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Best states for homebirth?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
We're moving to another state by the end of the year- we don't know which one. We're considering alot of factors (mainly low cost of living and available jobs) but we're also considering vax, homebirth, breastfeeding, and homeschooling laws.

SO... what states are the best for homebirthing laws? I live in Illinois and there are like two midwives in the entire city who will do homebirths

Thanks in advance!
post #2 of 23
Gotta give a shout out for Michigan. EVERYTHING is lax here. Homeschooling (no checking in with the state), vaxing (we have all 3 exemptions here and since I homeschool have never had to sign anything), and homebirth, we have midwives around every cornor, lots do vbaMcs, and they are inexpensive compared to alot of other peoples. Seriously, this is a GOOD state to live in if you wanna do what you wanna do
post #3 of 23
Lay midwives are legal in Michigan also, so there is no restrictions on who can be a midwife. You wouldnt have to go far to move to Michigan, St. Josephs county is down by you in Michigan. I am camping there next month. We have an EXCELLENT birth climate here.
post #4 of 23
Hello! I'm a former Windy City res myself - lived in the south 'burbs my whole life and went to Loyola Chicago, then lived in Roger's Park for a bit post-grad before moving to MA and then AZ.
My friend who intoduced me to HB lives in MI, near Traverse City, and there is a very active birth community, lots of farm co-ops, etc. She was also a south suburban girl and now she lives in a house she and her husband built pretty much by hand, has chickens, and is looking into goats!

AZ is HB friendly as well, and we also have all 3 vax exemptions. I have my son in a standard day care, and it was no issue at all. There are plenty of MWs, at least in my area, and more have arrived since I had my #1. There are not a lot of Nurse Midwives though, and I think there is only one birth center and it just opened. Seems like the MI community is more established than the one here, but that might just be my experience - I live out in the boonies and thus don't attend any birth circles which are more Phoenix and suburbs oriented.

No experience with homeschooling, but I have a friend who does.

Biggest upside of AZ - climate. I have to say it was wonderful having a baby that I never had to bundle in more than a fleecy onsie. No digging cars out, or driving through snowstorms! No ice! Summer can be brutal, but fall winter and spring are great.
However, there's no "city". Compared to Chi and Boston, Phoenix (and Scottsdale and Tempe) are sad little baby cities. Museums, theaters, culture... not on the same level.
post #5 of 23
Wisconsin seems to be homebirth friendly, although they were a little late jumping on the train. CPMs were not licensed here until 2 years ago. There do seem to be a fair amount of midwives covering the state as well. I live in Sheboygan, WI (located about an hour north of Milwaukee) and there were 4 midwives who would've been willing to attend a homebirth for me. All within 40-60 minutes of me. I would imagine if you lived in a bigger city like Madison, Milwaukee, or Green Bay you may have more options. If you're interested, this site should list all of the midwives in the state who will do homebirths: http://www.wisconsinguildofmidwives.org

Vaccine exemptions are provided for health, religion, or personal conviction.

As far as breastfeeding goes, we're also late jumping on that train -- but a couple of months back, we finally had a law passed that protects the rights of breastfeeding mothers in public. Those who try and interfere could actually be fined for doing so: http://breastfeeding.blog.motherwear...-into-law.html

I don't know too much about the homeschooling laws, but I have several friends who homeschool their kids, so I'd imagine it must be legal and not too over-regulated. Good luck deciding where to go!
post #6 of 23
Texas is an amazing homeschool state. I was born and raised here, was homeschooled with my older sister and younger brother and am now homeschooling my children. It is by far one of the friendliest homeschooing states that exist. Our decision to stay in TX when we had the ability to move was based on how easy they make it to homeschool. Land and housing is much cheaper than other states we've visited. Homebirthing has been around for many years here also. I apprenticed as a midwife for 7 years before marrying. There are midwives everywhere and very highly concentrated in the more populated areas such as DFW, Austin and Houston with myriads in which to choose. The only downside is that insurance typically does not cover home births here and their fees are fairly expensive ranging from 2,500-3,500 with some a few hundred over that. It has taken off so well here that many of the midwives run birthing homes/centers that have amazing birth tubs and offer birth pools like La Bassine's to use as part of their fees. Of those most of them still continue to do homebirths as well. Many are also lay midwives and do only homebirths.
post #7 of 23
Minnesota is awesome for homebirth laws. The standards of care are written by the midwives, licensure is voluntary, and there are many fantastic midwives.

