My Midwife Is Under Investigation - Mothering Forums
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Homebirth > My Midwife Is Under Investigation
quelindo's Avatar quelindo 06:46 PM 12-10-2005

Persephone's Avatar Persephone 07:37 PM 12-10-2005
Ugh, that whole situation is terrible. I hate how the quotes are used. And some of that stuff the midwife was doing does sound shady, but some of it is basic midwife stuff too! "alcohol prep pads", "homebirth supplies" God forbid! I keep alcohol prep pads in my purse, hope I never get investigated for practicing medicine without a license if I happen to use one on someone's booboo!
Snowdrift's Avatar Snowdrift 07:52 PM 12-10-2005
The whole asking to go to the hospital thing is problematic. I think as homebirthers we all need to be very careful about what we say--even in the most intense moments. My midwife cautioned me that something she has a very hard time with is when a woman asks to go to the hospital when she means she needs more help, encouragement, etc. We've agreed that I will not say that unless I *really* mean it; but if it hadn't come up in conversation, I could end up exposing her to huge liability.

The article doesn't make clear what type of situation this was, but you can bet a court will interpret it the same way the author of the article did.
MamaTaraX's Avatar MamaTaraX 08:02 PM 12-10-2005
Quote:
Six times in the hours that followed, the midwife performed an episiotomy
SIX TIMES!?!? Pardon me but...WTH!? Who performs an episiotomy SIX TIMES!? That just caught my attention...
It also doesn't sit well with me that the mom asked to go to the hospital and the midwife refused. Women know what they need and should be trusted. Of course, tons of women birthing at home probably get scared and ask to go when all really is well...so that's really a grey area if anything.

I'm sorry to hear of yet another midife under investigation. The article definately doesn't make some things clear though, so I have no real thought either way. What upsets me most is that for every one tragedy there are hundreds of perfectly beautiful outcomes which are overlooked and overshadowed by the one tragedy. Nobody does that to doctors or in-hospital midwives. Such an event places undo scrutiny on other midwives in the area. A similar situation is occurring in mys tate right now. It's sad

Namaste, Tara
Cookie5765's Avatar Cookie5765 08:46 PM 12-10-2005
I also cannot comment on this because I do not know the true details.Everything seems to be kept very hush hush. I'd want to know what made this woman be considered high risk, etc. One of the things I've learnt though is that if a woman say "I need to go to the hospital" we go. No questions asked. Women know their bodies best. Now if a woman was asking for medication we might say give it another little while and if after that you still think you want medication we'll gom BUT a straight out request to go to the hospital we'd acknowledge and follow.
beaches1098's Avatar beaches1098 11:52 AM 12-11-2005
How sad. The whole requesting to go to the hospital and not being acknowledged by the midwife bothers me. Of course it makes big news because it is a midiwfe.
doulajen's Avatar doulajen 07:07 PM 12-11-2005
Here is what I posted on the other thread....

I am this midwife's apprentice. I know that she is beyond qualified to handle a difficult birth. Although I was not at this birth, I can assure you that this story is a bunch of crap and the reporter obviously has no idea what they are talking about. I can't believe that this midwife would refuse to go to the hospital or that she cut 6 episiotomies (I am pretty sure there is not enough skin in that area for this to be possible!) I have seen her handle a difficult birth before (Hi new moma) I know that she is very caring and competent! She would never make a mother stay home if she did not want to. I have also been with her during a transport and know that she has no problem taking a mom in if medical care is needed. Please remember that this story was written to sell papers!!! There is more to this story than what is written. She gave this mom options for her birth. The paper says this "that a certified professional midwife from the Milwaukee area turned the couple down earlier because Bridget *****'s maternity history was considered "too high risk" for a home birth. She declined to specify the risks identified by that midwife." How would you feel if you knew that "high risk" was VBAC??? I don't consider a vbac mom high risk that is for sure! Every midwife has their comfort zone and should not venture outside of that, but does that mean that every other midwife should have to turn away clients because someone else does? I don't think so. I don't know the details of this case because I have chosen not to ask (for my own good in case of trial). I do however know the integrity of this midwife. I am so sad for this family, for the midwife and her family, for all the mothers who will not be served by this wonderful midwife, and for the state of WI. Please try to keep an open mind when you read what is written in the news. Jen
pamamidwife's Avatar pamamidwife 07:32 PM 12-11-2005
reporters always ALWAYS get the facts messed up. most reporters have no idea what episiotomies are or what a shoulder dystocia really is. I think that this reporter is unethical, based on what they wrote.
Awaken's Avatar Awaken 07:46 PM 12-11-2005
I was also wondering how *6* episiotomies could possibly be done??

