Homebirth legal in the following states: NY, NJ, PA, CT?????????????? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 53 Old 08-29-2007, 09:58 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mom3b1? View Post
In GA DEMs can not legally attend homebirths, but it's a misdeamenor crime if they get caught. Worst case scenario is that they have to pay a fine. Still, I'm sure nobody wants that, or to stir up trouble that could lead to stricter laws and penalties.

The law here is that a liscense is required to attend hombirths. There is no way for a DEM to get a legally recognized liscense. So, in theory, if an OB, FP, or CNM wanted to attend homebirths they can. They won't be allowed to work in any hospital that I know of as well as attending homebirths so they have to choose all one or all the other.Kiley
I just wanted to point out that the law in all 50 states is written in such a way that if you want to attend births as the primary care provider, you need a license. In some states you need a license to practice medicine, in others you need a license to practice midwifery. But the way the laws in all states are written is that if you attend births and provide any of the services associated with being a primary birth attendant, then you need a license.

Otherwise you're subject to criminal charges of practicing medicine without a license and to additional criminal charges, including manslaughter, reckless endangerment and the use/possession of controlled substances. In some states, like GA cited above, it may be a misdemeanor to practice midwifery without a license. However, because there is no way to investigate/discipline midwives in states without licensure, any time a mother or baby dies or is injured on a midwife's watch, the only recourse is to bring in police, prosecutors and the criminal courts to determine a) if the midwife was at fault and b) if so, what her punishment should be.

When midwives are regulated by the criminal courts as opposed to by a civil administrative agency, then not only do parents lose control over the process, but it's left up to people with no knowledge whatsoever about midwifery, about evidence-based maternity care or about appropriate sanctions for "wayward" healthcare providers to investigate a case and determine the best means for remedying the situation.

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#32 of 53 Old 08-31-2007, 12:05 AM
 
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Pa: Yes. It's legal. Visit www.pahomebirth.com. It says something about only CNM's being legal, but CPM's will also attend, and charge you an arm and a leg to do it! Only thing is, CPM's aren't covered by insurance and you can't sue if something goes wrong. Not usually a problem for HB'ers though.
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#33 of 53 Old 08-31-2007, 10:59 AM
 
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CPMs aren't legal in PA. The law specifically states that you have to be a CNM in order to practice midwifery in the state. CPMs still practice there, but they're subject to a range of criminal charges for doing so. PA has a long history of prosecuting midwives, and Judy Wilson is still awaiting trial there for involuntary manslaughter, practicing midwifery without a license and endangering the life of a minor.

CPMs who practice in states without licensure are also subject to criminal charges for the use/possession of controlled substances. Carrying/using Pit and other medications without the legal authority to do so is a violation both of state law and of federal laws governing the possession of controlled substances.

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#34 of 53 Old 08-31-2007, 01:33 PM
 
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I'm in NY on Long Island. To my knowledge there are only 2 homebirth midwives on the island and I don't think either of them will do a HBAC
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#35 of 53 Old 08-31-2007, 03:13 PM
 
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Only thing is, CPM's aren't covered by insurance and you can't sue if something goes wrong. Not usually a problem for HB'ers though.
While you may not win (or even go to trial) you most certainly CAN sue a CPM if something goes wrong with a birth.

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#36 of 53 Old 08-31-2007, 05:52 PM
 
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There are several homebirth midwifery groups all over NJ that practice legally. Many are CNMs, but CPMs are legal in NJ as well. My last homebirth was with two CPMS, and my insurance paid.

As for restrictions on homebirths, many of them are limits to any midwifery practice, not just homebirths. High blood pressure, preeclampsia, VBAC etc. I have heard that there are midwives who will attend HBAC, but it's probably only rumor.

CNMs and CMs are the only legal midwives in NY. If you are downstate, you should have no problem finding a homebirth midwife. NYS also has some law (that I'm not exactly clear on) where they have to pay for birthing choices, including HB. That was how I forced my insurance co. to pay for my HB. They are based in NYS and so must follow state law and my CPM was licensed where I live. The didn't pay the whole fee, but it was a victory nonetheless.
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#37 of 53 Old 08-31-2007, 06:17 PM
 
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Actually there are CNMs, CPMs, DEMs, and I believe even a few LMs in PA. Basically they are permitted to practice, but if something goes wrong then they can be subject to prosecution...usually by someone with a beef against CPMs and DEMs.

