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Homebirth legal in the following states: NY, NJ, PA, CT??????????????

post #1 of 53
Thread Starter 
I am seeking information before relocating to the east coast. DH is gonna be working in NYC and we are seeking a homebirth friendly state. I have had 3 GREAT homebirths in Houston, TX and is pains me to think that I may not have a choice depending on where we live. SO, with this in mind I am trying my best to narrow our choices of states down. ANY info would be helpful. :

We also, don't vaccinate....and I have no idea how the politics for these states work in regards to this issue. :

Moving really sucks, but moving from very "free choice" state to the unknown is extra sucky. :
post #2 of 53

What?

Legal? Gosh, I've never heard of home birthing being "illegal". Hummmm I mean gosh it's not like once pregnant we are assigned to the "birthing police" and reporting to the hospital is madotory or else.......or else what- a fine or something. I'm so confused.

Hummm, I'll anxiously be waiting to hear what others have to say.
post #3 of 53
Absolutly legal in NY & midwives there are PLENTIFUL! (I wouldn't wanna live there though, I escaped years ago...)
post #4 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by november21 View Post
Legal? Gosh, I've never heard of home birthing being "illegal". Hummmm I mean gosh it's not like once pregnant we are assigned to the "birthing police" and reporting to the hospital is madotory or else.......or else what- a fine or something. I'm so confused.

Hummm, I'll anxiously be waiting to hear what others have to say.
Homebirth is always legal.It's who can or can not attend the birth legally.Where I live only certified nurse midwives can legally attend births.
post #5 of 53
In CT, there is only one group that doing homebirths. Birth and Beyond.
post #6 of 53
That's not true. They are the only CNM practice that does homebirths. There are several CPMs that are currently practicing in CT. CT is what some refer to as an Alegal state...meaning there are no laws specifically for OR against the practice of midwifery.

As far as vax goes, CT has medical and religious exemptions. The religious is very easy to get. It's a very simply worded statement signed by a parent. Our pre-school didn't blink an eye.
post #7 of 53
Plenty of midwives in NY but they have to be certified--it's mainly CNMs I think. But there's definitely plenty of MWs, both hospital and home. I read that 11% of NYS births are midwife attended.

(legal status: http://www.cfmidwifery.org/states/states.asp?ST=45)
post #8 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by andreac View Post
That's not true. They are the only CNM practice that does homebirths. There are several CPMs that are currently practicing in CT. CT is what some refer to as an Alegal state...meaning there are no laws specifically for OR against the practice of midwifery.

As far as vax goes, CT has medical and religious exemptions. The religious is very easy to get. It's a very simply worded statement signed by a parent. Our pre-school didn't blink an eye.

Doh! Thank you for correcting me!
post #9 of 53
NYC has TONS of homebirth midwives, I've never had so many to choose from!!!!

http://www.nyhomebirth.com/

You can get religious vax exemption here.

Keep in mind your DH's commute will totally SUCK and he will spend hours a day in the car if you live much out of NYC.

NJ has homebirth as well, no homeschooling regulation, but don't know about their vax rules.
post #10 of 53
I'm in central Jersey. Homebirth midwives aren't exactly plentiful, but I know of two practices, off hand, in my area. I'm sure there are more throughout the rest of the state. In fact, I'm certain that I know of one all the way down at the southern tip of the state as well. The practice I use is CNMs, but they aren't MEDwives. They also have a student midwife, who is studying to be direct entry, so I assume there are direct entry midwives in state as well.

I am having a hard time finding a non-vax friendly ped, although my midwives did recommend someone in my area; he just doesn't take my insurance. For how often DD goes to the ped, though, I might just bite the bullet and pay out of pocket, just to save the hassle.

I find central Jersey to be pretty crunchy-friendly, for the most part. We have lots of farmer's markets, so you can get good local produce; plenty of family friendly places, parks, museums, etc. And there are tons of outdoor things to do, as well, which is great in the summer.

The only state in this area that I know of where there are no midwives is Maryland. I love Maryland, and have friends who live there. I'd go in a heartbeat, except for the illegal midwifery thing. Maybe after I'm done having kids.....
post #11 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by SharonAnne View Post
The only state in this area that I know of where there are no midwives is Maryland. I love Maryland, and have friends who live there. I'd go in a heartbeat, except for the illegal midwifery thing. Maybe after I'm done having kids.....
That's not true; one of the midwives I had my homebirth with lives in Elkton! Granted, their practice is based in Philly and she has been in jail a couple of times...but still lives in Elkton!
post #12 of 53
NJ is homebirth friendly, although if you've had a C/S before you are not allowed to legally have a homebirth.

Pascack Valley hospital has a group of midwives that run a birthing center on site that is popular. That's in Westwood which is very convenient for commuting to NYC.
post #13 of 53
MD definitely has midwives. There used to be a birth centre in Bethesda; it just closed and the midwives are practising at Shady Grove (there's at least one other BC in MD, but I forget where!) I know people in Baltimore who see CNMs.
post #14 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by andreac View Post
That's not true. They are the only CNM practice that does homebirths. There are several CPMs that are currently practicing in CT. CT is what some refer to as an Alegal state...meaning there are no laws specifically for OR against the practice of midwifery.
There is no such thing as an "alegal" state--in fact, the word has no legal meaning. In the absence of a statutory definition of DEM, exemptions from the medical/nursing/nurse midwifery practice acts and a mechanism for administrative regulation/discipline, DEMs are subject to criminal charges ranging from practicing medicine/nursing/nurse midwifery without a license, to reckless endangerment/manslaughter and the use/possession of controlled substances (i.e. Pit), which is also a violation of federal law.

