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

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#1 of 53 Old 07-26-2007, 07:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am seeking information before relocating to the east coast. DH is gonna be working in NYC and we are seeking a homebirth friendly state. I have had 3 GREAT homebirths in Houston, TX and is pains me to think that I may not have a choice depending on where we live. SO, with this in mind I am trying my best to narrow our choices of states down. ANY info would be helpful. :

We also, don't vaccinate....and I have no idea how the politics for these states work in regards to this issue. :

Moving really sucks, but moving from very "free choice" state to the unknown is extra sucky. :
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#2 of 53 Old 07-26-2007, 08:02 PM
 
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Legal? Gosh, I've never heard of home birthing being "illegal". Hummmm I mean gosh it's not like once pregnant we are assigned to the "birthing police" and reporting to the hospital is madotory or else.......or else what- a fine or something. I'm so confused.

Hummm, I'll anxiously be waiting to hear what others have to say.
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#3 of 53 Old 07-26-2007, 08:04 PM
 
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Absolutly legal in NY & midwives there are PLENTIFUL! (I wouldn't wanna live there though, I escaped years ago...)

~Marie : Mom to DS(11), DS(10), DD(8), DD(4), DD(2), & Happily Married to DH 12 yrs.!
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#4 of 53 Old 07-26-2007, 09:52 PM
 
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Legal? Gosh, I've never heard of home birthing being "illegal". Hummmm I mean gosh it's not like once pregnant we are assigned to the "birthing police" and reporting to the hospital is madotory or else.......or else what- a fine or something. I'm so confused.

Hummm, I'll anxiously be waiting to hear what others have to say.
Homebirth is always legal.It's who can or can not attend the birth legally.Where I live only certified nurse midwives can legally attend births.

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#5 of 53 Old 07-26-2007, 10:11 PM
 
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In CT, there is only one group that doing homebirths. Birth and Beyond.
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#6 of 53 Old 07-26-2007, 10:19 PM
 
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That's not true. They are the only CNM practice that does homebirths. There are several CPMs that are currently practicing in CT. CT is what some refer to as an Alegal state...meaning there are no laws specifically for OR against the practice of midwifery.

As far as vax goes, CT has medical and religious exemptions. The religious is very easy to get. It's a very simply worded statement signed by a parent. Our pre-school didn't blink an eye.
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#7 of 53 Old 07-26-2007, 10:20 PM
 
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Plenty of midwives in NY but they have to be certified--it's mainly CNMs I think. But there's definitely plenty of MWs, both hospital and home. I read that 11% of NYS births are midwife attended.

(legal status: http://www.cfmidwifery.org/states/states.asp?ST=45)

DD 01/2007, DS 09/2011

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#8 of 53 Old 07-26-2007, 10:24 PM
 
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That's not true. They are the only CNM practice that does homebirths. There are several CPMs that are currently practicing in CT. CT is what some refer to as an Alegal state...meaning there are no laws specifically for OR against the practice of midwifery.

As far as vax goes, CT has medical and religious exemptions. The religious is very easy to get. It's a very simply worded statement signed by a parent. Our pre-school didn't blink an eye.

Doh! Thank you for correcting me!
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#9 of 53 Old 07-27-2007, 09:40 AM
 
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NYC has TONS of homebirth midwives, I've never had so many to choose from!!!!

http://www.nyhomebirth.com/

You can get religious vax exemption here.

Keep in mind your DH's commute will totally SUCK and he will spend hours a day in the car if you live much out of NYC.

NJ has homebirth as well, no homeschooling regulation, but don't know about their vax rules.

Amy, USCG wife and homeschooling, ebfing, homebirthing Mama to M (8), L (6), L (2.5)
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#10 of 53 Old 07-27-2007, 09:51 AM
 
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I'm in central Jersey. Homebirth midwives aren't exactly plentiful, but I know of two practices, off hand, in my area. I'm sure there are more throughout the rest of the state. In fact, I'm certain that I know of one all the way down at the southern tip of the state as well. The practice I use is CNMs, but they aren't MEDwives. They also have a student midwife, who is studying to be direct entry, so I assume there are direct entry midwives in state as well.

I am having a hard time finding a non-vax friendly ped, although my midwives did recommend someone in my area; he just doesn't take my insurance. For how often DD goes to the ped, though, I might just bite the bullet and pay out of pocket, just to save the hassle.

I find central Jersey to be pretty crunchy-friendly, for the most part. We have lots of farmer's markets, so you can get good local produce; plenty of family friendly places, parks, museums, etc. And there are tons of outdoor things to do, as well, which is great in the summer.

