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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm so excited and I just had to share somewhere. I was at a birth conference this past Saturday and was talking to my doula from my daughter's birth about possibly doing UC. She's had 4 of her 6 kids at home unassisted and she had already said that she was willing to drive up(we've moved since my last birth) for our birth, no matter where we do it, but she mentioned to me that there was a midwife near my hometown who was now attending home births.

A little background on the home birth situation in South Dakota: Home birth isn't technically illegal, but the laws that are currently in place make it very difficult to have a home birth attended by a midwife. There are CNMs who practice in hospitals around the state, but they are all required to have a practice agreement with an OB/GYN, essentially making the OB their boss. In order to attend home births, a CNM must get permission from the South Dakota Nursing Board AND the OB that they are in a practice agreement with. Needless to say, not many CNMs are willing to jump through all the hoops required to attend home births. South Dakota does not recognize CPMs and any CPM who is found to be attending home births can lose her license as well as serve jail time(and yes, it's happened). So that's the atmosphere here in South Dakota, which is why I had figured if we wanted to have this baby at home, we would be doing it unassisted(which, funnily enough, is completely LEGAL in South Dakota).

There are two CNMs who have home birth practices on the west side of the state(I live on the east side), one of whom is actually out of Wyoming but will attend births in South Dakota, and I had heard a rumor about this other midwife near my hometown starting a home birth practice, but that's all it ever was - a rumor. At the birth conference, I found out that the rumors were true and she just set up her practice and attended her first home birth around Easter. I was initially concerned that the distance(it's about a 2-hour drive from where she's at to where we are) PLUS the time of year(South Dakota winters can be pretty brutal) would be deal-breakers, but my doula said this midwife had been willing to attend a birth over 3 hours from her so I'm thinking maybe the distance won't be as much of a factor. I just sent her an e-mail so we'll see what the response is. Even if she can't attend our birth, I'm still pretty excited that there's another home birth midwife in South Dakota so women can have more birth options.
 

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Originally Posted by Caitlin0919 View Post

I had figured if we wanted to have this baby at home, we would be doing it unassisted(which, funnily enough, is completely LEGAL in South Dakota).<
That's the situation in most states that don't recognize CPMs. Because it's not the birthing woman who is being charged with a crime - it's the provider, who is technically practicing medicine without a license. When it comes right down to it, it's hard to enforce any laws against UC, because lots of births happen UC that weren't planned that way.

I hope this works out for you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Heard from her earlier today - She said the distance shouldn't be a problem and that she travels a lot for births. All she needs to do is find some time to call and chat with me and make sure I'm a good candidate for a home birth(which I'm 99% sure that I am). Our next big hurdle will be insurance. Since she's a CNM, I think we might be able to get insurance to cover something, even if she's out-of-network. Since my husband's company is based out of Minnesota, we have BCBS Minnesota instead of South Dakota's ridiculously lame Wellmark BlueCross. BCBS MN seems to be a lot more flexible and, shall I say, "woman-friendly" than the South Dakota version. I don't know how great it is in the grand scheme of things, but I know it's better than Wellmark.

sarahtar - the funny thing about South Dakota is that our legislature actually passed a law a few years ago that specifically says that UC is not illegal and that it's perfectly fine to have your baby at home and be attended by your family and friends. But just make sure one of the people at your birth isn't a CPM or they'll get arrested. I don't know if other states have an actual law on the books or not, but I find it really strange that our lawmakers made an effort to say "Hey, it's okay to have a baby without a medical professional present!" yet they won't recognize CPMs and they make it SO HARD to get a CNM to attend your birth at home.
 

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Originally Posted by Caitlin0919 View Post

sarahtar - the funny thing about South Dakota is that our legislature actually passed a law a few years ago that specifically says that UC is not illegal and that it's perfectly fine to have your baby at home and be attended by your family and friends. But just make sure one of the people at your birth isn't a CPM or they'll get arrested. I don't know if other states have an actual law on the books or not, but I find it really strange that our lawmakers made an effort to say "Hey, it's okay to have a baby without a medical professional present!" yet they won't recognize CPMs and they make it SO HARD to get a CNM to attend your birth at home.
So very strange, isn't it? I don't think IA specifically says that UC is legal, but otherwise it's pretty much the same on the CPM side. So sad - we should be able to have options!

Sounds very promising and exciting that she might be able to attend your birth! Very awesome!! :)
 

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Yeah, Iowa doesn't have any laws about UC. We are TRYING to get CPMs recognized, though - however, not all of the CPM's are on board, which is interesting, but from their perspective, it gets the state involved in their business and restricts what they can do.

I know SD had a big push a while back (1-2 years) for midwifery's legal status. As I recall, the logic used by the midwifery supporters was that too, too many women were having UC because it was their only option. A lot of women near the border leave the state, but those too far to leave, many end up having UC. I think the problem, even more than just that OBs were unsupportive, is that in some communities, OBs are just too far away, but midwives could/would take those women if they were allowed. I am wondering if THAT is how you ended up with that law. That is a little strange. (And my memory could be off there.)

I'm so happy for you that she said she'd drive 3 hours. Um... if it were me, I'd be prepared for a UC and consider the midwife my Telephone Support, just in case. That way, you're prepared mentally if she doesn't end up being able to make it. But I've always thought personally the hardest part of adjusting to something that's different than what I expected is... adjusting my expectations.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
SD has been pushing for several years to change the status of midwifery, but this past year is when we got the closest to actually passing legislation. Didn't quite happen though, of course. And she has a 2-hour drive to get to me. She said she'd be willing to attend a birth that was over 3 hours from her, which gave me hope before I heard back from her.

We found out last night that we have yet another hurdle in this situation: My MIL. We thought she'd be on board with a homebirth since we'll be able to have a midwife and we want her to be there becase 1) She was there for DD's birth and she was a very calming presence and was very helpful and 2) We want DD to be at this birth and we need someone to take care of her. Not only is she against a home birth, she thinks it's a terrible idea to have DD at the birth("too traumatic") and she automatically assumed that DH was forcing me into it, which I find comical. I guess she said something like, "How do you know Caitlin doesn't want to have the baby in a hospital? Maybe you should ask her what she wants to do" to which DH replied, "You really don't know your daughter-in-law, do you?" We invited her over for dinner this week to talk things over and try to address her fears and maybe watch The Business of Being Born with her. We're also going to try to see if she can meet the midwife and get some more of her questions answered. We tried telling her that the doula we had for DD's birth was the one who recommended the midwife, hoping that would help but then she started talking crap about my doula and how she was hardly at DD's birth(she had another client in labor at the same time, so she and a back-up were switching back and forth for a bit). If we can't get her on board, we'll just tell her that we'll call her when the baby is here and we'll find another relative or hire another doula to watch DD.
 
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