Please Help Me--homebirth in an unfriendly state!! - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 30 Old 03-28-2002, 03:16 AM - Thread Starter
 
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~*evening all*~

i am sorry to sound so incredibly desperate, but i am-- i just found out midwives are ILLEGAL in the state i live in-- b/c of my job, i have no choice but to birth here (surrounding states are bad as well, i checked!!).......to make a long story short, i am TERRIFIED of hospital births for so many reasons PLUS the idea of birth without a midwife is really unbearable to me-- i do sound desperate don't i??!!

basically i am very much against the medicalization of birth, and b/c of feminist politics i hold i do not want to birth in a hospital. on top of that i am disabled, and while my disability will not affect my birth, i have had only negative experiences with hospitals-- i get horrible panic attacks whenever i have to do to a doctor--and with doctors....i am also a survivor and the idea of a man having anything to do with my birth (well, barring giving birth to a beautiful boy-child of course!!) is unsettling to me as well.......

can anyone think of any ideas to help me?? feel free to email me priavtely if the illegaility thing is a problem, but i'd love to start a thread to help others like me!!

i am just so terrified-- i have always been radical in my politics and actions and i never thought this would happen (the statei grew up in legally allows midwives)......i have my firends and family's support, but i am at a loss right now.......

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR ANY AND ALL HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!

~*homegrown*mama*~
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#2 of 30 Old 03-28-2002, 05:41 AM
 
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You might be surprised at the ammount of "illegal" birth that is going on all the time. Relax. It would probably help if you can say approximately where you live and how far along you are. Who knows, there might be a Mothering mom right near you with a great home midwife she can put you in touch with.

Something that might comfort you a little is that homebirth is not actually illegal in any states according to this months Mothering. I think that it is sort of 'alegal'. There are no actual laws against it but most states refuse to license anyone to assist at homebirths, so we have to 'go underground'.

There are a number of places you should start asking about homebirth in your area. Try a LLL meeting. Ask pregnant women and women with babies at your local food co-op or health food store. Get in touch with your local Bradley instructor. The classes are great and they often have referals. Good luck. And don't worry so much.
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#3 of 30 Old 03-28-2002, 11:16 AM
 
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i second asking at a lll meeting. are you in ohio maybe?
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#4 of 30 Old 03-28-2002, 02:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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(((((~*~*THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH *~*~)))))

i live in iowa, in iowa city. there is large university hospital here with two CNMs, but they will not birth outside the hospital setting.....i am definitely not worried about any legal issues that might ensue from a birth (lol!), just simply finding a midwife
i'll definitely check for LLL meetings!! the feminist health clinic here, while generally wonderful, couldn't refer me to anyone, and my two friends who've recently had kiddos had no luck finding midwives.......there is a womyn who does Bradley classes though, so i will ask her as well......my only ohter idea was to speak to ppl in the larger Amish/Mennonite community here about what they do for homebirths.........

feeling so much more hopeful!!

~*much love*~
and happy pesach!
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#5 of 30 Old 03-28-2002, 09:36 PM
 
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I would think you'd find the jackpot in the Amish community. They would never go to a hospital, would they?

My midwife was a lay midwife practicing illegally in that she had no license. Sorry, I'm in CA.

Don't give up on your desire to birth at home and pursuing whatever avenues it takes. I don't know your resources but I'd think you could fly someone in if you absolutely had to.

I wish you the best, let us know when you find her!!
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#6 of 30 Old 03-28-2002, 09:45 PM
 
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I found this site which looks promising, though it might be a distance for you...maybe they could refer you to someone closer? http://www.gentlebirth.com/

Or maybe contact:

Mid-America Midwives Alliance
28 Forest Hill Pl. NE
Iowa City, IA 52240

good luck in your search!

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#7 of 30 Old 03-29-2002, 12:27 AM
 
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Surf the web for midwife/midwives and midwife directories. I found my midwife that way and she turned out to be someone I had known in college. I'm sorry that I didn't keep my links, but there were three or four sites with directories, and since they all get their data from different sources, they all had different listings.