I live in SC/SE PA and we have plenty of midwives here and are fighting to keep them. There is such a religious aspect to it in this area that women would use them regardless of law.

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#38 of 53 Old 09-01-2007, 10:46 AM
 
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The only LMs in PA are CNMs. The law specifically states that in order to practice midwifery in PA, you have to be a CNM. The very fact that they can be prosecuted if something goes wrong means that they are not legally "permitted" to practice.

In states where CPMs are legally permitted to practice, they don't face criminal charges and prison time if something goes wrong. Instead, they face a disciplinary hearing before a licensing board and potential loss of their license to practice, but they do not risk becoming a convicted felon as a result of practicing midwifery.

PA is not unique in terms of the religious aspect to home birth midwifery. There are women in every state who choose home birth for religious reasons, but the state does not distinguish between midwives serving in religious communities and those who are not. Unless you have a statute that exempts midwives from practicing without a license for religious reasons, all midwives in the state are subject to the same laws.

Judy Wilson's clientele was primarily Amish/Mennonite and yet she was arrested and is awaiting trial. Same with Freeda ******, an Ohio Mennonite woman who practiced midwifery in her community and was arrested and spent six months in prison for refusing to reveal the source of her Pitocin. In that case, it wasn't even for something that went wrong but for something that went right, when she treated a life-threatening PPH with Pitocin. But because midwives in OH aren't licensed and authorized to carry Pit (no one who isn't licensed is authorized to carry Pit) she was arrested anyway.

It's easy for home birth consumers to become complacent when there's a lull in criminal prosecutions in their state or when they live in a state where CPMs have yet to be driven underground or out-of-state due to the threat of prosecution. But IL is a perfect example. Midwives there used to advertise in the yellow pages, work openly with doctors and hospitals, and there were more than enough of them to meet the demand for home birth in the state. A high profile criminal trial and a series of cease and desist orders changed all that literally overnight.

The only thing that will change it back is the passage of a law to license CPMs, which IL is very close to doing. But they're doing it from a serious disadvantage, being on the defensive and with their few remaining midwives unable to testify before the legislature out of fear of being arrested. As far as I know there's currently no organized movement in PA to license CPMs, though now would be a good time to do it while the climate there remains relatively tolerant and while midwives are still openly practicing.

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#39 of 53 Old 09-01-2007, 04:05 PM
 
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I'm in NY on Long Island. To my knowledge there are only 2 homebirth midwives on the island and I don't think either of them will do a HBAC
I'm not sure about that--I was discussing VBAC in the LI Mamas thread and someone recommended one of the LI HB midwives.

Part of the issue on LI is demand, though--it's not a natural birth friendly area. (I'm from there originally.)

I know that at least one of the NYC midwives will do HBAC, but I can't remember who. It's definitely possible though.

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#40 of 53 Old 09-01-2007, 05:40 PM
 
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I'm in NY on Long Island. To my knowledge there are only 2 homebirth midwives on the island and I don't think either of them will do a HBAC
There are definitely more than 2, and I know of at least 3 that do HBAC.

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#41 of 53 Old 09-03-2007, 03:43 AM
 
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I'm in Northampton County and had a wonderful homebirth with a midwife from the Poconos. You can PM me if you want any further details.

I had also found another homebirth midwife when I was searching, Lynn Shay down in Barto, PA (Berks County), but she was a little too far for comfort.
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#42 of 53 Old 09-04-2007, 12:24 PM
 
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NYC itself (as in the 5 boroughs) have a lot of legally-practicing and often insurance-covered homebirth midwives. However, in many other places (like Albany), even certified midwives can't legally do home births because the OBs have banded together and refuse to be their back up care. New York requires that midwives have an OB as a backup.

OP, once you figure out a couple of areas you might like and afford to live in, post on the local board and people can direct you to the most homebirth friendly cities.

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#43 of 53 Old 09-04-2007, 07:37 PM
 
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There are definitely more than 2, and I know of at least 3 that do HBAC.
Really? The only 2 I could find were Jeannette Breen and Dale Cook (I'm using Dale)
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#44 of 53 Old 09-05-2007, 05:52 PM
 
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I just wanted to respond to a pp about md, and while there are midwives here, home birth midwives are very few and hard to find. There are 3 that I am aware of (and I am very into birth and such topics locally) in the STATE. 2 are nurses, 1 is an illigal dem (the one who came to our failed uc) and otherwise your options are birthcenter or hospital. Both birthcenters that are still open have very stringent "risk" requirements and at least one has a disturbingly high transfer rate. This is not a good state to have babies in!
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#45 of 53 Old 09-19-2007, 01:33 AM
 
