Decriminalizing the use of midwives for Alabama homebirthers - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 2 Old 03-25-2014, 05:44 PM - Thread Starter
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These were published in Weld magazine in **********, AL.  So far, I like the way the story is being delivered.  Part II features some really lovely, encouraging homebirth stories.  Part three comes out soon and will hear the other side (i.e., the Dr.'s opposed to homebirth).


I currently live in a suburb of ********** and I have wondered what will happen when I'm ready to be a mother.  It could be I'm not living here anymore, but if I am, it would sure be nice if I was allowed access to a midwife.  Because banning them from practicing because it's "dangerous" makes a lot of sense :P


Here's the links to parts I and II.

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#2 of 2 Old 04-05-2014, 05:52 AM
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This article is actually quite confusing on the issue of whether midwifery is illegal or not. It claims that practicing midwifery is illegal – but buried further in the article is a comment that 'the state and medical associations are supportive of nurse-midwives', and the bill the article is discussing seems, from their description, to refer to legalising CPMs (certified professional midwives). So... maybe I'm wrong, but it did strike me that maybe the issue here is actually over the legality of working with only a CPM credential, not over midwifery generally.


This is a very important distinction, because there is in fact a big difference between the CNM (certified nurse-midwife) and the CPM credential in terms of the amount of education and training required. The article doesn't address that at all, but here are a couple of useful posts about the differences:


In a nutshell, there are major concerns that the training for CPMs simply isn't rigorous enough, and is leading to large numbers of supposedly qualified midwives who actually don't have enough training/experience to manage in an emergency. Now, of course, there are lots of CPMs who care deeply about their professional development and go way beyond the bare minimum; but there are also a lot of absolute horror stories out there about CPMs who don't know what they're doing in a crisis, and it does look as though having a CPM is associated with higher risk for the baby.


This horrified me when I first started reading about it; if I was in the USA and trying to choose a midwife, it would simply not have occurred to me that a lot of the 'qualified' midwives out there haven't actually had the kind of training that is considered mandatory in other places. I'm guessing that most of the women who opt for CPMs don't know this. So, if the issue in Alabama is actually that it's illegal to practice as a midwife with only a CPM credential, then I am in complete sympathy with that law.


This has nothing to do with being against homebirth generally, although the article seems to have conflated the two issues the whole way through. I think it would be fantastic to see the US setting up the kind of system that the UK and some other countries already have; a system whereby properly trained midwives could work in collaboration with obstetrical services to provide good-quality homebirth care with well-organised, seamless transfers when needed. What I don't support is the existence of a secondary, inferior, qualification system that's going to mislead women into thinking they're with a fully trained midwife when, by all other standards, this isn't the case.

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