MA mamas is there anything we can DO to chnage the home birthing laws? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 18 Old 01-14-2011, 10:46 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I literally did not know MA had laws about home birth and I had DD in a birth center so it did not affect me. I am not pregnant now, but I do want my next birth at home. We are low income and our insurance will not cover a home birth (mass health), not that the necessarily would even if the laws changed, but still who the heck does the gov think they are making laws about where and whom we birth with? This is ludacris.

 

Anyone know of any petitions to change it or some sort of action?


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#2 of 18 Old 01-14-2011, 06:44 PM
 
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Hi there. I recently had a homebirth in brooklyn new york. During my 3rd trimester the state took away the rights of the midwives to practice "legally" unless they had a MD to back them up. There was quite an uproar and many petitions, letters and phone calls were made to the state. Eventually the persistence of all the mothers, nurses, midwives and just people who care about our birthing rights made a difference, and a law was passed so midwives can practice on their own without the backup support of a doctor. The midwives just needed to be affiliated with a hospital.  I am not sure of how Mass works with their homebirth laws but I am attaching one of the petitions we sent to give you a template if you would like to start one for the families in Mass who would like to choose homebirth. 

 

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/midwifery/

 and

http://choicesinchildbirth.wordpress.com/2010/05/04/action-alert-part-two/

I hope this helps. Good luck!!!!!

 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 


A Mommy In Love!!!

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#3 of 18 Old 01-15-2011, 09:27 AM
 
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Homebirth is not illegal in MA, but insurance does not have to cover it- so me do, some don't.  t  I wish I had more time to look into this, but I don't.

You could try MA Friends of Midwives and Mass Midwives Alliance websites and look at the information, particularly on licensing. There has been a push to get midwives licensed and try to get legislation passed the last couple years (came close last year, and this will come up again this year once the legislative sessions start to get going).  Once licensed then possibly a followup step might be to include homebirth in insurance reimbursements

 

Another resource would be the Big PUSH for Midwives Campaign... http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/pages/The-Big-Push-for-Midwives-Campaign/184712951547830  I'm sure they have a non-facebook page too.

 

HTH's.


Jessica


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#4 of 18 Old 01-15-2011, 01:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks. I know it's not illegal to home birth, but you can't have a CPM attend a home birth. Also very true most insurance will not cover it in MA and that is greatly due to the fact you can not have a licensed professional attend you're birth. You can have a CNM though.


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#5 of 18 Old 01-15-2011, 01:14 PM
 
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You absolutely CAN have a CPM at your homebirth-- many, many moms in Massachusetts have, and at least one (excellent) local CPM is on MDC.  It's just that most insurances won't pay for it.  That's not much help if paying out of pocket is impossible, of course, but it's definitely not illegal.

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#6 of 18 Old 01-15-2011, 01:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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oooh so I am wrong. I read something about only being able to have a "lay" midwife and not a licensed one which is why insurance wouldn't cover it. I guess the article was BS.

 

So why won't insurance cover it? just b/c it's not a hospital?


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#7 of 18 Old 01-15-2011, 04:30 PM
 
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The terminology is confusing, here's my understanding...

Lay midwife is unlicensed, may be in the process of getting a license or someone who made a decision not to get a license or not to renew.

Certified professional midwives (CPM) are licensed by a midwifery organization, but not licensed by the state of MA.

Certified nurse midwives (CNM) work in hospitals and are not allowed to attend home births in MA.

 

Jessica

Made some changes as others have clarified the distinctions


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#8 of 18 Old 01-16-2011, 06:48 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jessjgh1 View Post

The terminology is confusing, here's my understanding...

lay midwife is unlicensed, may be getting a license or just made a decision not to

certified professional midwives (CPM) are licensed by a midwifery organization, but not licensed by the state of MA

certified nurse midwives (CNM) work in hospitals and may (it is my understanding, but may be due to the hospital they work at, or I might be wrong) are not allowed to attend home births.

 

Jessica

All correct but one thing. Whether or not CNMs can attend home births depends on their statutes state by state. In NY, for example, CNMs do many of the homebirths, but CNMs would lose their license if they caught babies at home in MA.

 

The NARM exam is the certifying exam that offers CPMs their credential.

 

It is essential that a federal mandate enforce that medicaid reimburse CPMs in all states. Once medicaid does, private insurance follows assuming licensure is in place.
 


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#9 of 18 Old 01-17-2011, 09:06 AM - Thread Starter
 
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OK so we would be striving to get CPMs paid by insurance?

 

All of this is so confusing to me!


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#10 of 18 Old 01-17-2011, 09:45 AM
 
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Licensure must come before reimbursement. Activists have been working on this for more than a decade. MA is a tough state because the the heft of the physicians' lobby.

