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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have heard more than once on mothering lately that HOMEBIRTH IS ILLEGAL in such and such state- and therefore there must not be any lay mw's.
I am really quite upset about this because I feel that it gives a bad underground picture to those of us in ILLEGAL states having homebirths. And that it is in some way a CRIMINAL act.

I am also concerned that these women sharing this information are discouraging women seeking homebirths in these states... even thought unintentional.

I live in Illinois- the reason the midwifery is considedered illegal is because it is considered "praciticing medicine without a liscense"

MW still work. They are not listed in the phone book- but they are out there and they are NOT criminals.

These lay mw's are taking risks to care for women while they are delivering babies because they care so deeply about birth.
 

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Homebirth is legal in all 50 states, territories, etc. There is no way an edict against it could be enforced, since babies are born all the time in cabs, busses, stores, etc. Stuff happens. What *is* illegal in some states is paying someone to help catch. But many people are working very hard to make attending a homebirth legal for all states, because the need and desire for homebirth is so great, and many hospitals are leaving fewer options for normal, true physiologically correct birth.
 

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I live in Illinois- the reason the midwifery is considedered illegal is because it is considered "praciticing medicine without a liscense"

MW still work. They are not listed in the phone book- but they are out there and they are NOT criminals.


I live in Indiana where it is the same. I had to address this to DH. He was afraid that we could arrested for having a homebirth. I said, let me tell you what would happen if they tried to make it illegal for parents to have a homebrith. What would happen is what happened with Homeschooling ages ago. People would come out of the woodwork to defend the Amish. To them homebirth is part of their religious beliefs.

The comment was made to me by my best friend that why would I want a criminal to deliver my baby. I said in a way I guess in a way is what a midwife here is, however to me some laws need to be broken.

There are many great people that in the time they lived and challanged the status quo were considered Criminals. However historical perspective sees them for what they were. People willing to risk it all for a cause they belived in and was a just cause. Women that fought for Women's rights, people that fought for civial rights. Would we call Rosa Parks a criminal now? She did break the law. Then many would have called her a criminal, nowdays she is a Hero. Martin Luther, Susan B. Anthony, the people that helped slaves via the underground railroad. In their day and age they were criminals, now we call them heros, bold thinkers, champions of justice, and freedom.

I don't have a problem with people referring to Midwives in states like mine as criminals because the way I see, sometimes it takes a few people willing to be called and treated like a criminal to enact change. People willing to take the risk. I wish I were as brave as they are.
 

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true they are not criminals, but the state seems to think so.

what people don't realize is that it isn't like a family will be arrested for having an attended homebirth, but the mw might be. there are states, including illinois, that have and are prosecuting midwives.

it totally sucks.
I agree that women need to know there are midwives in every state - be it legal, alegal or illegal. sometimes they just need to seek them out more intensely than others.

I have mixed views about making it legal in some states, because that typically requires mandatory licensure. This act automatically criminalizes midwives AGAIN that choose NOT to become licensed for various reasons (cost, prohibitions of protocol, etc).

It's a sad state for our "modern" culture.
 

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I have mixed views about making it legal in some states, because that typically requires mandatory licensure. This act automatically criminalizes midwives AGAIN that choose NOT to become licensed for various reasons (cost, prohibitions of protocol, etc).

I never imagined that I would have mixed veiws on this but I am starting to. I did some research on the requirments of licensure in Arizona for a friend. There is a long list of what risks a mother out of homebirth with a midwife. In Arizona, I would risk out. They have a stipulation that mom has to gain 8lbs by 30 weeks along. I am 25 weeks along. However if you take into account what I lost in the first trimester I am at a LOSS of 14lbs. If you don't take into account the weight I have gained 2lbs. So I would have 5 weeks to gain either 22lbs or 6lbs. Well and seeing how in the last 3 weeks I LOST another pound, that proably isn't going to happen.

