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  #1  
July 23rd, 2007, 09:40 PM
MamaT's Avatar Member
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Ok, so I just read a thread in here about homebirth being illegal in a particular state. As well, that the midwives that the woman found are more intervention slanted than natural. I guess I am curious as to how many people have encountered this and how widespread these laws and attitudes are. What are your experiences? Is midwifery illegal in places, homebirth? It must be very difficult to plan and be able to follow through with a natural birth or homebirth with the pervasive sense of medical intervention as necessity. I had a natural birth, I did have the baby in the hospital but only my midwife was in attendance. A nurse came for a while to support. I labored at home and got to the hospital fully effaced and dilated. My midwives were fully supportive of natural birth and try to avoid any interventions (they tend to snowball!). And I think that full support really made me believe I could do it. I am grateful that the medical technology is there in case anything does go really wrong but I see no need to make it a first stop or necessity.

Hehe, sorry I guess this is more of a rant. But I really am curious to know how widespread this is and what your experiences were in overcoming it.
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  #2  
July 24th, 2007, 05:26 AM
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Most, if not all, states in the US allow CNM's (Certified Nurse Midwives) to do home births, however, they must have a physician to back them up and supervise them in most states. This limits them into only taking what clients the physician will allow for home births. They often won't take VBACs at home, breeches, etc. CNM's also tend to be more medically mided because they have traditional medical training.

The issue is with allowing CPM's (certified professional midwives) to practice or lay midwives. About half the states int he US have laws to license and regulate these midwives, who tend to be the more naturally minded of the bunch. The other half varies in their treatment of them. In all states it is legal for a woman to choose home birth. It is illegal for the midwife to attend. So, hey, it's OK for mom to go unassissted apparently, but not for the midwife to be there. Understand it is the midwife who can be prosecuted, not the midwife. Different states treat this differently. In the majority it is simply a misdemeanor and is never really pursued or prosecuted. They are simply allowed to continue working under the system with no help or regulation. In other states they have made it a felony and are actively pursuing these midwives. It is so difficult as it can vary greatly from state to state. I live only 10 miles fromt he state line. On my side midwives are illegal, misdemeanor charge, on the other they are legal and medicaid will even cover their services. Man, did I pick the wrong address!
Beth
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  #3  
July 24th, 2007, 06:16 AM
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I live in Nebraska and it's illegal here for ANY midwife to attend a homebirth and they would (and have) be prosecuted for it. There are underground midwives here, but in my religion, I have to follow the law, so it wouldn't really be an option for me to do it that way...although I can honestly say I've thought about it. I've been involved in a movement here just to get CNM to be able to attend homebirths, and it's ridiculous....we failed again this last year, but hopefully it'll turn around the more people we get involved. I've lived a lot of places, but never anywhere that it was this backwards, hence my frustration.
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  #5  
July 24th, 2007, 12:02 PM
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I am in Michigan and here it is not legal or illegal for MW's to attend homebirths. There are CNM's that do homebirths and DEM, or "lay" MW's who do homebirths.
I have a wonderful DEM who I absolutley love and trust!!
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  #6  
July 24th, 2007, 12:22 PM
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Yeah, as bad as NY can be with their strict laws, they do allow midwives to attend homebirths. However, in many areas of the state it can be very hard to find a midwife who will attend a homebirth because the law stipulates that they must have a local hospital on call for back-up in case the mother needs to transfer. A lot of hospitals don't want to deal with laboring women who dare to try and birth outside of their watch, so sometimes they can be difficult about accomodating the midwife. Other areas you can find midwives who will skirt the law, especially of you aren't in close enough distance to a hospital that is equipped for an emergency c-section.
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  #7  
July 24th, 2007, 04:47 PM
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I feel very lucky, TX is a very midwife friendly state from what I've seen. I am having a midwife attended homebirth and live within 10-15 minutes of several major hospitals should there be a need for transfer.
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  #8  
July 25th, 2007, 08:38 PM
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I know that here in IL it's legal to have a home birth but not legal for a midwife to attend , I'm not sure of much more then that as I only looked a lil bit into the laws regarding that .
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  #9  
July 26th, 2007, 05:49 AM
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Im in NC and am planning my third home waterbirth with a CPM midwife, who would be charged with a felony for practicing medicine without a license if she was discovered. I recongize her national certification. Nothing would happen to ME if she was caught. My insurance does not cover her services, we pay out of pocket, but are happy to do so.

There is a local CNM who does homebirths, and insurance would cover us using her. I just prefer the CPM. The CPM happens to be one of my best friends too.
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  #10  
July 26th, 2007, 11:33 AM
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Hey Jeni,

Unless I am mistaken, it is only a misdemeanor in NC, not a felony. Splitting hairs, I know, but it makes a big difference in the consequences. Also, it isn't like they are being actively pursued. In some states I've heard of the police doing stings with couple posing as pregnant and looking for midwives to find them and then busting in the middle of a birth and hauling the midwives away. Nothing that ridiculous is happening in NC. They are basically ingnored.

