September 01, 2009

Ina May Gaskin to be Honored in Sarasota

Ina May Gaskin, the world’s leading midwife, is coming to Sarasota to participate in a panel discussion entitled Maternal Health Care in the 21st Century: Sarasota and Beyond, taking place at 3:00 pm on November 1st in the Sarasota Ballroom of the Hyatt Regency Hotel. Immediately following the program, Florida Friends of Midwives will host An Evening with Ina May Gaskin at the Hyatt Regency’s waterfront Boathouse, to begin at about 5:30 pm. Tickets for this event, going on sale in September, will cost $35 and will include dinner and live music from Radio-Free Carmela and the Transmitters. Guests will view a tribute to Ms. Gaskin’s work, enjoy a cash bar, and participate in a silent auction and raffle. All proceeds will benefit Florida Friends of Midwives, a non-profit grassroots organization dedicated to promoting and preserving midwifery access in Florida.

Ina May Gaskin is internationally recognized as the mother of modern midwifery, and has been credited with the re-emergence of direct-entry midwifery in the United States since the early 1970's. Ms. Gaskin is founder and director of the Farm Midwifery Center, founded in 1971 and located near Summertown, Tennessee. By 1996, the Farm Midwifery Center had handled more than 2200 births, with remarkably good outcomes, noted for low rates of intervention, morbidity and mortality. Ms. Gaskin herself has attended more than 1200 births. She is author of Spiritual Midwifery, Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, and Ina May's Guide to Breastfeeding, to be released October 1st. She was President of Midwives' Alliance of North America from 1996 to 2002. The Gaskin maneuver, a low-interventive effective method for dealing with shoulder dystocia, is the first obstetrical procedure to be named for a midwife. Ms. Gaskin is also the originator and coordinator of The Safe Motherhood Quilt Project, a national effort developed to draw public attention to the current U.S. maternal death rates. Three panels of The Safe Motherhood Quilt will be on display at the Selby Public Library from October 26 – October 31. For more information about the Quilt Project, please visit

In addition to participating on the panel and being honored at the tribute dinner, during her stay in Sarasota, Ms. Gaskin will be presenting a Clinical Conference to the medical staff at Sarasota Memorial Hospital on Friday, October 30th, and presenting the Safe Motherhood Quilt Project at the Selby Public Library on Saturday, October 31st at 11 am. For more information about any of these events, please contact Laura Gilkey at

ABOUT FLORIDA FRIENDS OF MIDWIVES: Florida Friends of Midwives (FFOM) is a nonprofit grassroots organization dedicated to promoting the Midwives Model of Care and supporting the practice of midwifery in Florida. Florida Friends of Midwives was formed to support midwives who offer safe, cost-effective, evidence based care to Florida's Families. FFOM members are consumers and birth advocates with a common goal: to preserve the legal protection afforded to Florida's midwives and birth centers. They are committed to organizing the community to support midwives and to assure the continued availability of midwifery care in the State of Florida. For more information, please visit