And what made the mom "high risk"??

The article definitely isn't telling the full story!

I am always sad to see midwives getting bad press :
norasmom's Avatar norasmom 11:03 PM 12-11-2005
I want to second doulajen

It is not our place to pass judgement on a situation where we do not know all of the facts. I personally would rather keep my nose out of things that I can't speak on personally.

What I can say is that I belive homebirth & midwifery care to be a safe alternative to mainstream medical treatment and it needs to remain an option for those that choose it.
Peppamint's Avatar Peppamint 06:36 PM 12-12-2005
A lot of broad insinuations there and little real information.
AngelBee's Avatar AngelBee 06:52 PM 12-12-2005
: for all involved.

Just wanted to comment that NO ONE can prevent a woman from going to the hospital. At any point she or her partner could have called 911. That part of the story makes me
LeosMama's Avatar LeosMama 08:49 PM 12-12-2005
I wonder about this too, the hospital thing.
When you have a police officer down your throat asking questions, what you actually said and meant can be misinterpreted.
"Did you at any time mention a hospital?"
"Yes, I guess I did, but it was labor and I was tired."
"Hmmmmm"
I'm not saying that's what happened, I wasn't there, don't know anything but the article and what is here. But I can guess that you can't transport to the hospital in the middle of delivering a shoulder dystocia. What if the mother said this during transition, the way that many women ask for drugs or say they're giving up, etc? This would come out during the investigation, but the MW may have been well within her pervue to not transport with that request. Or maybe it was a real plea and should have been honored.
We weren't there.
doulajen's Avatar doulajen 12:28 PM 12-13-2005
Here is another news article.

http://www.jsonline.com/news/wauk/dec05/377259.asp

She doesn't blame her in death of newborn
Quote:
By JACQUELINE SEIBEL
[email protected]
Posted: Dec. 12, 2005
Vernon - The mother of a baby who died during a home delivery said Monday she does not blame the midwife, who is under criminal investigation.
"There were just a lot of bad decisions," Bridget Stoiber said. "I don't feel she was diabolical. I truly feel she did the best she could under the circumstances."

mod edited for copyright violation

Peppamint's Avatar Peppamint 12:32 PM 12-13-2005
A much better article IMO.
liseux's Avatar liseux 06:14 PM 12-13-2005
"But I can guess that you can't transport to the hospital in the middle of delivering a shoulder dystocia." Leosmama

Believe it or not, you can.

I am feeling much better about the second article too.
LeosMama's Avatar LeosMama 08:30 PM 12-13-2005
but if time is of the essence, those minutes during transport seem dangerous. are you waiting the whole time? just holding in the baby? pulling on the baby? you can tell I'm ignorant about this concept. just seems like one of those things you have to deal with RIGHT NOW. please enlighten me.
liseux's Avatar liseux 10:19 PM 12-13-2005
If the baby is stuck and none of the maneuvers has helped, then in the ambulance you continue to push & try and then in the hospital too.
Stugroupie's Avatar Stugroupie 11:54 AM 12-14-2005
I am in Northern Illinois and have heard about this story. Thanks for sending the links so I could get a little more information about it. I don't know this midwife or any real details of the story, so I will refrain from comment.

My prayers are with this family, the midwife and her other clients that may be affected by this situation.

