I just moved from Dallas Texas to New Castle Kentucky, about 40 minutes outside of Louisville Kentucky. I also just found out I am expecting, and I had NO idea midwifery was illegal here :( I was born in my home in Covington KY 29 years ago, who knew it was illegal. Anyway, I am going to be on medicaid until we get settled in. I've had two out of hospital births and I am considering traveling to the Lexington women's center for this next pregnancy because I can't seem to find any options closer than that. I'd love to hear your ideas or advice for having a positive natural childbirth in the Bluegrass state. I am up for just about anything. I have family in northern Kentucky too if I needed to go up that way. Please help. THANKS!
Referrals for Natural Birth in Kentucky
You can have a homebirth. If you need midwife contact info, let me know. We planned a homebirth with DS who was due this past August, but ended up with a hospital due to PROM. I had a natural birth at UofL hospital. There are CNMs in Frankfort, Lexington, and in Jeffersonville, IN just across the river (where a lot of Louisville moms go for a natural hospital birth). The political climate of the medical community seems to smother out any CNMs from practicing in Louisville.
The symantics of the legalities are tricky. Its not illegal to have your baby at home, but Kentucky does not provide certification to lay midwives.
Also, I don't know any of the OBs who attend births at the hospital in LaGrange, but I've heard its nice because its a less busy hospital. If you decide to go the hospital route, that could also be an option.
There are also a few natural birth friendly OBs in Louisville who attend births at various hospitals. Not sure if you are closer to Louisville or Lexington. Dr. Nett is a name that comes up a lot for Louisville.
You might also check out Louisville's Birth Care Network, http://www.birthcarenetwork.com/. Lexington may have a similar group, not sure.
In my experience around here, when a hospital refers to its "birth center" it is just their way of nicely describing their labor & delivery area. It is nothing like what we think when we think of freestanding birth centers. But, if CNMs are available, that definitely goes a long way in making for a great hospital experience.
I agree that a lot of hospitals say "birth center" for their L&D area, but there are some that are really nice. At our "birth center" its all hardwood floors and there are wooden cabinets to cover all of the equipment. There are 6 "birth suites" where you go and from the moment you get to the hospital until the moment you check out you are in that suite. They dont cart you around from one room to another to another like some hospitals do. Labor, delivery, and recovery is all the same room. They have wooden handpainted signs that they hang on the door that say "It's a boy" or "Its a girl" . The nurses are all pretty supportive and have been trained in kangaroo kare and there is a CNM that delivers there. So, it feels pretty homey and I feel like it is a more comfortable place to give birth than some of the bigger hospitals in Louisville. I would consider it more of a birth center than just a regular l&d.
I know it varies, but I do think sometimes it means things are better.
Check for midwives based out of Cincinnati. And, look for doulas in Covington or Cincy.... they usually know where to find the midwives! Also, if you are looking for a CNM for a hospital birth, they are much easier to locate than the homebirth midwives. But, the homebirth midwives can be found! I'm not sure what the laws are like in Ohio, or if Ohio has any birthing centers or not.... I'm from Louisville, and a lot of women here cross the river and go to Indiana for the CNMs who practice just across the river. There are CNMs in KY, just not in Louisville. You might also look through old threads on this board. Good luck!