Here the homeschooling laws are a bit more strict and I don't understand them completely because my kids go to public school. Vax laws are good, breastfeed laws here totally rock. Cost of living is very affordable outside of Minneapolis/St Paul (and Minneapolis/St Paul isn't horrible either). Overall, the economy of this state seems to be in a better position than many others.
post #8 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone! After a bit of consideration, I've narrowed it down to Arizona, Michigan, and Wisconsin in that order
post #9 of 23
But there's no snow in Texas and Austin is very crunchy! Also, the housing prices are quite cheap here. I say, don't shut the door on the Lone Star State! Good luck in your search though.
post #10 of 23
i know you have your choices narrowed down, but i can't say enough about new mexico being exceedingly home birth/midwife friendly (specifically albuquerque and taos). vaccine exemptions are another easy thing to come by and there is a large homeschooling community in albuquerque. i don't know how high the breastfeeding rates are per se, but the attitude towards nursing, in my experience, has been nothing but positive wherever i have been in public. if i get any comments at all, they are comments about how great it is to see a mom nursing out in the open. we also have a large population of osteopaths and natural medicine professionals, many who are amenable to alternate vaccine schedules or none at all. cost of living is also low. i'm not sure about job availability, but that could be easily researched.
post #11 of 23
New Mexico has a lot of midwives that do homebirths. It is also homeschooling friendly, and exemptions even allow for selective vaccination. COL is low, IMO.

ETA: didn't read your post first, groovy!
post #12 of 23
Thread Starter 
Ahh I forgot about New Mexico! When I was little I wanted to move to Albuquerque because I liked the name


I also have severe southern-drawl fear. But I suppose I can deal with my accent being changed, haha.
post #13 of 23
LOL! It only makes you more approachable and seem much friendlier!!! But let it be known..no one in their right mind talks like Paula Deen!!! She is one of the worst and milks it for everything it is. Trust me....we don't all sound like her....and most of us fear ever sounding like her!!! She irritates my dh soooo bad. We say y'all and every type of soda is a "coke"...as in "what type of coke do you want?"...but other than that it's nothing to fear!!!

And to add....winter's are amazing here!!! Our kids jump on the trampolines, swing on the swingset and live outside in jeans and t-shirts from Sept to April....then they transition to shorts. From May to Sept they swim. We live outside.
post #14 of 23
Don't forget about fabulous Oregon!
post #15 of 23
Hey M, just keep in mind if you look at southern states that you may find yourself unexpectedly mourning the loss of four distinct seasons for your kiddos. I know it isn't a criteria you are considering, but it is hard to not have beautiful fall foliage and winter snow play if it happens to make up quite a bit of your own childhood memories.

Just my 2 cents.
post #16 of 23
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Artichokie View Post
Hey M, just keep in mind if you look at southern states that you may find yourself unexpectedly mourning the loss of four distinct seasons for your kiddos. I know it isn't a criteria you are considering, but it is hard to not have beautiful fall foliage and winter snow play if it happens to make up quite a bit of your own childhood memories.

Just my 2 cents.
thanks! I have been considering this. We're a waldorfy family so the seasons greatly impact everything we do. I have lived through many Chicago winters of digging out cars and getting stuck in the snow... It wouldn't kill me to move to Wisconsin or Michigan and keep dealing with it, but I would like to get away from it and move somewhere more... stable I'm still not sure if I'm ready to give it up though!
post #17 of 23
I really like Vermont. Not only are homebirths legal, but they are even covered by state medicaid! Vermont has a higher percentage of homebirths than almost any other state, too - over 2% of births are at home. So while it's still unusual here, it's much more of a generally accepted option. There are lots of midwives here (at least, lots compared to the population of the state). On the downside, midwives in VT are not permitted to attend breech or twin home births.

The homeschooling laws are okay. There's a fair amount of paperwork, but it's manageable - worse than some states, better than others. The general attitude toward homeschooling here is good though - there are lots of homeschoolers (over 2% of VT students) and I've never encountered the sort of negative reaction I've heard homeschoolers in other states complain about.

And we definitely have four distinctive seasons! (not the place for you if you dislike snow...)
post #18 of 23
Oregon is pretty awesome I'm just outside of Portland it's very homebirth, natural living, breastfeeding, no-vax, homeschooling friendly.
post #19 of 23
I'm a hardcore wisconsin girl. I love walking around state street and going to the farmers market in madison. the baraboo hills are gorgeous and going on the ferri to cross lake wisconsin is something most little children get excited about (and its free!) Middleton was voted the best place to live a while back and there are all sorts of bike trails and parks. if you aren't vegan, they have the best dairy in the country (I don't care what ANYONE says) and the children's museum in madison is delightful. Plus, the free zoo is always amazing.

not to mention the good things that match the criteria you asked for that pp have already mentioned I seriously love wisconsin and we are hoping that by december 2011 we will be back there.
post #20 of 23
Thread Starter 
Oregon and Vermont are out- Cost of living!!

treeoflife- ooh! Wisconsin dairy!! I assume there's lots of raw milk to go around
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