Would you have a problem with a midwife who practiced illegally? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 43 Old 08-04-2005, 10:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
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If you lived in a state where it was legal for some midwives to attend HBs but not legal for others, would you have any issues with choosing the illegal or alegal practitioner? Would your partner's preferences factor into that decision?
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#2 of 43 Old 08-04-2005, 10:56 AM
 
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No, I wouldn't have a problem with it. I would look for a midwife that I trusted and that had a good amount of experience and that I (and my partner) felt comfortable with. I don't think a state's laws would affect that decision.

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#3 of 43 Old 08-04-2005, 10:59 AM
 
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i would absolutely pick the midwife i connected with the most and it wouldn't matter to me if she was illegal or not, as long as i was confident with her.
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#4 of 43 Old 08-04-2005, 12:43 PM
 
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I wouldn't mind a civily disobedient midwife if I felt safe with her.
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#5 of 43 Old 08-04-2005, 12:53 PM
 
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Agreeing with everyone else. The legality of the midwife wouldn't bother me.

-Angela
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#6 of 43 Old 08-04-2005, 01:13 PM
 
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Reader - I just noticed your sig. I think it fits perfectly with your question. =)
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#7 of 43 Old 08-04-2005, 01:21 PM
 
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I would pick the midwife I felt the most comfortable with as well, though I think her legal status would factor into my comfort level. Some people has posted that if they have an emergency transfer they're on their own--the midwife wouldn't go with them because she could be prosecuted for practicing medicine w/o a license. Homebirth midwives aren't legally regulated in my state, so if there is an emergency my midwife can call the hospital, tell them what's going on, and they can be waiting at the emergency room entrance for us. Then she can stay with me without worry of being prosecuted for practicing medicine w/o a license.

I would take my partner's preferences into account. For example, my preference is to wait to have the midwife come at the very last minute, but my DP is terrified of catching the baby w/o her there. So we are compromising and having her come a little earlier than I might choose otherwise. If I were in your situation I might ask my partner to talk some about why the legal status is a concern.
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#8 of 43 Old 08-04-2005, 01:41 PM
 
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Exactly what annakiss said.
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#9 of 43 Old 08-04-2005, 02:17 PM
 
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Go with your Gut, and yes I would have my DH be involved. If you have full confidence in the midwife her legallity should matter very little. And if you don't have to transfer maybe yall could talk before hand about her coming to hospital posing as just a friend.

Laurie, wife to James, mom to 3 girls: 8,5 & 4 and 1 handsome boy,2: planning May 2010
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#10 of 43 Old 08-04-2005, 10:13 PM
 
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I live in a state where it is technically not legal for a midwife to attend a homebirth so I would have to say yes if you are comfortable with her.
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#11 of 43 Old 08-04-2005, 10:20 PM
 
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I would not have an issue. If I would have had to transfer she would have come with me to the hospital but would have acted as my doula.
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#12 of 43 Old 08-04-2005, 10:36 PM
 
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No - she delivered my four at home with no problem, better than some gOBlin would have at the local hospital.

She was simply a pair of hands, guided by years of experience - her own and the experience of all of the midwives who came before her.

"Vaccines are like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get - acute hemorrhagic edema of infancy, allergies, diabetes, eczema, petit/gran mal seizures, ADEM, AFP, ASIA, CFS, GBS, JPA, JRA, LGS, LKS, MS, POF, POTS, RA, SJS, SLE, SPD, TPI, Henoch-Schonlein purpua, fibromyalgia, Retts Syndrome, encephalitis, Hughes Syndrome, neurological damage, coma, or death."

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#13 of 43 Old 08-04-2005, 10:46 PM
 
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I once did a HB with an illegal midwife. (laws in that state have since changed)

In my own little code of ethics, it is a sin to deny a woman the freedom of birthing where she chooses. In my case, I chose home. I needed help and I chose *****. She was a very experienced CPM, and she helped my 11.5 # shoulder dystocia ds, into the world

I think I would have been nicely c-sectioned at the hospital.

