Introducing Dr. Allemann
My name is Elizabeth Allemann and I’ll be blogging for Debra, describing her travels and advocacy. I’ll also be adding my own comments about birth. I’m a Family Physician in central Missouri (midwestern US state). Over the years, I’ve attended births in hospitals, birth centers and at home. Typical of Family Physicians, I am a team player. It’s been an obvious outflow of my desire to work in strong teams to serve birthing women that I embrace the full and independent practice of midwives. During Debra Pascali-Bonaro’s visit to Missouri (central US) in mid February, 2011, we met at Missouri Midwives Association/Friends of Missouri Midwives annual Cookie Day celebration at the state Capitol in Jefferson City. We thought we were simply celebrating Missouri’s new law, allowing Certified Professional Midwives to practice legally in our state, but it turns out, we were kicking off a legislative session where we’re introducing our own legislation and fighting off an unhelpful bill.
Before I met Debra in person, I’d had the pleasure of an online relationship with her. We both belong to an online community of birth advocates and reformers. This community sustains me in my local work and inspires me to be bolder. I was moved by viewing Orgasmic Birth. Debra proved to be even more positive in person–she speaks with a gentle, clear voice about things that matter and has smiling eyes. If you haven’t met her in person yet, I sure hope that you get that privilege. I found myself being cheered by her descriptions of international success in helping policy-makers understand what is at stake in birth. I asked her if I could be helpful by offering to post blogs on her website for her. I am being selfish here: if we can make it work for me to write of her adventures, I’ll get to hear Debra’s cheery voice describing her travels and her victories. Then I’ll do my best to share them with you. This is new for me, this trying to write another’s story, so I’ll be welcoming constructive feedback.
Debra’s next trip is to Indonesia and Bumi Sehat Foundation International. This non-profit, village-based organization provides primary health care as well as maternity care provided by midwives in their birth centers. Robin Lim, the mother of Bumi Sehat, invited Debra to visit and witness their work, which has a reputation as being respectful and supportive of indigenous peoples and their midwives. I am very eager to experience this particular journey vicariously.