or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Pregnancy and Birth › Birth and Beyond › Homebirth › Poll- Do you support "underground" midwives?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Poll- Do you support "underground" midwives? - Page 5

post #81 of 285
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThreeCats View Post

What an interesting thread!
I need to know that whoever attends my birth is not only trained and experienced, but willing (and able!) to work with the medical community, should the need arise.

Yep. Not just drop you at the hospital if things go wrong but able to walk into the door with you without fear.
post #82 of 285
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThreeCats View Post

What an interesting thread!

Personally, I have mixed feelings. I think, for me, my "support" of illegal midwives depends on why they are choosing to practice illegally. I'm a lot more ok with midwives practicing underground in places that won't license them (so that women have options) than with midwives who, for whatever reason, choose not to pursue a license that is legally available to them. Ideally, though, midwifery wouldn't be illegal anywhere. Until that's the case, I'm thankful that there are midwives who are willing to work under the law to provide a "third option" to women (like myself) who live in a place where they can only legally choose a hospital birth or UC.
 


 

This.  Our state only licenses on type of midwife (CPM?) and not the other.  There is a group trying to get all midwives licensed, but they're not there yet.  Until then I am perfectly ok with choosing the "illegal" midwife especially after talking to people who have birthed with her.  If you end up transferring with one here they take you, say they were your doula and you say you were doing a UC.  Even my doctor supported my home birth (and told me to call her if I transferred)  so I had zero issues.

post #83 of 285
Thread Starter 

Am I hearing this right, the illegal midwife would say she's just a doula?  How then would she update the doctors on the care she's been giving you throughout your labor?  Wouldn't those details be rather important to your continued care at the hospital seeing as it's turned into an emergency situation?  I don't understand why woman would consider this a safe/acceptable situation...am I reading this wrong...


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Honey693 View Post




 

This.  Our state only licenses on type of midwife (CPM?) and not the other.  There is a group trying to get all midwives licensed, but they're not there yet.  Until then I am perfectly ok with choosing the "illegal" midwife especially after talking to people who have birthed with her.  If you end up transferring with one here they take you, say they were your doula and you say you were doing a UC.  Even my doctor supported my home birth (and told me to call her if I transferred)  so I had zero issues.



 


Edited by lovebeingamomma - 8/27/11 at 7:46am
post #84 of 285
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovebeingamomma View Post

Am I hearing this right, the illegal midwife would say she's just a doula?  How then would she update the doctors on the care she's been giving you throughout your labor?  Wouldn't those details be rather important to your continued care at the hospital seeing as it's turned into an emergency situation?  I don't understand why woman would consider this a safe/acceptable situation...am I reading this wrong...


 



 



You read it right.  And they give you your files.  I completely understand how that wouldn't work for some people, but I was completely ok with it.

post #85 of 285
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jane93 View Post

This is the sort of thing I'm talking about when I say the interests of the illegal midwife and patient are not aligned...see the following text from the book "From Calling to Courtroom"...

 

"For those midwives who do carry Pitocin, I would advise them to never admit it to anyone who has the ability to testify (that is, anyone except your husband). If a midwife ever feels the need to inject Pitocin or administer any kind of drug, such as Methergine, she should refer to such substances as "minerals.""

 

So basically, the advice is to deny the mother information about what is being injected into her body and make it so she cannot accurately report to the hospital (in case of transfer) what medicines she has had during labor (an extremely important point for her new medical team to know). 
 



I have pondered this post for quite a while before I decided to respond.  While your quote is correct, it might be more accurate if presented in context.  If you have read the book, you no doubt recall that this quote was one among many that were collected to present the viewpoints of many midwives.  It in no way represents "advice" or any kind of editorial stance.  In fact, I vehemently disagree with this midwife -- I believe that withholding information or outright lying is always wrong.

 

From Calling to Courtroom was written in order to provide a ready source of information for midwives having legal issues due to practicing midwifery.  It was designed to educate midwives and midwifery clients about the law, about what to do during an investigation, and how to support prosecuted midwives.  The book is unapolgetically in favor of midwifery licensure.  When we decided to write the book, we committed ourselves to two ideals:  1)  no one would be paid for contributing to the book; and 2) it would be available for free online.  We met both of those and -- while some of the book is becoming dated -- From Calling to Courtroom continues to remain a valuable resource.