 

Wish I had a cheerier answer for you!


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#11 of 18 Old 01-17-2011, 12:42 PM
 
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There are some great ways to get involved in supporting homebirth Midwifery in Mass.  Check out MFOM (Massachusetts Friends of Midwives)  and FAM (Foundation for the advancement of midwifery)..They are two great places to start. 

 

Best WIshes!

Alexis

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#12 of 18 Old 01-17-2011, 06:04 PM
 
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Thanks for the clarification and correction. -Jessica
 


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#13 of 18 Old 01-18-2011, 04:40 PM
 
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We have a new lobbyist that people are thrilled about so we are hoping to finally get the licensure in the next couple of years....but only with all of your help!!!

So if you want to see us get Mass Health reimbursement down the line do join MAssachusetts Friends Of Midwives, we and many families would be grateful for you help!

In the meantime this article might be helpful to you...

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#15 of 18 Old 01-19-2011, 07:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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awesome! thanks so much I absolutely want to support you guys!


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#16 of 18 Old 02-05-2011, 09:09 AM
 
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Here are 2 updates on the midwifery bill from last week.  One email I received said it would be okay to send emails/leave messages over the weekend and call on Monday morning- there might be some time for new co-sponsors on Monday... but you could always use this as an opportunity to tell your rep you support this bill and ask them to support it.  If you feel like you want to hold off or miss this, I'm sure there will be other times we need to make phone calls showing support, but this is the first round to be positioned well for the next push.  Get yourself on the list for updates or sign up for the Facebook Groups.  -Jessica

 

Here's the  Facebook group:  http://www.facebook.com/#!/home.php?sk=group_185192568178637  for the midwifery bill and MFOM is working to coordinate much of the action on the bill.  MFOM Action alerts in support of the midwifery bill are found by clicking the red "Midwifery Bill Alert" button on the MFOM home page:  www.mfom.org (not yet updated) and MFOM or thru the  Facebook page:  http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/group.php?gid=41256021750

I'm forwarding the following information from MFOM that is very encouraging:

 

Quote:

"If anyone has questions about the bill, they're welcome to email Ann Sweeney, MFOM or CPMs Miriam Khalsa or Audra Karp.

 

We anticipate this legislative session will be the FINAL one for the bill since we're working hard to get the bill passed and have made some important allies recently, including Amnesty International, Our Bodies, Ourselves, NOW, and the ACLU.  If you have time to help us at this critical juncture, please contact me.

 

Also, if you contact your Massachusetts Senator or Representative to request they co-sponsor the bill, please contact me to let me know who's been contacted and what they said.

 

Thanks for your support!

Ann Sweeney

MFOM

www.mfom.org

ann@annsweeney.com

 

This is the action alert email from MFOM:

 

Dear Friends,

Are you alarmed at the rate of unnecessary birth interventions today?  Would like to see homebirth available to more women and their families in Massachusetts?

We're writing to ask for your help. Massachusetts Friends of Midwives (MFOM) in conjunction with The Massachusetts Midwives Alliance (MMA) is refiling our midwifery bill, now known as “An Act Relative to Certified Professional Midwives” in the state legislature.

As you may recall, this bill was passed by the MA House last session and was approved by the every committee that heard it. It narrowly missed becoming law because we ran out of time at the end of last term.

Passage of this bill will create a Board of Midwifery for CPMs and--for the first time--give recognition to CPMs (homebirth midwives), broadening birth choices for women and their families.

This can be our moment. With your help and the support of other like-minded people, this can be the year that women and their families across Massachusetts gain access to true choice in their birth options.

Can you help by contacting your Massachusetts State Senator and Representative requesting their sponsorship of “An Act Relative to Certified Professional Midwives”?

Having as many bill co-sponsors as possible is the best way to ensure the bill's passage and to help it easily move through the legislature.   We had 66 co-sponsors last session—let’s try to exceed that number today!

Please contact your legislator TODAY or anytime this week, asking him or her to join lead sponsors Senator Moore and Representative Khan in co-sponsorship of the Midwifery Bill. Our elected officials welcome hearing from constituents and you can complete the call within 2 minutes or less.

Here's what to do:

1.Find your Massachusetts state Senator and Representatives at this link:
http://www.wheredoivotema.com/bal/myelectioninfo.php

2. Find your representative's address, email, and phone here:

>>House http://www.mass.gov/legis/memmenuh.htm

>>Senate http://www.mass.gov/legis/memmenus.htm

3. Call your MA House Representative and your MA Senator and ask to speak with an aide (or your Rep. or Senator if s/he is available).