Good luck,
Sarah
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#8 of 30 Old 03-31-2002, 04:07 AM
 
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I moved from Israel where I had my choice of a number of homebirth midwives to MO, where they are all deeply undergroud. But I found someone. Esp. if you have an Amish community nearby, there is bound to be a midwife within the area. She might be farther away than your "down the block in town OB", but I bet she's out there.

And a "pesach sameach" to you too!
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#9 of 30 Old 04-02-2002, 10:28 PM
 
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LLL is probably the best place to begin looking for a midwife if you don't already know someone who can hook you up with one.
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#10 of 30 Old 04-02-2002, 11:59 PM
 
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you seem to be so well-versed in how bad routine intervention & control of birth is... i'm curious as to why "the idea of birth without a midwife is really unbearable"?

jeannie
(unassisted birther)
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#11 of 30 Old 04-03-2002, 12:09 AM
 
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hello i live in des moines and actually had my birth with a midwife in iowa city who, unfortunely is moving this very month! to russia how ironic. luckly her assistant helped with by birth (dawn) and she has joined with dana. midwifery is in fact alegal in the state of iowa unless you are a certified nurse midwife which these women are not. check it out i found her name at the new pioneer coop. blessings to you mama
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#12 of 30 Old 04-03-2002, 01:15 AM
 
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Definitely contact MANA (Midwives Alliance of North America.) They will furnish you with the name of all registered midwives in your area, even if they are not licensed by the state of Iowa. One of my midwives was a CNM, but her associates were all DEM's. Good luck and don't give up!
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#13 of 30 Old 04-03-2002, 11:42 AM
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Please e-mail me, I am from Iowa too! Near the Quad Cities, but my midwife does homebirths in the Iowa City area as well, she is great, she is a CPM. I don't want to give out any info on the boards, but please e-mail me! She is great! And as far as homebirth being illegal here in Iowa, it is not true, the law reguarding homebirth is that of who can attend homebirths, which here in Iowa basically only CNM, M.D., higher ups, etc...
I know only one CNM here in the QCA that attends homebirths, and I wouldn't recommend her, but the midwife I go to now is AWESOME! Please e-mail me for her info!

JoyOfMotherhood@yahoo.com
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#14 of 30 Old 04-03-2002, 02:34 PM
 
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Try BirthPartners.com they can help you find a midwife that does homebirths.
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#15 of 30 Old 04-03-2002, 06:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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wow, i truly cannot thank you alle nough!! i feel SO MUCH BETTER and quite empowered!!

jeanniebeannie--i am TOTALLY in favor of unassisted birth, i didn't mena that a midwife should always ben present for everyone-- personally it makes me feel a little bettter (for myself).....i will be a single parent, and having lost a baby in utero in Novemember, I really like the various things that a (good, feminist) midwife could help me with......i think mamas who rely on their own bodies and their own knowledge are AMAZING!!!!! (ALL MAMAS ARE AMAZING!!).....i guess personally i am not sure about an unassisted birth for me for #1....although i do believe very much in my body and what it says to me, growing up with a disability i was often taught not to trust my feelings-- but i'm working on that!!

again, thank you all so much!! i now have a few people to get in touch with, some GREAT links and recommendations, and hopefully some new friends!!

if you wrote me personally i will totally reply (or already have)

much love, much love!!!!
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#16 of 30 Old 04-03-2002, 06:28 PM
 
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oh, i can understand that. i didn't know you were alone (i'm new here). i was glad to have dh and dd here, and definitely wouldn't have wanted to plan on doing it alone either. thanks for clarifying!
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#17 of 30 Old 04-04-2002, 01:14 AM
 
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I am currently living in a "alegal" state and was surprised to learn that there is quite and underground population of midwives praticing here. I was first made aware of this from a homeopathic practitioner. And then from some homeschooling friends. My point is check all the alternative healers that you can find--acupuncure, herbalists, chiropractors, etc.