 

Valerie Runes, Esq., RN

Editor and one of the authors of From Calling to Courtroom

 

post #86 of 285

I live in a state where it's illegal. If I were to have a hospital birth, I'd again be subject to interference, personal violations, and routines that decrease safety of birth. I was blessed to have women around trained and experienced to help at a home birth. I wish I didn't have to have someone break the law for me, but moving isn't an option and really hospital wasn't a viable option either.

post #87 of 285

Yes, women should be able to use any midwife they want.

 

I used an "illegal" midwife when I had my fourth baby at home. I am grateful for her willingness to attend my birth.

post #88 of 285

Valerie -- I don't believe my quote is inaccurate or even out of context.  This is the advice of a particular midwife that is particularly effective in illustrating the ethical quandry of the illegal provider.   Though I am pleased that someone on the thread was willing to acknowledge that the sort of behavior described was unethical.

 

As with any provider of an illegal service or substance there is no protection for the consumer in any way, shape or form.  The consumer has more protection with regard to her massage therapist or hairdresser than she has with an illegal midwife.

 

 

post #89 of 285

As a further note, as I understand it, a mother may legally have anyone she wishes in attendance during her birth in all 50 states.  What is illegal is the payment being made to the illegal midwife for her services. 

post #90 of 285

Pretty sure it's not the payment, it's the "practicing medicine without a license", if they decide midwifery is practicing medicine, and they don't give midwives licenses, then it's illegal for that reason. I think there's a lot of protection, the midwife puts everything on the line when she practices illegally, she messes up she doesn't just loose her livelihood or money, she can go to jail. Unfortunately there are some still practicing unprofessionally and putting moms and babies at risk that's why it's up to the consumer to check references and training, and yes go ahead and alert authorities if she's done things very wrong.

 

Also I don't agree that midwives should be attending births without the equipment and training to give immediate emergency medical help, like newborn resucitation and treating severe pph, things that might not wait for transfer or always respond to herbs and techniques. Maybe it's allowed in some states but as far as what I know at the moment, it seems irresponsible to me.

post #91 of 285
Quote:
Originally Posted by JamieCatheryn View Post

Pretty sure it's not the payment, it's the "practicing medicine without a license", if they decide midwifery is practicing medicine, and they don't give midwives licenses, then it's illegal for that reason. I think there's a lot of protection, the midwife puts everything on the line when she practices illegally, she messes up she doesn't just loose her livelihood or money, she can go to jail. Unfortunately there are some still practicing unprofessionally and putting moms and babies at risk that's why it's up to the consumer to check references and training, and yes go ahead and alert authorities if she's done things very wrong.

 

Also I don't agree that midwives should be attending births without the equipment and training to give immediate emergency medical help, like newborn resucitation and treating severe pph, things that might not wait for transfer or always respond to herbs and techniques. Maybe it's allowed in some states but as far as what I know at the moment, it seems irresponsible to me.



That is correct.  It is not the payment that makes it illegal, it is the actions that are performed.  If the actions performed by a midwife are restricted by law to those who are licensed as physicians or nurses, then the midwife risks prosecution for practicing medicine or nursing without a license. 

 

Valerie

Former homebirth midwife, current licensed attorney

 

post #92 of 285



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jane93 View Post

Valerie -- I don't believe my quote is inaccurate or even out of context.  This is the advice of a particular midwife that is particularly effective in illustrating the ethical quandry of the illegal provider.   Though I am pleased that someone on the thread was willing to acknowledge that the sort of behavior described was unethical.

 

As with any provider of an illegal service or substance there is no protection for the consumer in any way, shape or form.  The consumer has more protection with regard to her massage therapist or hairdresser than she has with an illegal midwife.

 

 


Jane -- I never said your quote was inaccurate.  Quite the contrary -- I said "[Y]our quote is correct."  But it was posted out of context.  Your post did not clarify that the statement was written by one particular midwife, was one among many other quotes, and was not the editorial stance of the book itself. 

 

I also disagree that this quote was "particularly effective in illustrating the ethical quandry [sic] of the illegal provider."  That particular quote illustrates nothing more than the opinion of one particular midwife, and is not representative of the vast majority of midwives. 

