Unassisted birth and legal concerns - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 03-26-2014, 05:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hey ladies, I haven't been here in a long while! I have two daughters, my first was a traumatic hospital birth and my second was with midwives, all natural, but in the hospital. I am currently 26 weeks pregnant with my 3rd baby :-)

 

I have been planning a UC this entire pregnancy because I feel strongly it is the right choice and I feel finally prepared to do it emotionally and physically. I have been going to an OB practice that I really disliked but I was going as "back up", mostly out of concern that if CPS were called I could say "I had prenatal care". However, I just cant stand it any longer and have decided with my husband to continue this pregnancy with my own prenatal care (self-care, with documentation).

 

My concern is as follows (I have been unable to find info, and would REALLY appericate any help)

 

1.) What are my legal rights and obligations with prenatal care and childbirth? I will document my self prenatal care and we are planning very well for the birth and have a hospital 5 minutes away in case of a real emergency. But I am SO terrified of CPS saying that I cant have my baby at home unassisted or claiming it was irresponsible to do my own prenatal care. I am assuming I have the legal right to do both, but what are the laws, if any?

 

2.) Does anyone know what the requirements are to document the birth for insurance and birth certificates (I am in NJ)? I want to bring my baby for a well baby check up, which I will pay for if I must of course, but id like to get her on my Medicaid insurance like my other girls. I had to bring in their crib cards, which I wont have, and I also wont have a health care provider to sign anything this time.

 

Thanks for any info you can give me, and I am so excited to finally do this!

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#2 of 11 Old 03-26-2014, 05:20 PM
 
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I don't have the answers BUT I am wondering these same things, mostly. I'm subbing on this thread. Thank you OP for wording your concerns so well! And congrats on your pregnancy!

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#3 of 11 Old 03-26-2014, 10:23 PM
 
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There aren't any laws in any state as far as I know that make it illegal for you to do your own prenatal care or birth at home unassisted. Plenty of people don't make it to the hospital cuz baby comes too fast.

Mostly folks that plan to UP/UC keep it on the down low only sharing it w/a few close friends/relatives that are super supportive. There's no way CPS will find out unless you're sharing your plans with the wrong people. If you don't care to lie, you'll have to bend the truth a little-saying you'll homebirth w/a MW (which could be you, your mom, a good friend, hubs etc) 
It seems most states want some kind of proof of pregnancy to get the birth cert, which could be your records from your OB and proof of live birth which can usually be a notarized statement by a couple people like hubs & a close friend. BUT you'll need to look up the actual requirements for your state by searching the vital statistics website. 
I HIGHLY recommend you do whatever it takes to overcome your fear of CPS finding out cuz if you know anything about the law of attraction-that which you think most about manifests in your life. Please please don't manifest CPS getting involved. 
Keep reading old threads here and asking questions! Good luck mama!!


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#4 of 11 Old 03-27-2014, 11:01 AM
 
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The more I read the more comfortable I get with it. It was all a legal concern on my part as well. I guess Im going to just keep records of everything to verify the prenatal care part. Anyways this is your thread and I hope you settle on a decision that brings you peace.

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#5 of 11 Old 03-27-2014, 03:19 PM
 
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I can't say for sure in NJ, in NC my husband went to the county's Dept. of Health & asked for a birth certificate. They didn't ask to see me, much less proof of pregnancy or the baby herself. The lady just remarked to him that home births seemed to be getting more common.