I am not worried because I gained 0lbs with DS, and lost with my DD's. Yet my son was 8lbs 12 ozs, and my daughters were 8lbs 6 ozs and 7lbs 11ozs. In fact one of the reasons I am going with homebirth is that even with my loss there is concern that my baby will be "big" because my son was. So the OB is trying to pressure me to be induced at 37 weeks. I am NOT going along with that.
 

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I'm in Indiana. I stand up for our midwives and for what they do. I write my legistlators and attend rallies supporting liscensure of midwives. However, in y heart, I'm not really for it. I think that midwives should do what they do because they love it and they should get to practice how they practice now. With liscensure comes rules and regulations and practices will be different. With law comes enforcement and scrutiny. Birthing at home with a midwife is safe. It's sacred. It's beautiful. I've done it. With an illegal midwife. I'm honored that she felt so strongly about what she does that she attended my births, and countless others. In fact, when the big midwife debacle went down here in Indiana earlier this year, she attended my birth days after there was a rally to support a sister midwife. So I am thankful that we have these women available and that they do what they do. I hate that they have to practice undergrond. On one hand, with liscensure and all of that, midwives will be able to advertise and work without fear of prosection. On the other hand, midwives will be able to advertise and work with fear of prosecution. It' sa thin line. I think I would rather see them gain legal status and not have to practice in fear than know that every move they make can land them in jail. I don't like saying that very much though


Namaste, Tara
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
[re comes rules and regulations and practices will be different. With law comes enforcement and scrutiny.



I know. My mw is able and does do breech and twin births among countless other births she may not be able to do if it was "legal".... she is able to practice the way she wants to.
I do have mixed feelings about it.... pretty much I am for it to just be left alone.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Emilie
I feel that it gives a bad underground picture to those of us in ILLEGAL states having homebirths. And that it is in some way a CRIMINAL act.

I am also concerned that these women sharing this information are discouraging women seeking homebirths in these states... even thought unintentional.
This is why I am very careful when I word anything along those lines. In my state, it is not "illegal" for a MW to practice, technically. BUT in order for her to practice "legally" she has to be certified and have an OB back up and have some other requirements met; and the OBs have banded together to make it impossible for those requirements to be met. In my particular area, there has been no new certifications given out since 1979!

I think this says it all. When one group takes control to force another group out, they are the ones at fault. MWs should be allowed "fair play".
 

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Has anyone read "Hearts & Hands"? It's about midwives and is actually a guide for them. In the first chapter it gives a bit of a history of them. Did you know that in the Netherlands over 70% of all births are performed by midwives? That in some countries, CNM are actually seen as a negative thing and if you are a CNM instead of a midwife, you are less likely to get work. They say that nurses are taught to respond (often to protocal) where midwives are taught to use their senses and to actually THINK. In a country where big medicine rules, midwives have a hard road ahead of them, but they are coming along slowly but surely.
 

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Quote:
I have mixed views about making it legal in some states, because that typically requires mandatory licensure. This act automatically criminalizes midwives AGAIN that choose NOT to become licensed for various reasons (cost, prohibitions of protocol, etc).
It really depends on how the laws are written. In some states (and hopefully NC one day), the law is written so that the midwives who choose not to be licensed are no worse off that they are currently. But you have to make sure you write that into the law. Then, each individula midwife can decide for herself whether or not to pursue licensure and will be no worse off if she decides not to.

NC is looking at several states' laws to try and pull the best from each. Some are very-well written but it's tough to get EVERYTHING you want. The risking out does scare me but that's no worse than it is now.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Emilie
I live in Illinois- the reason the midwifery is considedered illegal is because it is considered "praciticing medicine without a liscense"

MW still work. They are not listed in the phone book- but they are out there and they are NOT criminals.

I just wanted to say that I live in Il. and had a "legal" homebirth with a midwife who is indeed listed in the phonebook and on line(which is how I found her).The laws are confusing.
 

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It is not illegal to have a homebirth in any state.