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I know there are midwives in NEPA not quite south to Poconos but north and will attend HBAC. Some clients when they have a hard time finding a midwife close enough will rent a hunting cabin, or vacation cabin or B&B and meet their midwife there it's still cheaper than hospital birth and depending on preference maybe a better choice. e-mail me privately if you are interested. or go to PAHomebirth.org
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#46 of 53 Old 03-25-2008, 03:03 PM
 
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does anyone know anything about the pocono midwives in stroudsburg?
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#47 of 53 Old 03-25-2008, 03:25 PM
 
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[QUOTE=Sustainer;8754628]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).

I am currently working with a CM, on a covered by insurance fully out in the open homebirth in the Albany area. As far as she explained it to me, the requirement for CPMs to become CMs is that they pass the ACNM exam, not that their in hospitals. I know my MW in particular has been attending homebirths for 20+ years, and was licensed just a few years ago. There are now several other CPMs in the area working towards that goal.

But to the original poster, if your DH is going to be working in NYC there are definitely homebirth options a plenty there! I'm jealous

Mom to DD 7, DS 6, DD 4.5, DD 2.5, DS 1.5 and expecting DD4 anyday now. Planning my second : and ready for fun!
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#48 of 53 Old 03-25-2008, 04:45 PM
 
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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.....
THere are many CPM's practicing illegally in md, and 2 cnm's that practice legally in md to attend home births. I had one last year with a cpm. her certification is not recognized in maryland, but that doest' mean she isn't a wonderful, compassionate, educated midwife.

ETA: My health insurance payed her to boot!

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#49 of 53 Old 03-25-2008, 11:16 PM
 
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Do any of you know if NY midwives can attend an HBAC? I can't seem to get an answer on that one.
Yes, I know of a midwife near me who was going to do a HBAC for a friend of mine. Long story, but because of complications during late pregnancy they did decide to do the birth in the hospital, and it was a successful VBAC, but the midwife was willing to try before it became too risky.

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I live in Binghamton and we have no homebirth midwife within an hour drive. My midwife came down from Ithaca. Maybe there are more in NYC and other downstate areas. There ARE midwives, but just not many homebirth midwives.
Neat, did you use Monica? She's my midwife!

Anyway, it's crazy, there are 3 homebirth midwives (that I know of) in the Ithaca area, but apparently none others between Binghamton and Syracuse. I know when I was interviewing one of them mentioned that it was nice that we have so many choices nearby, because they get clients driving to appointments from 1-2 hours away just to have a homebirth.

But yes, to answer the original question, HB is definitely legal in NY, and it seems like there are lots of options near the city (even if your choices upstate are more limited).

I don't know about vax laws because right now we are "indefinitely delaying" and DS has not started school yet... although I do know some friends from playgroup who have not vax'd and did not have a problem claiming religious exemption.
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#50 of 53 Old 03-25-2008, 11:24 PM
 
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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 is not true, I have a midwife who does homebirth and she accepts my insurance. Their are many midwives in MD, I think most of them are closer to the East side of the state than the West but you should be able to find one. It is to far to commute to NYC though.

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#51 of 53 Old 03-26-2008, 01:37 PM
 
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The easiest thing to do is to go to NARM.org and they have information on the legality of homebirth in each state.
It is very hard to have a homebirth in NY. Virginia is legal. NC is not. PA is A-legal...
Let me know if i can help you any other way.
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#52 of 53 Old 03-26-2008, 04:42 PM
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I used to live in upstate NY (about 1.5 hours north of Syracuse) and a friend of mine had a homebirth with a non- CNM midwife. I am not sure what her qualifications/training were but it was a lovely birth.

I will tell you that taxes in New York are outrageous. We paid only slightly less in very rural NY on a $55,000 house than we pay right now on a $300,000 house in the Chicago suburbs so keep that in mind.
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#53 of 53 Old 03-26-2008, 11:35 PM
 
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I am in NE pa, near bloomsburg...and i drive about an hour and 15 min away to stroudsburg to see a cpm who will come to me for a homebirth.(she will drive up to 2 hrs i think) She has an associate, who is a bit closer, but i prefer the one who is a little farther away. There are def options around here, but some you really have to search for (it took me months to find her) because they dont just put themselves out there and advertise...they take a big risk doing what they do and i dont blame them.
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