Here is a sample script you can use:
“Hello, this is (NAME). I am calling today to ask for the Representative’s/Senator’s support and co-sponsorship of Senator Richard Moore’s bill called “An Act Relative to Certified Professional Midwives”This bill is important to me because I am a (CONSUMER OF MIDWIFERY, MIDWIFERY SUPPORTER,or PRACTIONER) and I believe all midwives should be licensed in our state.

 

(YOU MAY TELL A PERSONAL STORY ABOUT ACCESS TO MIDWIFERY IF IT SEEMS APPROPRIATE)

 

“I hope the Representative/Senator will co-sponsor this bill. I would appreciate a call back to let me know whether the Representative/ Senator will sign on before the 4 February deadline. My phone number is (YOUR NUMBER).

 

Thank you for your time today.

4. If your Senator/Representative or his/her aide
requests them, please have them contact me and I will send them supporting documents regarding why this bill is needed as well as a copy of the Evidence-Based Maternity Care policy document (AKA the Milbank Report) http://www.childbirthconnection.org/article.asp?ck=10575

When you've contacted your representative or his/her aide, please send us an email letting us know their response at info@...

Many, many thanks for your help!

Ann, Jen, and Jim
MFOM (Mass Friends of Midwives)

***Please forward to all lists and to everyone you know who wants to help! Many thanks!!! We can do this!!!***


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#17 of 18 Old 06-10-2011, 07:43 AM
 
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Hi everyone.

 

Here's an update on the MA Midwifery Bill.

 

There will be a hearing date on July 19th at the State House for the CPM midwifery bill now known asAn Act Relative to Certified Professional Midwives” (HO 2368/SO 1133, tho. we're informally calling the bill the "Home Birth Safety Act.") 

 

Passage of this bill will ensure that all MA women and their families have access to HB midwives and that these midwives practice according to accepted standards of care.  We are partnered on this initiative with NOW, the ACLU, Amnesty International, the MA Women's Bar Association, Our Bodies, Ourselves, and a number of other supporters. 

 

If you want to protect having good birth choices, PLEASE call your MA senator and representative now and urge them to do everything they can to support this mission-critial legislation.

 

1.Find your Massachusetts state Senator and Representatives at this link:
http://www.wheredoivotema.com/bal/myelectioninfo.php

2. Find your representative's address, email, and phone here:

>>House http://www.mass.gov/legis/memmenuh.htm

>>Senate http://www.mass.gov/legis/memmenus.htm

3. Call your MA House Representative and your MA Senator and ask to speak with an aide (or your Rep. or Senator if s/he is available).

Here is a sample script you can use:
“Hello, this is (NAME). I am calling today to ask for the Representative’s/Senator’s support of Senator Richard Moore’s and Rep. Kay Khan's bill titled “An Act Relative to Certified Professional Midwives” (HO 2368/SO 1133).  This bill is important to me because I am a (CONSUMER OF MIDWIFERY, MIDWIFERY SUPPORTER,or PRACTIONER) and I believe all midwives should be regulated in our state.

 

(YOU MAY CHOOSE TO SHARE A PERSONAL STORY ABOUT ACCESS TO MIDWIFERY IF IT SEEMS APPROPRIATE)

 

“I hope the Representative/Senator will support this bill, which has a July 19th hearing date before the Joint Committee for Public Health. My phone number is (YOUR NUMBER).

 

Thank you for your time today."

 

4. If your Senator/Representative or his/her aide
requests them, please have them contact me and I will send them supporting documents regarding why this bill is needed as well as a copy of the Evidence-Based Maternity Care policy document (AKA the Milbank Report) http://www.childbirthconnection.org/article.asp?ck=10575

When you've contacted your representative or his/her aide, please send us an email letting us know their response at ann@annsweeney.com

 

Many, many thanks for your help!

Ann and Jim
MFOM (Mass Friends of Midwives)

***Please forward to all lists and to everyone you know who wants to help! Many thanks!!! We can do this!!!***

 

 

P.S.  Many thanks for your ongoing support!

Ann Sweeney

Mass Friends of Midwives (MFOM)

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#18 of 18 Old 06-12-2011, 02:55 PM
 
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Thanks for posting here Ann- will forward.

Jessica

Edited to add  
Are you affiliated with the Big Push for Midwives as well, like last year?  What is the status of any other midwifery bills? 


I've heard from some midwives who worry that they could be limited by this legislation and others that feel like they need to bill to ensure even more limiting bills do not get pushed through.  That is simplifying the issue somewhat, so if you have questions ask around and see what others are saying.

I'm forwarding with this suggestion: "Ask your local midwife if she supports this bill or for more information or contact MFOM about this bill."

 

 


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