I'd worked with the local legal medwives. No thanks.
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#14 of 43 Old 08-04-2005, 10:57 PM
 
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I wouldn't use an illegal midwife, but only because I would want my midiwfe to be able to catch my baby even if I had to transfer to the hospital and illegal one couldn't.

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#15 of 43 Old 08-04-2005, 11:22 PM
 
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It wouldn't matter to me, I don't think the state laws should be an issue where birth is concerned. I actually think my mw kind of practices illegally. In CA mw's are supposed to have a back up doc, but because of malpractice insurance no docs can be back ups or their insurance will drop them. So my mw does not have a back up, she just uses the on call doc if there is a problem.
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#16 of 43 Old 08-04-2005, 11:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I was just discussing this with my mom (fairly crunchy) and my sister (slightly crispy). My sister said there's no way she would have an illegal midwife because she would question the morals of a woman who would knowingly defy state law and practice without a license. (Whatever.)

My mom informed me that her homebirth had been with an illegal midwife (I didn't know that!), and that she had no problem with it at all. (And my mom is a fairly conservative, law-abiding person.) She said there are many things that are perfectly legal that she thinks are immoral, and that she had no conscience issues with a woman coming over to help another have a baby.
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#17 of 43 Old 08-04-2005, 11:50 PM
 
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I too am a fairly conservative law-abiding citizen. Of course I would consult dh on this, but I know he would agree with me, and I would pray about it.

I think legal status would mean nothing to me in this situation. If the midwife was the right person, then that is the person I would choose, or else I would go UC. Personally, if my profession became illegal, I would still choose to follow my calling and serve people.

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#18 of 43 Old 08-04-2005, 11:56 PM
 
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I'm about to hire illegal midwives.

Well said, Reader's mom!
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#19 of 43 Old 08-05-2005, 12:03 AM
 
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Absolutely no problem at all. Legality to me does not mean that something is better or right for me; I have a difficult time respecting the "law" when it acts in ways that limit my right to choose.
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#20 of 43 Old 08-05-2005, 01:19 AM
 
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IMHO the government and the medical community should both keep their fingers and noses out of the birthing process entirely. So illegal, alegal, or legal, it makes no difference to me. What's important is that the mw has lots of experience, knowledge etc.. to pass on.
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#21 of 43 Old 08-05-2005, 02:15 AM
 
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my mw was allegal, yet she was the best one for me - I felt themost comfortable with her and that's what mattered to me.
what would affect my comfort level, though, is if a mw would not go with me in case of a hospital transfer. I feel that a transfer is such a situation where you might really need heer to help you advocate for yourself and only have the stuff taht is really nessesary done to you.

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#22 of 43 Old 08-05-2005, 04:53 PM
 
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I live in an area with one CNM homebirth practice. I started going to them for well woman care years before I was ready to TTC. I was comfortable with them and they are preferred providers with my health insurance co. Therefore, I used them for my son's birth.

However, I'd really like to have a midwife with more complementary healing technique knowledge (herbs, massage, etc.) I get the impression that this is more common with CPMs. I'm about to move and I'm not sure my previous midwives will travel as far as where I'm moving to. So if not, or if my health insurance situation changes, I'll look into other, non- or a-legal midwives.

I agree with everybody else that this is one area of civil disobedience I think is totally justified. It always does surprise me when people act as if law is a perfect guide to morality, or morality can perfectly form laws. Morality, for me, is an inherently conditional thing. The morality of an act changes according to the conditions. (I know this makes me an unpopular thinker in many circles!) Law can't change according to the conditions, so it can't ALWAYS be moral.