It is only legal to have certain kinds of practitioners, in some states. In some states this means only OBs or CNM's, and in many of those states no OBs will do homebirth, or (required by law in almost every state) give CNM's back up for homebirth.

Icky pooh is all I can say! Where else would you find a situation that a competitor has to be in charge of the competition (i.e. ob/cnm relationships), this is restraint of trade. Not to mention states where other types of midwives are illegal. Paige
 

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I certainly don't like the environment most midwives have to fight against in this country. But I do believe there is some value in protocols and regulations - in countries where midwifery is the standard of care for birth, there are also protocols and regulations. Not the OB-driven, litigation-made regulations of the US, but standards of care nonetheless.

I believe that on average, licensure and protocols provide better assurance of a basic quality of care, for example. I'm not saying that an unlicensed midwife isn't providing good care - I think many provide absolutely exquisite care. However, I worked in Appalachia for the last 4 years. Many of the lay midwives were excellent - but a disturbing number had some very frightening practices (lack of basic cleanliness, advising parents with a baby who needed medical care to stay at home, not ensuring women were getting adequate folic acid in some form, etc).

I think that in cases where mothers make huge efforts to inform themselves, that finding a good midwife and being able to judge the quality of care you are receiving is a matter of relationship, not of licensure. But I want midwifery to be available to a lot more women, and many of those women will benefit from some standards of care and practice - much as I feel reassured by my child's teacher being licensed and evaluated on a regular basis, or my car mechanic being certified.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by rere
I just wanted to say that I live in Il. and had a "legal" homebirth with a midwife who is indeed listed in the phonebook and on line(which is how I found her).The laws are confusing.
Certified nurse-midwives work under the Advanced Practice Nurse Act, and may legally attend homebirths. DEMs are unregulated by Illinois law, but subsequent to the Cryns decision a few years ago (Illinois Supreme Court) are subject to charges of practicing nursing/advanced practice nursing without a license.

The State of Illinois kind of ebbs and flows in its persecution/prosecution of DEMs. From 1997 to 2005, it issued 10 cease and desist orders to nine Illinois midwives. The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation is once again picking up its activities -- there are currently two Illinois midwives being actively prosecuted by the Department.

Valerie
Illinois
 

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Maybe you ought to change the rules. ie whether twins, vbac's, weight gain issues.... can be born at home.
In Denmark, I can, and am, having a VHAC. Does the hospital want it? No - they are bullying me with rupture, fetal monitoring, threatening to send midwives that aren't happy doing homebirth after cesarean.... but even they say "it is your choice, and we must respect that."

If you have the laws, you have some power. Just make sure they are good laws, not ones with loopholes, exclusions....

PS - hate to rain on anyones parade, but things are better, but not always perfect, over here. Maybe 70% of people in the Netherlands birth with a mw, but a major chunk of the rest get cesareans. It's about the same here in Denmark; most have a mw, but 19-26% c-section rate. Homebirths here are more accepted, but still only 1-2% of the total. And they recently closed down all the birthing clinics. It's getting to be a mini USA.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Valerie
Certified nurse-midwives work under the Advanced Practice Nurse Act, and may legally attend homebirths. DEMs are unregulated by Illinois law, but subsequent to the Cryns decision a few years ago (Illinois Supreme Court) are subject to charges of practicing nursing/advanced practice nursing without a license.

The State of Illinois kind of ebbs and flows in its persecution/prosecution of DEMs. From 1997 to 2005, it issued 10 cease and desist orders to nine Illinois midwives. The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation is once again picking up its activities -- there are currently two Illinois midwives being actively prosecuted by the Department.

Valerie
Illinois
Yeh,I had to explain that to alot of people when they found out about my homebirth.

What can be done to help/support these direct entry midwives?
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by rere
I just wanted to say that I live in Il. and had a "legal" homebirth with a midwife who is indeed listed in the phonebook and on line(which is how I found her).The laws are confusing.
was she a CNM?
 
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