Do any of you have experience with UC in Alabama? I don't actually have any reservations about having an UC but I am a bit overwhelmed by what I've heard is required to get a birth certificate and to see a pediatrician. We just moved here so granted, I don't have a lot of information but the few home birth advocates I've talked to say it's tough. Apparently none of the peds around here will see your child if you didn't have a hospital birth and while I don't know the details, apparently the state makes it hard to obtain a birth certificate if your baby wasn't born in a hospital (or you didn't head there after a surprise birth at home or in the car). Even midwifes can't practice legally here. If any of you have any advice I would be grateful!
Alabama actually makes it very, very easy to get the birth certificate. They have a "homebirth packet" that you can request from the state department of records in Montgomery. I have all of the specifics saved somewhere, I will dig around tomorrow and try and find a phone number for you.
All you have to do is fill out the packet information before your child's first birthday and mail it in. You never have to do a face to face with anyone.
They do require you to have "proof of pregnancy" and "proof of live birth".
What I did was go into a CRNP's office and take a urine pregnancy test around 8.5 months pregnant. I told her what it was for, and she agreed to write up a statement saying that yes, I was pregnant, and she estimated my child to be born at such and such time.
I took my son back to see her when he was about a month old, and she looked at him - didn't weigh him, poke him, prod him, nothing - and wrote up another statement saying that yes, she believed him to be my baby and he was in good health.
I sent those two statements back to Montgomery along with the homebirth packet, and I got his birth certificate a few weeks later in the mail. I took that down to the social security office and got his number within minutes, his card in the mail a few weeks later.
Even though homebirth midwives are not allowed to practice legally in our state (there is actually a bill before the house right now trying to change that) Alabama really doesn't make it that difficult to get things done, in my experience. I didn't have anyone (official) bat an eye at my method of birthing.
I am pretty sure I have the homebirth packet saved on my computer in PDF form - let me look and if I do I will e-mail it to you.
Feel free to pm me if you have any more questions or if you need any referrals to doctors and such. We don't do docs or peditricians in any form, ever, but there are a lot of women in Alabama that have homebirths with midwives, and I have never heard any horror stories of docs/pedis not seeing them because of it.
Good luck, and again - welcome!
Laura, mama to Henry 01.28.07
missing Jack, born still in the car 08.23.10 at 36 weeks
Loving on Catherine, my 09.01.11, UC
You will face some hostility if you transfer (i did!) BUT nothing more than that in all probability.
Alabama, while a bit backwards in some regards, has a big libertarian culture and people generally will let you be. I love living here, especially since some things are really changing lately. We have just gotten good beer here finally thanks to some grass-roots campaigning. Hopefully midwifery will be next.
If you are in the ********** area you should come to the local ICAN meeting! PM if you are interested. I am the only home-birther there and it would be fun to meet you!
We're down South. Too bad! It would have been fun to visit.
All of the information I received about the pedicatrician's refusing to see infants that weren't born in the hospital came from my former midwife (who was very anti-UC). My only fear at this point is difficulty in obtaining proof of live birth (for the birth certificate application). Oh, and I worry that the ped. would report us to CPS. I just don't want to put my family in jeopardy by having a UC. Please let me know if you have any thoughts on these concerns.
Good to know getting a birth certificate is simple. I went to the health dept and got proof of pregnancy, but that was around 20 weeks. Shouldn't matter though huh? A friend UCed in Tennessee and only had to have 2 non-family members write a sworn statement that they witnessed mom pregnant and met the baby.
I had prenatal care at first but we decided at the last minute to have a UC and unfortunately the OB didn't get paid (from my insurance) for all those visits so I wouldn't recommend doing that. The ped we already had for my other kids (who were born in hospital) saw my baby a few times but didn't want to see us anymore b/c we decided to stop vaccinating. So..this time around I'm going to the health dept and you can just pick any ped who is accepting newborns. I choose to see a midwife for prenatal care. She was fine seeing us knowing we didn't want to birth with anyone. And she has been helpful through my entire pregnancy. If I wanted to birth with a midwife I'd choose her, but I prefer to be at home (she can't be here b/c of AL laws) and alone with my hubby delivering. I don't know what to do as far as seeing a ped this time. I might see if I can just take her to the health dept for a well baby checkup. Not sure if you've had your baby yet, but I hope this helps whoever reads it.
I went to college in AL and I live right over the state line in MS. While AL does make it difficult to have a midwife at your birth - there is no law against UC. You can birth at home all you want - just don't have a midwife there or she could go to jail (great right? Makes total sense...). All of these ladies have it right - pretty easy to get the birth certificate after baby is born. :)
Aspiring Midwife , Mother to One, Still nursing , and proud , , and advocate.