 

Valerie

Former homebirth midwife, current licensed attorney
 

 

post #93 of 285

Valerie

Former homebirth midwife, current licensed attorney


  Wow Valerie - that makes for one hell of a business card!  It must be an awesome story!

post #94 of 285

I support legal CNM's. The CPM credential is lacking, IMO. The educational requirements are not very stringent at all. I believe all legal midwives should have to pass the AMCB exam in order to practice. That should be the standard in this country. That's just my opinion.

post #95 of 285
Quote:
Originally Posted by motherhendoula View Post

Valerie

Former homebirth midwife, current licensed attorney


  Wow Valerie - that makes for one hell of a business card!  It must be an awesome story!


LOL!  It makes for an interesting resume, to be sure... :)  It does give me an interesting perspective...

 

Valerie -- current attorney, current RN, former CPM, former prosecuted homebirth midwife :)
 

 

post #96 of 285

Oh, I think it demonstrates a particular mindset that is a strong strain in the stories I hear of some homebirth midwives (more than just one!) --

 

  • creatively modified medical records or recordkeeping that is so shoddy it becomes impossible to reconstruct the events of the birth,
  • the "if we just have you take the test often enough we'll get a result we like" approach to medical testing (assuming of course standard testing is performed at all -- we wouldn't want to risk someone out of a homebirth by ACTUALLY determining what their risks are),
  • the mind games -- surely no one could ever critique, complain about or sue their new paid-for "best friend"!

 

 

 

post #97 of 285
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jane93 View Post

Oh, I think it demonstrates a particular mindset that is a strong strain in the stories I hear of some homebirth midwives (more than just one!) --

 

  • creatively modified medical records or recordkeeping that is so shoddy it becomes impossible to reconstruct the events of the birth,
  • the "if we just have you take the test often enough we'll get a result we like" approach to medical testing (assuming of course standard testing is performed at all -- we wouldn't want to risk someone out of a homebirth by ACTUALLY determining what their risks are),
  • the mind games -- surely no one could ever critique, complain about or sue their new paid-for "best friend"!

 

 

 


I think it is dangerous to make generalizations about any large group of people based on the actions of a few. 

 

As a former L&D RN, I have certainly seen physicians and nurses do stupid and careless things.  But the majority of physicians and nurses are very skilled, caring professionals.  As a former CPM,  I have also seen CPMs/homebirth midwives do stupid and careless things.  But -- again -- the majority are very skilled, caring professionals. 

 

As I mentioned previously, I have been involved in the politics of midwifery for over thirty years, almosts twenty of that as a midwife myself.  I personally know hundreds of midwives, and (as a former midwife and now as an attorney) have talked to hundreds more.  The examples you mention above are NOT typical of the midwives I know and have talked to.  Midwives, like physicians and nurses, should be judged individually, and not by the actions of others.
 

 

post #98 of 285

yes.  women and all people should get to choose what kind of health care they want to receive. 

in my state, midwifery is not necessarily "illegal," but homebirths with midwives aren't legal unless they are backed by an OB, and most of them refuse.  so if you were in GA, and wanted a homebirth with a midwife, that's not an option for you unless you skirt the legal issues. 

i think it's ridiculous that some legislative official can tell me what i can and cannot do in my own home and with whom.  (that being said, i do use an OB, as i seem to have issues related to fibroids and my age, but totally support midwives and love them).

post #99 of 285
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovebeingamomma View Post

A question for everyone who hasn't had hospital VBAC options, if you could choose between homebirth or truly supportive doctors/midwives of VBAC, VBA2C or more in a hospital (theoretically), would you still choose homebirth?



this is a choice in my immediate future, and i am choosing to have a hospital VBAC.  but i live 30-45 minutes from the nearest hospital, which is a big consideration.

post #100 of 285

If attending home births as an MW is illegal in your state, lobby to make it legal.  All who want it to be legal than do something about it.  An illegal MW may not have as much experience as those who are legal.  However experience is a personal choice.  HB with an illegal MW is unfair, you're protected but they are not.  Yes they'll risk it all for you, but if something goes wrong... are you really going to stand by her?

 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Homebirth
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Pregnancy and Birth › Birth and Beyond › Homebirth › Poll- Do you support "underground" midwives?