As to appointments, I just called to schedule a newborn/ well baby exam. It took them a week to see her which I thought odd but the doctor was very nice. I think she was glad to get a baby to look at for a change,


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#6 of 11 Old 04-02-2014, 10:19 AM
 
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I have similar concerns about UC. I had one unplanned UC in the past, and went to the hospital after the birth because that seemed the easiest. (I never could figure out how to get a birth certificate without a hospital/birth center, there wasn't any info on my state's vital statistics website) At the hospital, several people asked me if I planned to have a homebirth. I felt like they were going to report me if I had :(

 

I think if you're not seeing a doctor/midwife, documenting your own pregnancy, and don't go to the hospital to get checked out after the birth, it's pretty obvious that you were planning a UC. (which tend to make hospital staff suspicious that you've been doing illegal drugs or other illegal activities, etc.) While as far as I know, planned UC is not illegal, if the hospital staff disagrees with your decision, I think they can report you. And if the social worker also disagrees with your decision, they can cause however much of a nuisance as they want to. I wasn't worried about losing my kids permanently, but I was concerned they might be suspicious enough to temporarily take away the baby. And even just a temporarily separation could ruin breastfeeding, which was important to me.

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#7 of 11 Old 04-17-2014, 09:38 PM
 
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I have been wondering the same thing also. We are seeing a MW and an OB, and plan on continuing that. We have let them both know that we are preparing for the babies to get here before the ambulance can make it to the house ( I birth quickly). We plan on just saying that it all happened so fast, we did not even think to call for help until the births were done. I hope to just stay home at least until the next day, so I will not have to go through the pain of getting there. I am worried about getting into trouble because of waiting, or not calling an ambulance.  We have 6 other children at home to worry about as well. So I would have the ability to show that we had a lot of prenatal care, but nothing for the births and after. Would I take the babies to the MW, or me go see the OB and then take the babies to our family doctor. Do twins have to see a pediatrition? So many silly questions about things that should not even matter. Bummer.

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#8 of 11 Old 04-17-2014, 10:35 PM
 
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I would think that if you have good relationships w/both providers and they know that you have that many children that they'd trust you knew what you were doing/talking about if you birthed too quickly to call for help or go in, and perhaps if you give them a quick call to let them know after the fact that all is well and you'll be in for a check up in a few days (or whatever time frame feels good to you) that they would be ok w/that. There is no law that says you or baby(ies) must get checked out. It's totally up to you and what you feel comfortable with or what you feel is necessary. Would the MW come by your home to check on you and the babies if you asked (when you're ready)? 

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#9 of 11 Old 04-18-2014, 02:57 PM
 
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I am not sure if the MW would come all the way out here. I suppose I wont know until I ask after the littles come. I really do just dream of having these little ones here at home, not worrying if we are going to make it in on time. To be able to just fall asleep afterwards, with as many or as little of the other children around, would be amazing!

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#10 of 11 Old 04-18-2014, 07:11 PM
 
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Then you should probably aim for that and see how it all goes! :thumb


Former Nanny Extraordinaire, looking forward to being a Mama! treehugger.gif I love Organizing & being a Health & Wellness Coach eat.gif & I'm crunchy granola as long as it's organic and certified gluten free. GF since March '08 yummy.gif. Willoughby Nov '11  cat.gif TTC #1-still, again, some more, & seriously pondering adoption. 
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#11 of 11 Old 06-04-2014, 07:40 PM
 
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with my uc when I took my baby in to local clinic for a checkup, they turned me in saying it wasn't "normal" to homebirth...... but child services sided with me saying it wasn't illegal .....since then I don't do checkups unless needed..... my first few uc on my ultrasound paperwork, I listed my aunt (who is a nurse) as the "dr" just because I was scared to leave it blank.... nowadays days I just leave it blank. I will say that I don't tell every one that I uc.....although my rep tends to go before me and plenty of people share my stories with friends and family. Although in some instances it makes me feel uncomfortable, but as long as they aren't downgrading me then I guess it doesn't matter. With all that being said, I believe it is legal to hb in all states.
To get a birth certificate in my state ..first you need an ss card for baby... which here is acquired by calling state vital records and getting the papers... filling them out and getting them notarized and sending them back in..... eventually if all is filled out correctly they send an ss card and then that is taken to county (of birth) health department to get a birth certificate printed. here it costs about 15 dollars.
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