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.....

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#11 of 53 Old 07-27-2007, 08:59 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's not true; one of the midwives I had my homebirth with lives in Elkton! Granted, their practice is based in Philly and she has been in jail a couple of times...but still lives in Elkton!
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#12 of 53 Old 07-28-2007, 12:13 AM
 
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NJ is homebirth friendly, although if you've had a C/S before you are not allowed to legally have a homebirth.

Pascack Valley hospital has a group of midwives that run a birthing center on site that is popular. That's in Westwood which is very convenient for commuting to NYC.

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#13 of 53 Old 07-28-2007, 01:32 AM
 
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MD definitely has midwives. There used to be a birth centre in Bethesda; it just closed and the midwives are practising at Shady Grove (there's at least one other BC in MD, but I forget where!) I know people in Baltimore who see CNMs.

DD 01/2007, DS 09/2011

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#14 of 53 Old 07-28-2007, 01:30 PM
 
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That's not true. They are the only CNM practice that does homebirths. There are several CPMs that are currently practicing in CT. CT is what some refer to as an Alegal state...meaning there are no laws specifically for OR against the practice of midwifery.
There is no such thing as an "alegal" state--in fact, the word has no legal meaning. In the absence of a statutory definition of DEM, exemptions from the medical/nursing/nurse midwifery practice acts and a mechanism for administrative regulation/discipline, DEMs are subject to criminal charges ranging from practicing medicine/nursing/nurse midwifery without a license, to reckless endangerment/manslaughter and the use/possession of controlled substances (i.e. Pit), which is also a violation of federal law.

CT's DEM law was repealed in 1983 and replaced by statutory language defining the practice of midwifery as the practice of "nurse midwifery" and requiring credentialing from the ACNM. Any DEM who performs the services enumerated in the CT nurse midwifery statute is practicing nurse midwifery without a license.

So far, CPMs in CT have been brought before the boards of nursing and medicine for investigation, rather than before the criminal courts, and as far as I know two cases are still open pending word from the Attorney General's office. However the cases are settled for those individual midwives, all DEMs/CPMs in CT will remain subject to criminal prosecution until they pass a law that distinguishes CPMs from CNMs and provides for licensure and administrative regulation.

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#15 of 53 Old 07-28-2007, 07:59 PM
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PA is not exactly homebirth friendly in a lot of ways, but they are available.

in PA, CNMs are the only licensed ones, though some CPMs and TBAs (traditional birth attendents--grannie midwives) do practice. it's more rare, because they can be prosecuted for practicing without a license, which carries up to a 2 year prison sentence. Also, insurance costs for homebirth midwives are so high, that most CNMs practice in birth centers or hospitals, rather than in homebirths.

i think that here, women either go with a CNM or UC--that is most common in this area (montgomery county and chester counties). It's more common for women to go to the Bryn Mawr birth center instead of homebirth in this area (philly environs), but i don't know what it's like up in the Poconos.

I did find this organization PALM that has a listing of PA midwives by location--so if you know of any towns in the area, you might use that as a starting point.

btw, my parents live in the Poconos. they're about an hour, hour and fifteen commute from NYC, no traffic. two hours in traffic. they live near east stroudsburg/stroudsburg. here's a listing from the web site that is near them:

Pocono Midwives & Associates, LLC
5005 Rt. 611
Stroudsburg, PA 18360
(570) 421-9876
Andrea S. McClaren, CNM

some people use the train from philadelphia to NYC--which if you're using amtrak, it's an easy 2-2.5 hour commute. there are more midwives in the philly area, and again i don't know how many do homebirths or hospital/birth center arrangements. but, it's another option.

Good luck!
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#16 of 53 Old 07-28-2007, 09:15 PM
 
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Originally Posted by AlexisT
Plenty of midwives in NY but they have to be certified--it's mainly CNMs I think.
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).

There are only religious and medical exemptions from vax in New York State. No philosophical exemption.