CT's DEM law was repealed in 1983 and replaced by statutory language defining the practice of midwifery as the practice of "nurse midwifery" and requiring credentialing from the ACNM. Any DEM who performs the services enumerated in the CT nurse midwifery statute is practicing nurse midwifery without a license.

So far, CPMs in CT have been brought before the boards of nursing and medicine for investigation, rather than before the criminal courts, and as far as I know two cases are still open pending word from the Attorney General's office. However the cases are settled for those individual midwives, all DEMs/CPMs in CT will remain subject to criminal prosecution until they pass a law that distinguishes CPMs from CNMs and provides for licensure and administrative regulation.

Katie Prown
Legislative Chair
Wisconsin Guild of Midwives
post #15 of 53
PA is not exactly homebirth friendly in a lot of ways, but they are available.

in PA, CNMs are the only licensed ones, though some CPMs and TBAs (traditional birth attendents--grannie midwives) do practice. it's more rare, because they can be prosecuted for practicing without a license, which carries up to a 2 year prison sentence. Also, insurance costs for homebirth midwives are so high, that most CNMs practice in birth centers or hospitals, rather than in homebirths.

i think that here, women either go with a CNM or UC--that is most common in this area (montgomery county and chester counties). It's more common for women to go to the Bryn Mawr birth center instead of homebirth in this area (philly environs), but i don't know what it's like up in the Poconos.

I did find this organization PALM that has a listing of PA midwives by location--so if you know of any towns in the area, you might use that as a starting point.

btw, my parents live in the Poconos. they're about an hour, hour and fifteen commute from NYC, no traffic. two hours in traffic. they live near east stroudsburg/stroudsburg. here's a listing from the web site that is near them:

Pocono Midwives & Associates, LLC
5005 Rt. 611
Stroudsburg, PA 18360
(570) 421-9876
Andrea S. McClaren, CNM

some people use the train from philadelphia to NYC--which if you're using amtrak, it's an easy 2-2.5 hour commute. there are more midwives in the philly area, and again i don't know how many do homebirths or hospital/birth center arrangements. but, it's another option.

Good luck!
post #16 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexisT
Plenty of midwives in NY but they have to be certified--it's mainly CNMs I think.
Being certified isn't enough. They can only legally attend homebirths if they are LICENSED. New York State only licenses CNMs (Certifed Nurse Midwives -- trained to attend births in hospital settings) and CMs (Certified Midwives -- trained to attend births in hospital settings). New York State refuses to license CPMs (Certified Professional Midwives -- trained to attend births at home).

There are only religious and medical exemptions from vax in New York State. No philosophical exemption.
post #17 of 53
I live in the south central pa area and had a hard time finding a midwife for a home birth even though we have a TON of amish families in the area. I believe for the most part they use the midwife I am going with and another "granny midwife" as you may call it. Pa is not really insurance friendly as another poster said and it is costing me about $2000 with the birth and pre/post natal care. But, in my opinion if I had to have another hospital birth I would have spent that in therapy to get over it

Also, just a heads up. Pa has now passed a c-section law. Once a c-section always a c-section. My friend just moved to the state and has had 8 babies. Her 3rd was an emergency c-section. Even though she has had 5 natural births since then, she is not allowed to have a vaginal birth in a hospital here in pa since she "once upon a time" had a c-section. I think that stinks (to be nice). I believe Pa is also lenient on the vax thing as long as you have a religious reason/note. Otherwise, in order to attend pa public school they have to be vaccinated. At least that is what our previous pediatrician said before we stopped going to him. ( he wouldn't take no for an answer on vaxing my baby) Good luck.
post #18 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by meagansroses View Post
Also, just a heads up. Pa has now passed a c-section law. Once a c-section always a c-section.
Do you have a cite to that law? Thanks!

Valerie
Illinois
post #19 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by meagansroses View Post
Also, just a heads up. Pa has now passed a c-section law. Once a c-section always a c-section.
There is no such law in PA or in any other state. In fact, hospital policies requiring VBAC women to undergo repeat cesareans are in violation of a whole range of federal and state laws and regulations, case law, constitutional law and common law.

I wrote a research paper on the legalities of VBAC "bans" for ICAN called "Enforcing and Promoting the Rights of Women Seeking Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC): A Primer."

You can read it by going to the link below and scrolling down on the little scroll-bar to the right. It's under Miscellaneous in the White Papers section of the Resources section at www.ican-online.org in case the link below doesn't get you to the right place. The website is a little clunky to navigate because the titles of the papers there don't show up until you start scrolling down. But just keep going and you'll find it--and please do pass it along to your friend who's been mislead about her rights!

http://www.ican-online.org/index.php...per&Itemid=165

Katie Prown
Legislative Chair
Wisconsin Guild of Midwives
post #20 of 53
ohhhhh, thanks for the information. I hadn't researched it myself I was just going by what she had told me and what her doctor was forcing on her. I will be giving my friend this info---thanks so much. I'm sure she will (and many other moms) will be very relieved Thanks again for the "legal truth" It is amazing what crap they try to get you to believe at the doctor.
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