar, bake sale, and even margaritas. Some of Chico's finest musicians, such as Ma Muse, samba troupe Wolf Thump, and headliners Los Cabalitos de la Cancion had folks dancing and singing. The festivities filled the main hall and the garden alike. The people of Chico truly showed up. Wow. It was hard to believe it was all for me, and for the good of home birth midwifery. I feel held by the love, and honored by the families I have served over the years.
With gratitude, Dena
Yesterday was International Day of the Midwife, a day to reflect on all the blessings that my years of service as a midwife have given me. I have been touched deeply by the intimate nature of my work, assisting and witnessing the private, triumphant, profound moment in the life of a family; the moment of a child's birth.
Now I am entering my own difficult labor. Next week, I have my court date set for Friday May 15. I received a document this week that synthesizes the info regarding all five home birth CNMs (including me) that have been under such investigations in the last three years. I was shocked to read that the other four, who have already had their court hearings, have spent an average of 90 K EACH on legal expenses.
People have asked me how I am feeling. The answer - I am in the Ring of Fire. And continue to be grateful for the support.
This week I went to Sacramento to lobby for the passage of AB 1306, which will remove the requirement for physician supervision for all nurse-midwives in California, and create a midwife advisory board within the Board of Nursing. Two changes that are long overdue, which will improve access to midwives - the experts in normal birth! I was told that my case has served as an inspiration to the drafting of this bill. I feel proud to be a part of midwifery history. This makes you, my supporters, a part of history too. We are standing together to change the system for the better, and the support is coming from all directions.
With love and gratitude,
Nearly 40 years ago we lost our mid-wife & husband team from the Central Coast's over similar battles with the California Board of Nursing. May I encourage all of us to carry on in Dena's behalf AFTER “That Thing for Dena”, on May 17 2015 at the Women's Club, Chico California, from 3 – 7 pm. Why? Because our stand alongside Dena represents what we value: Flourishing healthy families supported and in support of one another in our Chico community. The California Board of Nursing may try to defeat and run us down through the purse string, however, from what I've observed, thought, heard, and read Dena represents our vision and determined commitment to Chico's present and future generations. Such a person with familial integrity is worth fighting for!