Good luck to you and welcome to motherhood, a fantastic adventure.
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#18 of 30 Old 04-07-2002, 07:22 PM
 
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Strange...I thought it was legal everywhere in the US. Maybe you could find an illegal midwife and have the homebirth, then wait until she leaves, call 911 and say you just suddenly started having rapid contractions and crowning, then they will think you at least tried to go to the hospital.
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#19 of 30 Old 04-07-2002, 11:05 PM
 
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I can attest that it is a problem in some states, Alabama for example. I just found out that a midwife (lay) in North Alabama is in trouble with the law. Alabama stinks law-wise. They have bad homeschooling regs, they have no laws protecting bfing women (which means that you can be kicked off private property for feeding your baby). Stinky, huh?
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#20 of 30 Old 04-08-2002, 01:04 AM
 
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Unassisted homebirth is illegal in Alabama? How can that be? What would they do, throw the parents in jail for choosing to have their child at home? GEEZ, I can't believe that - talk about an infringement on basic rights! I wonder what bafoons passed that sort of law. Sorry for rambling, but I just can't believe it!
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#21 of 30 Old 04-08-2002, 03:13 AM
 
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I misread when I said that earlier. Sorry for any confusion I may have caused.
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#22 of 30 Old 04-08-2002, 09:40 AM
 
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laralou, you mean that it's illegal for a midwife to attend a homebirth right? I can't see how a homebirth itself can be made illegal (though I'm no authority on the laws.) It may sound like semantics, but I think there is a real difference between saying that "homebirth is illegal" and saying "midwives are not licensed to attend homebirths." As I said, I don't know the laws there, so I'm not saying which it is...just hoping you can clarify. For instance, if a woman in your state didn't make it to the hospital and had her baby at home, would that be "illegal?" Doesn't sound possible.

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#23 of 30 Old 04-08-2002, 11:25 AM
 
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I was told that it is illegal. I can't speak to whether that is true. I was also told by a midwife organization that a midwife was in trouble with the law.

My concern is that if I am doing something that is not condoned by the law, are my children at risk for investigation by CPS?
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#24 of 30 Old 04-08-2002, 03:19 PM
 
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Laralou, it really sounds like someone has given you the wrong information. Perhaps you should check with several sources about the laws in your state.

It would be impossible to make all homebirths illegal, because of all the babies born at home accidentally.

By a midwife being "in trouble with the law," do you mean a particular midwife, or all midwives in your state? There are a few different types of midwives - CNM's, DE's, and lay midwives. I think it's the lay midwives that are not licensed.

By "illegal," do you mean the midwife won't be able to be a witness for the birth certificate, the midwife would go to jail for delivering your baby, or you would go to jail for hiring a midwife? In my state, the baby's father is not "licensed" to deliver a baby, yet my father did not get into any kind of legal trouble for delivering me, nor did my mother for not using a midwife or going to the hospital.

It sounds like you may have talked with someone who was seriously misinformed, or someone (like a doctor, perhaps?) who would have a lot to lose if you did not spend a bunch of money at a hospital. It could also be that someone is outright lying. Perhaps there is some kind of web search you can do about birth laws in your state.
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#25 of 30 Old 04-08-2002, 04:26 PM
 
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greaseball: so let me get this straight... your mom *planned* for your birth to be unassisted? and you survived??? lol. just kidding. unassisted birther here- just don't think i've spoken to anyone who has been birthed that way. my 7-month-old doesn't count because she can't talk back to me lol. do you know me from any of the uc lists? i'm nomail on most now, though. i'm curious as to what you think about birth. if you've got the time, email me.

jeannie
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#26 of 30 Old 04-08-2002, 04:37 PM
 
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This is turning into a discussion of how the state limits homebirths, ie, 'alegal' vs 'illegal'. As has been stated it is impossible to make it against the law to simply give birth at home. What most states have done is make it impossible to have a licensed attendant at your birth. I have been told (whether correctly or not) by my OB/Gyn that she would be legally prevented from delivering a baby at home. The state has made that a seperate license or something and they won't autherize anyone to do it. In many states it is even specifically legal to have a licensed attendant but the state simply refuses to grant licenses. It's a racket.
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#27 of 30 Old 04-08-2002, 04:52 PM
 
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How can I find out the law? I have looked all day on the web and can't find anything.

