PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The Rhode Island affiliate of the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) will celebrate National Midwifery Week with a slate of events beginning Sept. 30.

The observance was created by ACNM to recognize midwives and the benefits of midwife-led care.

Rhode Island midwives, like those across the country, are celebrating with a week of social, educational and community-building events, using the theme “Culturally Sensitive Maternity Care Starts at Home.”

"I am excited to be part of the Rhode Island chapter of the ACNM hosting our local observance of National Midwifery Week,” said Melissa Nelson, CNM, of Lifespan Physician Group Obstetrics & Gynecology. “Rhode Island is a state rich in woman-centered health care options. This is a chance for the public and health care professionals to gain a better understanding of the role that midwives play in women's lives and highlights the many resources in Rhode Island that support both providers and patients."

The week’s aim is to highlight midwives’ historic and current commitment to underserved populations and their sensitivity to diverse ethnic, cultural and socioeconomic populations, and to unite birth workers to drive positive change in Rhode Island.

While midwives are well-known for attending births, more than 53 percent of certified nurse-midwives and certified midwives identify reproductive care and just over 33 percent identify primary care as their main responsibilities in their full-time work, according to the ACNM.

Events have been organized by Lifespan Physician Group Obstetrics & Gynecology, Women & Infants Hospital, and local practices and organizations.

The week culminates in a Midwifery Health Fair from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 6 at Lifespan Community Health Institute, 335R Prairie Ave., Providence. The event, which is free and public, will provide opportunities to learn more about midwifery as well as other maternal-child programs and resources throughout the state. 

"This fair will provide an opportunity to speak with women’s health advocates, birth educators, doulas, lactation consultants, and local midwives," said Cynthia Voytas, CNM, of the Center for Women’s Health, South County Hospital, and president of the Rhode Island chapter.

On Saturday evening, a dinner gala at the Downtown Marriott Providence will feature as speaker Sara Vedam, RM, FACNM, MSN, Sci D (hc), director of the division of midwifery at the University of British Columbia. She has consulted on birth policy around the globe.

For details about all the week’s events, and to reserve tickets, visit the listing on Eventbrite,

For more information contact Nelson or Voytas by emailing