Despite being an advocate of self motivated learning and having high regard for the ability to learn without school or programs, I am not comfortable with someone selling their services as a midwife without some sort of certification.
I think that a person engaging the services of a professional deserves to be able to understand what kind of training and background is required for someone to advertise themselves as a member of that profession. "Midwife" is so vague it can mean anything and I think there should be restrictions on who can call themselves a midwife, and the credentials and background required should be clear. I can't very well stop people from paying whoever they want to attend their births, but I don't think just anyone should be able to say they are a midwife.
I agree with the previous posters. However, I do support the midwives who fly "under the radar" in areas where homebirth is not allowed/accepted.
Married to a wonderful woman since 2010. Baby boy C arrived in June 2013!
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No. I wouldn't trust any "underground" healthcare provider regardless of circumstances, especially if they were in violation of the law. That indicates questionable ethics and judgment - two necessary characteristics for those potentially handling life or death situations.
me, my man, and our boys (1/08 and 3/11)
HOWEVER, I would never ever use one myself. 1) my state has awesome resources for all sorts of births and 2) I trust if I risk out of my licensed midwives care that I should go to the hospital and deliver.
Wife to DH (12.10.2009), Anchorage based doula , Proud mama to Autumn (09.03.2008), Sylas (04.25.2010), (06.11.2012), Calliope(04.23.2013) .
I would hire an unlicensed midwife if homebirth was illegal in my state and I knew that the woman had plenty of training to deal with difficult situations. My first planned home birth was accidentally unassisted and baby's daddy received her, so I trust the birthing process in general.
It is disturbing to think that an underground midwife might not call 911 in an emergency...
I guess it depends on what the laws regarding midwifery practice are in her state. If she's "underground" in that she has training, experience and references but illegally attends home births, that's a little different than someone who can do it legally but just doesn't have certification, KWIM?
If there's one thing I've come to learn while navigating my mommy groups and hearing about all kinds of different care providers, it's that there are good and bad providers of all sorts. There are great OBs and there are awful ones. There are skilled and wonderful midwives and there are shady ones. Certification (and the legalities surrounding it in your area) is absolutely an important part of the process, but they aren't the be all, end all IMO. There are crappy care providers who are certified too. Your own ability to ask questions, find out about actual experience and get a feel for what kind of a provider someone is ends up counting for more than certification in and of itself, IMO.
Happy mama to our sweet pea (08/25/13), loving wife to my brilliant gentleman (09/10/11) and lucky stepmama to five
Breastfeeding, babywearing, and promoting natural health one day at a time!