Here as mama to W (2/04), R (5/06), D (7/09), and J (12/9/12!), co-parenting with my DH

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#23 of 43 Old 08-08-2005, 11:26 AM
 
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Where both are available, all things being fairly equal, I would actually have a preference for the alegal or illegal midwife. Once licensing is involved, a professional often must act in the foremost to protect her license (it is her living, after all.) Sometimes this means making decisions according to an established protocol rather than making them jointly with me in the best interest of me, my baby and family. It sounds silly I guess, but I feel like a midwife without a license on the line has greater freedom to make my unique situation and concerns the foremost priority without a background (heck, or even foreground) need to consider how a third party licensing body would critically review her decision making.
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#24 of 43 Old 08-08-2005, 11:55 AM
 
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I live in Missouri where it's illegal to have a lay midwife. But CNM are fine. Problem with that is there aren't very many CNM's and when you do find one they lean towards the medical side more than lay midwives. The legal issue doesn't matter to me. I want a homebirth and if I go to the hospital I'll be handled by an OB and not my CNM anyway. So what I did was hired my lay midwife and I have an OB in case I have to go to the hospital. DH is all about homebirth and doing everything natural. He's up for whatever will make me more relaxed so the birth will go swimmingly. Love him!
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#25 of 43 Old 08-08-2005, 11:55 AM
 
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Winterbaby - I was very caught off guard by your post; I fully expected to see that a person would prefer the legal form. But it makes perfect sense. Like doctors performing to a "standard of practice" no matter what mom wants, no matter what the research tells them. All their friends are doing it, so they have to too. Without that peer pressure, they'd be so much more free.
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#26 of 43 Old 08-08-2005, 01:30 PM
 
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My sister said there's no way she would have an illegal midwife because she would question the morals of a woman who would knowingly defy state law and practice without a license.

And I'd question the morals of someone who would allow an immoral law to dictate her practices!
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#27 of 43 Old 08-08-2005, 01:50 PM
 
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I agree with winterbaby . . .
After hearing stories where women had a hard time finding legal (CPM I guess) midwifes who would attend breech births, post dates, VBAC and/or twins because of various regulations, I am glad my midwife is illegal. She can decide on a case by case basis what is safe and what she can handle. I would have a hard time going to a midwife who had to answer to any regulating body actually . . . . of course think legal midwifes should be an option for people who want that!

Midwife, Mama
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#28 of 43 Old 08-08-2005, 02:54 PM
 
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I would hire an illegal midwife. Winterbaby hit the nail on the head!
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#29 of 43 Old 08-09-2005, 09:37 AM
 
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I hired a CPM to do Lily's homebirth, and I have hired her again to do this baby's homebirth. She is nationally certified, and gerts recertified every 2 yrs. It's not her fault that she state she live in will not recognize her license. It is not illegal for US to hire her. And I can tell you that if I ever move out of state, if I get pregnant, I will fly back to NC to have her attend my birth. The more support CPMs receive, the better chance there is that the state will listen and overturn their ruling against CPMs and lay midwives.

If something went horribly awry during our birth and she was discovered to be the attending midwife, she would be the one who got charged. I don't really see this as a moral issue for me. Its a moral issue for her as to whether or not she can justify continuing to practice in a state that does not recognize her legal status. My particular midwife looks at her midwifery business as a ministry to families, women, and babies. While my wish would be that she could attend me in the hospital, her lack of ability to do that is not something that would keep me from hiring her. I know that if I have to transfer, that I will be in good hands with the doula, and with the staff that treats me. There will be a darn good reason for me being in a hospital and she and I will have come to that agreement before I transfer.

CNMs are the only midwives in NC allowed to do homebirths, but the CNMs who do are very few. If I am correct, the CNM that does do homebirths where I live could not deliver in our local hospitals, her backup OB could, though. And homebirth with that CNM is covered under insurance. THe CNM who lives here used to work in a birth center, but did her homebirth apprenticeship under my midwife.
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#30 of 43 Old 08-09-2005, 09:48 AM
 
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The midwife I used with my girls practiced illegally. I had no problem with it.

However, having had a sucessful UC (but CPS being called in afterwards) changed my views for two reasons. One, I don't need a midwife for a safe or comfortable birth. Two, I DO need somebody to "officially" attend the birth and file for a birth certificate, etc. in order to prevent furthur CPS problems. Why would I pay an illegal midwife to help me do something I'd rather do alone, and can't even do the one thing I'd need a midwife to do?

Ruth, single mommy to 3 quasi-adults
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