Irregardless of whether it is illegal, how can I find out if CPS considers homebirth neglect? I have thought about calling them.

Dh and I just don't want to risk an investigation by CPS if we do a homebirth.
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#28 of 30 Old 04-08-2002, 05:13 PM
 
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a homebirth- even unassisted- is not valid cause for an investigation. this isn't to say they wouldn't TRY, but it's totally bogus. the facts and statistics support homebirth. not to mention you have the legal right to refuse any medical treatment. of course in a hospital they make sure you sign away those rights but that's another story altogether. ;o) if it makes you feel better you can always join prepaid legal. that still doesn't guarantee anything but you'll just have to weigh the risks on both ends and cover yourself as best you can after making your decision. hth. oh- and about finding out the laws, i'm not sure but laura might have something on her site (unassistedbirth.com).
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#29 of 30 Old 04-08-2002, 10:41 PM
 
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lara you should ask around a little more. I am concerned about your information sources. To some degree asking a CNM who works exclusively out of a birth center about homebirth is a little like asking a Ford dealer to give you the whole truth about Chevy.

It may be true that it is not sactioned by law to practice homemidwifery. That does not mean that it is not safe or even wise. It certainly does not mean that if you choose to hire a midwife to come to your home that you will be the victim of a CPS witch hunt. There may well be a midwife in trouble in your area right now. But how many doctors are also in trouble?

What I am trying to say is, find some women who have had home births. Talk to them. Talk to their midwives. Get all the information before you let yourself get so worried.
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#30 of 30 Old 04-11-2002, 12:06 AM
 
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I tried to e-mail you but it didn't work, so here it is:

My mother had my older bro in a hospital back in 1968 and said it was horrible. I was born in 1979 and my little bro in 1981, both planned unassisted homebirths. I grew up thinking that was the way babies were born and always assumed I would do it that way as well. I read Laura Shanley's "Unassisted Childbirth" and while I do not agree with many of her views, I think she knows
what she is talking about when it comes to homebirth and the dangers of medical intervention.

My husband would not go for the unassisted birth. He didn't feel he could do the job, so we hired a midwife. Then I found out I was GBS positive so I ended up delivering in the hospital. It went fairly well - I felt like everyone listened to me, and I had a minimun of interventions, with no drugs. The hospital had all this "standard procedure" stuff, but I was able to refuse that as well. It was a
really difficult delivery, a lot harder than I expected, so I'm glad I went to the hospital after all. If I have another baby I will plan on going to the hospital, as long as I know it's a good one, or maybe I could try a birth center if one is available. Plus Medicaid paid for it all, and would not cover the midwife. And after birth I kept the baby with me the rest of the time I was there - no one tried to take her away. That was what was most important to me.

I suppose if the second baby was an easy birth and I wanted a third baby and were GBS negative, I would want to try it at home, but I don't think I want 3 kids. Also it was nice to be waited on in the hospital postpartum. Everyone there was really supportive.

My mom said I was a really easy delivery and took only 3 hours. She said my little brother was more difficult, maybe 12 hours. I don't know much about the first baby. (He was adopted.) Mine took 38 hours and finally I asked the doc to use forceps, which I didn't like, but I just wanted it all to be over. If I had done it at home I'm sure it would have gone on a lot longer.

I still think it's the best way to have a baby, but some midwives are more like doctors and will do all these horrible interventions that will make it so a hospital transport is needed.

Also, my mom never had any trouble getting birth certificates for us.
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