Amusingly, I looked up what type misdemeanor it is, and it is officially a class 3 misdemeanor, along with Cursing on a Public highway, read this one, it made me laugh:
"Using profane or indecent language on public highways; counties exempt

If any person shall, on any public road or highway and in the hearing of two or more persons, in a loud and boisterous manner, use indecent or profane language, he shall be guilty of a misdemeanor ...

Classification: Class 3 Misdemeanor (30 days or $50)"

Alos in this category is public drunkeness. So, you can see they have it really high up on their list!

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  #11  
July 26th, 2007, 03:14 PM
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I am lucky here in that there are no laws against midwives attending (that I know of). I'm assuming that's the case since there are websites for the midwives including pics of homebirths and everything. However... just a few miles down the road (about a 10 minute drive) in Missouri it is illegal for a midwife to attend a birth.
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  #12  
July 28th, 2007, 06:51 AM
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I have no idea what the law is here in KY....

However, I had a midwife (not sure which sort) with DD. It was not by choice and left me with a very bad taste to be honest-however-it was the person, not the title that did it for me. It was also a military base and that's just how they operated-I never saw a doctor the entire time I was pregnant until I went to the hospital to deliver and one happened to be on call. However, since my labor was over 14 hours long, he was no longer there when I was ready for delivery and the ONE midwife I saw during my pg that I did not like is who just so happened to be the one followed in his footsteps that morning. UGH!!

Who do these bureaucrats think they are to tell a woman who can and cannot be in attendance for the delivery of her child. It's MY Body. If I want my dog, my husband and my children present, they won't say anything but if I want a specific medically trained individual, they have the right to say yea or nay? ***?? Women have been giving birth without doctors or medical staff present forever, what difference does it make who delivers your child if YOU make the choice?????
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  #13  
August 2nd, 2007, 12:58 PM
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It's not illegal here, thank goodness. Though I'm not having a HOME birth; I'm going to a birth center. I will have an LMW. Not even an ARNP midwife or an RNMW or CNM. She's just a licensed midwife. Not a nurse at all. They had to do a 'consult' first and determine that I'm "eligible" for a birth center birth, which I passed with flying colors. The only thing that even made me get a point was being overweight. There is no doctor there at all. They have a doctor they consult with if necessary, and it's who anyone who ends up being a risk is sent to, but I don't even know his name...
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  #14  
August 3rd, 2007, 11:24 AM
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Quote:


Who do these bureaucrats think they are to tell a woman who can and cannot be in attendance for the delivery of her child. It's MY Body. If I want my dog, my husband and my children present, they won't say anything but if I want a specific medically trained individual, they have the right to say yea or nay? ***?? Women have been giving birth without doctors or medical staff present forever, what difference does it make who delivers your child if YOU make the choice?????
[/b]
Nothing to add> Well said.
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  #15  
August 3rd, 2007, 11:46 AM
Tofu Bacon
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Quote:
Who do these bureaucrats think they are to tell a woman who can and cannot be in attendance for the delivery of her child. It's MY Body. If I want my dog, my husband and my children present, they won't say anything but if I want a specific medically trained individual, they have the right to say yea or nay? ***?? Women have been giving birth without doctors or medical staff present forever, what difference does it make who delivers your child if YOU make the choice?????[/b]


Seems like, nowadays, the only time a woman is really entitled to a choice is if she wants an elective c-section...
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  #16  
August 9th, 2007, 01:19 PM
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Seems like, nowadays, the only time a woman is really entitled to a choice is if she wants an elective c-section...[/b]
Yep, thanks to the NIH conference on Maternal Choice Cesarean. According to them, 2.5% of all mothers are requesting elective c-s. According to the Listening to Mother's survey, it's more like 0.07%. We should respect a woman's right to "choose" cesarean but not a woman's right to birth at home.

In NJ, CNMs and CPMs can attend homebirths as long as they are considered low-risk (no twins, breech, vbacs, macrosomia, etc). We just had a CPM lose her license for attending an hbac.
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  #17  
August 10th, 2007, 08:06 AM
Tofu Bacon
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Yep, thanks to the NIH conference on Maternal Choice Cesarean. According to them, 2.5% of all mothers are requesting elective c-s. According to the Listening to Mother's survey, it's more like 0.07%. We should respect a woman's right to "choose" cesarean but not a woman's right to birth at home.[/b]
^^Yes, and the definition of "c-section due to maternal request" is a hazy one. The term actually encompasses any c-section that isn't an emergency or a medical necessity, whether the mother actually "requests" it or not.
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  #18  
August 16th, 2007, 07:15 PM
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Where I live (Alberta, Canada) midwifery is legal and regulated. I am just starting my journey to midwifery school to become Registered (RM) and I will then attend (primarily) homebirths. Sadly, it isn't (yet) funded but that will come in time.
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  #19  
August 17th, 2007, 06:41 PM
Linds
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I too live in Nebraska where it is illegal for midwives to attend homebirths. I was very lucky that I had an amazing midwfie and natural birth at the hospital. She let me take charge and was never pushing any sort of medical interventions on me. The only thing I wasn't impressed with was a hospital policy that all women must have at least a saline lock for venous access, which I hated having and had it removed as soon as my little boy was born. Overall, I was very happy with my birth experience.
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