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#17 of 53 Old 07-29-2007, 06:00 AM
 
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I live in the south central pa area and had a hard time finding a midwife for a home birth even though we have a TON of amish families in the area. I believe for the most part they use the midwife I am going with and another "granny midwife" as you may call it. Pa is not really insurance friendly as another poster said and it is costing me about $2000 with the birth and pre/post natal care. But, in my opinion if I had to have another hospital birth I would have spent that in therapy to get over it

Also, just a heads up. Pa has now passed a c-section law. Once a c-section always a c-section. My friend just moved to the state and has had 8 babies. Her 3rd was an emergency c-section. Even though she has had 5 natural births since then, she is not allowed to have a vaginal birth in a hospital here in pa since she "once upon a time" had a c-section. I think that stinks (to be nice). I believe Pa is also lenient on the vax thing as long as you have a religious reason/note. Otherwise, in order to attend pa public school they have to be vaccinated. At least that is what our previous pediatrician said before we stopped going to him. ( he wouldn't take no for an answer on vaxing my baby) Good luck.
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#18 of 53 Old 07-29-2007, 11:17 AM
 
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Also, just a heads up. Pa has now passed a c-section law. Once a c-section always a c-section.
Do you have a cite to that law? Thanks!

Valerie
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#19 of 53 Old 07-29-2007, 01:01 PM
 
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Also, just a heads up. Pa has now passed a c-section law. Once a c-section always a c-section.
There is no such law in PA or in any other state. In fact, hospital policies requiring VBAC women to undergo repeat cesareans are in violation of a whole range of federal and state laws and regulations, case law, constitutional law and common law.

I wrote a research paper on the legalities of VBAC "bans" for ICAN called "Enforcing and Promoting the Rights of Women Seeking Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC): A Primer."

You can read it by going to the link below and scrolling down on the little scroll-bar to the right. It's under Miscellaneous in the White Papers section of the Resources section at www.ican-online.org in case the link below doesn't get you to the right place. The website is a little clunky to navigate because the titles of the papers there don't show up until you start scrolling down. But just keep going and you'll find it--and please do pass it along to your friend who's been mislead about her rights!

http://www.ican-online.org/index.php...per&Itemid=165

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#20 of 53 Old 07-29-2007, 10:35 PM
 
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ohhhhh, thanks for the information. I hadn't researched it myself I was just going by what she had told me and what her doctor was forcing on her. I will be giving my friend this info---thanks so much. I'm sure she will (and many other moms) will be very relieved Thanks again for the "legal truth" It is amazing what crap they try to get you to believe at the doctor.
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#21 of 53 Old 07-30-2007, 05:29 PM
 
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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. I do know one CNM in Middle GA who does attend homebirths, and only homebirths. I *think* she'd like to have an OB to work with who could do backup and order tests when needed/wanted, but there is no such animal available, or if there was they would loose their hospital priveledges if they did.

Sorry, that's not commuting distance from NYC, but with all the talk of laws, I thought it was an interesting example. I grew up in NJ, a trainride away from "The City." It was a great life. We had a farm, but could go in for shows, museums etc, and for a while Dad worked in the city too. For the past several years he's commuted the opposite direction, to Clinton NJ.

If you like the country, and don't mind riding a train to work, try Califon NJ. It's way out on the end of the Eerie Lackawana train line, and not being suburbanized as quickly as many of the other communities I know and love are. PM me and I can put you in touch with a really good realtor.

Kiley
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#22 of 53 Old 07-30-2007, 05:36 PM
 
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I believe Pa is also lenient on the vax thing as long as you have a religious reason/note. Otherwise, in order to attend pa public school they have to be vaccinated. At least that is what our previous pediatrician said before we stopped going to him. ( he wouldn't take no for an answer on vaxing my baby) Good luck.
not true - the religious exemption in pa is VERY loosely worded, essentially encompassing a philosophical exemption.
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#23 of 53 Old 07-31-2007, 12:03 PM
 
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Eastern PA (think poconos and Lehigh valley) I think HB are legal - but good luck finding a HB MW. None that I know of in Monroe, Pike, or Lehigh counties.

I had a WONDERFUL MW though - she operated a birth center before the hospital refused to renew her lease. She practices indepently, with a backup OB who is NOT located in her office. She makes the choices on your care with you, and only consults him if there is a real need to do so. She was phenomenal - my prenatal and postnatal care were amazing - I switched to her at 28 weeks and it was the best decision I ever made. I got checked by her once I was in labor and then sent to walk and eat LOL She didn't want me going to the hospital until the last possible minute. The hospital - she has 2 birth center style rooms and offers water birth, no routine IV, etc. She stayed with me the entire time, and was amazing when DS had shoulder dystocia. I could not have asked for better care. She cared about me as a person - not just a walking womb (how I felt with the other practice) - she asked about how I felt emotionally, mentally, how DH and I were doing, making sure we were still enjoying sex. LOL During my PP visit she gave me a backrub while we talked about everything. I just want to cry at the thought of her not catching the next one - I have seriously considered getting prenatal care here and flying back to PA to have the next baby with her again. I can't say enough wonderful things about her.

