Hello! I'm Laura Browning and I am humbled you'd consider my campaign as I raise funds for a bachelor’s degree in Midwifery from Mercy in Action College of Midwifery. I am currently serving my southeastern Kentucky community as a birth and postpartum doula, childbirth educator, and peer counselor and sponsor of our area’s only local breastfeeding support group. I plan to continue to serve my rural Appalachian community after completing midwifery school and obtaining my license as a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) in the state of Kentucky.
For the past four years, I have worked with pregnant women and their families, helping them prepare for childbirth and the postpartum period as a birth and postpartum doula. You can check out more about my work as a doula on my website here . During my time working with these families, I have learned about the maternal and infant morbidity rate in the United States as well as the unique challenges our own and surrounding communities face when it comes to childbearing and breastfeeding. According to the CDC, Kentucky’s Appalachian region's rate of infant morbidity is significantly worse than the rest of the United States. March of Dimes considers 28 of the 54 Appalachian counties in Kentucky "maternity care deserts " which means there are not enough OB/GYNs or midwives for the population. I want to become a midwife to help improve these numbers for those in Appalachia that may have limited resources in traveling to get prenatal care as well as expand options for those who desire the Midwifery Model of Care. According to March of Dimes, in 2018 Certified Nurse Midwives (CNM) only made up 8.2% of all pregnancy caregivers in Kentucky. There are even fewer CPMs offering out-of-hospital alternatives to Kentucky families at a time when out-of-hospital birth options have never been more needed in our society due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
I strongly believe the experience of pregnancy, birth, expanding a family are transformative events. It’s a single event that is never forgotten by the person experiencing it. How they feel and are supported during this time matters in the long term. I believe by serving women and families with compassion and respect, you can make a positive impact on individuals that will last a lifetime. Midwifery will give me the tools to serve women and their families in my community with compassionate, quality care that respects their human rights, basic needs, and unique cultural attributes. This is the area where I am was raised and will raise my children. I feel passionately about helping fulfill the need for midwives.
I have a final interview scheduled with Mercy in Action this June before I will start my 4-year degree August 2021. In the meantime, I will be taking a prerequisite statistics course and continuing my work as a doula to make sure I am ready to attend school in the Fall. The first two semesters of tuition must be paid in full before each semester start date in order for me to attend. Each semester is $3,950 with a yearly student fee of $450. All funds from this will go towards tuition with any additional funds going towards the next three years of tuition or towards books and supplies.
I appreciate your consideration! With your assistance, I can continue my schooling in midwifery and help bring accessible, compassion maternal and newborn care to those in need.
- Carolyn Massengale
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