As homebirthers, we must take full responsibility for our choices, actions and decisions. Most midwives risk everything to assist us in childbirth and deserve our deepest gratitude and respect.

IL does not license CPMs either. My hope is that some good can come out of this awful situation and midwives will be licensed to "practice medicine" and can obtain malpractice insurance.

Valerie's Avatar Valerie 01:58 PM 12-14-2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stugroupie

IL does not license CPMs either. My hope is that some good can come out of this awful situation and midwives will be licensed to "practice medicine" and can obtain malpractice insurance.
Greetings, Jennifer -- I am also in northern Illinois.

It is certainly true that IL does not license CPMs -- a situation that we have been trying to fix since 1979 (long before the CPM certification was ever born).

Perhaps it is good to distinguish, though, that the point of midwifery regulation is not to license midwives to "practice medicine." Midwives generally don't want to practice medicine -- they want to practice midwifery without the fear of criminal prosecution. It is accusations of "practicing medicine" (as well as practicing nursing/nurse-midwifery) that has resulted in so many Illinois midwives leaving the state or ceasing their practices altogether.

The midwifery bill currently under consideration in Wisconsin would allow CPMs to practice the midwifery model of care without fear of being charged as criminals. To the best of my recollection, however, it does not require them to obtain malpractice insurance, relying instead on a very detailed informed consent agreement.

Valerie (IL homebirth DEM/CPM/RN -- at various times -- from 1983-2001)
graciesma's Avatar graciesma 02:41 PM 12-14-2005
I am only speaking for my self but If a person has not been through extensive training to do medical procedures and/or is not certified they will be going nowhere near my crotch or my my child. I have had 3 children all in hospitals. two surrogate and then my own beutiful baby. All were wonderful experiences it is a totall lie that doctors and nurses are doing things against someones will. They have no right to do any thing w/out your permission. None of the children I have birthed have ever had anything done to them ?i did not agree too including shots and vit k. I strongly feel like the medical community is always getting bashed on this site. These doctors and nurses do thier job because they care. In my opinion small minded as it may be doctors are proffesionals and when it comes to something likr bringing a precious life into the world Im just not willing to take the risk of a hgome birth. then again two babes were technicaly not mine. In any event I am sending my thoughts and PRAYERS to the family and truly hope it was gods will and not lack of intervention.
UmmBnB's Avatar UmmBnB 03:00 PM 12-14-2005
I couldn't read the whole article, nor could I read the whole thread. The whole thing just makes me sick to my stomach. We soooo need midwives, we sooo need the public at large to understand homebirth and shit like this just steps in the way of progress.
Valerie's Avatar Valerie 03:36 PM 12-14-2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by graciesma
I am only speaking for my self but If a person has not been through extensive training to do medical procedures and/or is not certified they will be going nowhere near my crotch or my my child.
And that is certainly your right.

Quote:
I have had 3 children all in hospitals. two surrogate and then my own beutiful baby. All were wonderful experiences it is a totall lie that doctors and nurses are doing things against someones will. They have no right to do any thing w/out your permission.
It is true that hospitals require your permission to treat you, but it is also true that in a lot of places, "informed consent" is merely a formality. Maybe I am in kind of a unique position, because in addition to being a homebirth midwife for a lot of years, I have also worked as a hospital L&D nurse. I can assure you that very often doctors and nurses DO do things that would be against your will, *if you were informed about it*. For a lot of medical folks, the old adage applies that it is "easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission."

Quote:
None of the children I have birthed have ever had anything done to them ?i did not agree too including shots and vit k. I strongly feel like the medical community is always getting bashed on this site.
Maybe what you are really "hearing" is the frustration of women who have to work long and hard just to find a midwife who will attend a homebirth. You are hearing the anger of women who are criticized as "irresponsible" because they choose to give birth at home.

Quote:
These doctors and nurses do thier job because they care.
Some do and some don't. Some started out caring and just gave up. Some just flat out don't like women. Some doctors are bad; some midwives are bad. Some midwives are wonderful and some doctors are wonderful. We just can't generalize about any group.