Laurice Dunning, CNM
www.valleymidwives.com
Midwives and Associates in Allentown PA

Monroe county (stroudsburg and surrounding) and Lehigh Valley (allentown, bethlehem, etc) are FULL of commuters to the city - it is about 1-1.5 hours commute. via rt 80 from Monroe or via 78 from Lehigh. It is a nice area to raise kids, affordable compared to NY or NJ, and an easy commute. PA is a crunchier area too....
And I can recommend AWESOME family doc who is not only supportive but against vaxing (he has written books and offers chelation therapy to help vax damage!), has a natural remedies pharmacy on site, specialize in food and enviornmental allergies - and is just wonderful. There are several docs in the group, all great. I miss them sooooooo much! It is the Woodlands Healing Research Center. In Quakertown, just outside of Allentown.
www.woodmed.com
I liked Dr Buttram and Dr Kelley the best - and so did DS. Dr Buttram is older, founded the practice and does all the research/fights against routine vaxing - he takes MUCH longer with appts (DH complained but I liked it). Dr Kelley is awesome but she is really quick, sometimes hard to get a question in there, but once you say I have some questions, she is attentive and thorough.

As for Vax exemptions - PA is super easy - just print out the religious exemption form from vaclib, fill it out and sign it- done! Unlike Florida where I had to jump thru hoops at the health department. I actually had my PA printed out and ook it with me to the hospital - just had to put DS's name, and date on it. it was easy to refuse stuff at the hospital we used too.

if you have any questions about that area in PA - just PM me
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#24 of 53 Old 07-31-2007, 12:09 PM
 
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btw, my parents live in the Poconos. they're about an hour, hour and fifteen commute from NYC, no traffic. two hours in traffic. they live near east stroudsburg/stroudsburg. here's a listing from the web site that is near them:

Pocono Midwives & Associates, LLC
5005 Rt. 611
Stroudsburg, PA 18360
(570) 421-9876
Andrea S. McClaren, CNM

Good luck!
This was 15 minutes from me and I drove an hour to get to Laurice!!!!! From friends/coworkers of DH that used her - she is NOT a MW. One friend ended up hating birth to the point that she refuses to consider having another child, despite "no complications" - the other was ordered to have an epidural by this MW and ended up with a CS that IMO was really avoidable....Plus Pocono Medical Center is a ChopShop - if you don't want to go to Allentown, then most women drive the 45 mins the other way into Jersery to Hackettstown to a wonderful MW there who also does waterbirths in a hospital....

Also there is a fantastic farmers market (with organic meats and veggies) right in Allentown. Where I spent half my labor and every Saturday morning
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#25 of 53 Old 07-31-2007, 12:58 PM
 
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I had a WONDERFUL MW though
i second that - laurice is fantastic
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#26 of 53 Old 07-31-2007, 05:54 PM
 
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There's quite a few restrictions on what kind of homebirths NJ mws can attend. I think NY is better. Not sure about CT
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#27 of 53 Old 07-31-2007, 08:26 PM
 
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Absolutly legal in NY & midwives there are PLENTIFUL! (I wouldn't wanna live there though, I escaped years ago...)
Not so plentiful, depending on where you live. 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.

Jenna ~ mommy to Sophia Elise idea.gif  (1/06), Oliver Matthew  blahblah.gif (7/07) and Avery Michael fly-by-nursing1.gif(3/10)

 

dizzy.gif Wading slowly and nervously into this homeschooling thing.

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#28 of 53 Old 07-31-2007, 11:10 PM
 
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Not so plentiful, depending on where you live. 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.
: There aren't any homebirth midwives near me. It took me forever to find one.

-Alice, SAHM to dd (2001) and ds (2004) each of whom was a homebirth.jpg, who each self-weaned at 4.5 years bfolderchild.gif, who both fambedsingle2.gif'd, who were bothcd.gif, and both: novaxnocirc.gif.   Also, gd.gif, and goorganic.jpg!

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#29 of 53 Old 08-01-2007, 12:02 AM
 
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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.

Liz

Loving WAHM/Student Mommy to DD (6.5) and DS (2.5)  

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#30 of 53 Old 08-29-2007, 04:41 PM
 
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i homebirthed twice in MA, and once in RI. good experiences all (except for the pain of labor, of course). very doable.
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