I do believe that we can't have safe homebirth without good hospital back-up. I also believe that we can't have safe hospital birth without midwife-attended homebirth as the model.

Quote:
In my opinion small minded as it may be doctors are proffesionals and when it comes to something likr bringing a precious life into the world Im just not willing to take the risk of a hgome birth.
Are you aware of the huge amount of research that supports the safety of homebirth?

Quote:
then again two babes were technicaly not mine. In any event I am sending my thoughts and PRAYERS to the family and truly hope it was gods will and not lack of intervention.
I hope the best for all involved in this very tragic situation.

Valerie
Illinois
RedOakMomma's Avatar RedOakMomma 03:56 PM 12-14-2005
graciesma~ , sweetie. You sound frustrated. I agree that the medical community gets the short end of the stick (and is often vilified) here on the boards, but I think there's a reason for that. A lot of the women here are seeking alternatives, or are here because of negative birth experiences, or just feel more comfortable with more "natural" choices for birthing (even I can see that a hospital isn't the most "natural" place to give birth). Do I believe in the ability to have an amazing, empowering, non-violent, drug-free birth at a hospital? Yes, I do, and I have had one. Here in Milwaukee, actually. My OB, who specializes in high risk pregnancies, supported me in an all natural labor of twins (one breech). I didn't have a midwife or a doula, and I think my hospital birth was an amazing, lovely, child-centered expereience. Not one objectionable thing happened, and both of my babies were in my sight for every second we were in the hospital. CAN positive births happen at a hospital? Of course. Has it happened for a lot of women at this site? No.

I also believe that midwives can be every bit as qualified as doctors to deliver babies, and that homebirths can be safe. Bad outcomes happen at home and they happen in hospitals...the ones at home just seem so "unusual" that they make all the news.

I haven't read the Journal articles, so I don't know how this story is being portrayed in the local paper....I have heard this story covered on the local evening news and on our local NPR station. In both cases, the story was covered briefly, but then followed by a statement from the statewide midwifes guild....apparently there's legislation coming up so that only certified midwives can call themselves "midwives."....the guild supports this legislation (one of the midwives wrote it, the story said), and I think it would do a lot to improve the status of midwife care here in WI.

It's a sad story, and a very VERY unusual outcome...I hardly think it can be used to judge the merits of homebirth...anymore so than we could or should use one bad outcome at a hospital to judge the merits of hospitals. Tragedy, unfortunately, happens.
doulajen's Avatar doulajen 04:03 PM 12-14-2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by graciesma
I am only speaking for my self but If a person has not been through extensive training to do medical procedures and/or is not certified they will be going nowhere near my crotch or my my child. I have had 3 children all in hospitals. two surrogate and then my own beutiful baby. All were wonderful experiences it is a totall lie that doctors and nurses are doing things against someones will. They have no right to do any thing w/out your permission. None of the children I have birthed have ever had anything done to them ?i did not agree too including shots and vit k. I strongly feel like the medical community is always getting bashed on this site. These doctors and nurses do thier job because they care. In my opinion small minded as it may be doctors are proffesionals and when it comes to something likr bringing a precious life into the world Im just not willing to take the risk of a hgome birth. then again two babes were technicaly not mine. In any event I am sending my thoughts and PRAYERS to the family and truly hope it was gods will and not lack of intervention.

I don't even know what to say to this.... but here are some of my thoughts

I have worked in hospitals for many years, I have heard doctors tell me and other nurses that they were "going to do a c-section because they had dinner plans and besides the mother is a teen, what will she care." I have seen mothers held down, forced to have exams, monitoring, medication that they did not want. I have seen doctors manually remove a placenta because he was running late for a date. This caused the mom a great deal of pain and a post-partum hemorrhage. I have seen male doctors belittle and degrade women in labor. I have seen doctors yell at women and tell them that their baby will surely die if they did not do x, y, or z. I have seen them threaten to call the police or CPS if mom refused the eye ointment or vit K. You can not tell me that it is a lie that doctors force women into unwanted procedures!!!

:
AnditheBee's Avatar AnditheBee 04:18 PM 12-14-2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by graciesma
I have had 3 children all in hospitals. two surrogate and then my own beutiful baby. All were wonderful experiences it is a totall lie that doctors and nurses are doing things against someones will. They have no right to do any thing w/out your permission. None of the children I have birthed have ever had anything done to them ?i did not agree too including shots and vit k.
I am sooo glad for you that your hospital births were wonderful! Mine was, too, despite its ending in an unplanned cesarean. The doctor was wonderful and the nurses were, too. They let me push however I wanted for 7 hours without saying a word except encouragement and support! Afterward, one nurse made my c-section recovery go much more smoothly than I believe it would have otherwise; another helped get me established with breastfeeding, even moreso than the lactation consultant had! I really loved those nurses.

However, not everyone is as lucky as you and me. At the same hospital, with a different doctor and a couple of inexperienced nurses, one friend of mine had an episiotomy performed without her knowledge (!!!) or consent. I have another friend who delivered elsewhere and was not only given an episiotomy without being told, but her child was also circumcised without her being told first!!! (She had intended to have him circ'd, but STILL...)

So unfortunately, yes, sometimes doctors and nurses do things against peoples' will and/or without their prior consent. This is why women here tend to get very "worked up" about medicalized births--because of situations like my friends' above. If women were better-informed and felt confident about their own knowledge and abilities, things like this wouldn't happen as much; therefore, the people on this board want everyone to be as informed and confident as possible. Sometimes it comes across as bashing or flaming, but I think it's usually intended to be constructive rather than destructive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RedOakMomma
It's a sad story, and a very VERY unusual outcome...I hardly think it can be used to judge the merits of homebirth...anymore so than we could or should use one bad outcome at a hospital to judge the merits of hospitals.
Well-said!
homebirthing's Avatar homebirthing 05:05 PM 12-14-2005
Quote:
It is a total lie that doctors and nurses are doing things against someones will. They have no right to do any thing w/out your permission.

All I can say is that I wish you were right...but sadly that isn't true.
paquerette's Avatar paquerette 05:08 PM 12-14-2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by graciesma
it is a totall lie that doctors and nurses are doing things against someones will.
Well, I'm a total liar then. I'm totally lying I guess when I tell you that I was forcibly medicated with pitocin even as I was clearly and distinctly saying "I do not want any pitocin, I just want to nurse my baby." Yep, there sure are a lot of liars around here. Check out the birth trauma and birthrape groups for even more of them.
aprilushka's Avatar aprilushka 05:12 PM 12-14-2005
My friend's doctor was going to break her water during an induction without telling her first. Considering that AROM comes with certain increased risks, this was pretty inexcusable without consent. Her doula saw what was coming and asked her outloud if she was ready for that. She said no, she wasn't ready and was afraid. The doctor got really pissed off and said, "Well what did you think, that it was going to be a cake walk?" and stormed out of the room. She later came back and my friend consented to the AROM.

I've also heard of a woman being put under general and given c/s without her consent when she showed up pushing to a hospital that has banned VBACs.
AngelBee's Avatar AngelBee 05:27 PM 12-14-2005
Quote:
It is a total lie that doctors and nurses are doing things against someones will. They have no right to do any thing w/out your permission.
What about NOT telling them they have a choice?

I had more nureses hands in my crotch and pushing on my stomach with babies 1 and 2. I never questioned as I thought that was the way it was done.

Baby 3..........only touched when I asked to be. Never put their hands in my or on me without my asking. If they felt they should, they told me....but still left the option for me to say no.

Babies 1 and 2: Hospital birth with OB. One of the top hospitals and top OB in MN.

Baby 3: Midwife overseen be above OB. Different hospital. Great experience! :

What is the difference? To me....the midwife. It is all about the approach. The midset. I love my OB. Our family has gone to him for over 27 years. For me though, a midwife is a good fit. I feel so grateful that I have a choice.

We are planning to have a home birth the 4th time around
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