Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Letter to the Members of the North Carolina House Select Committee on Licensing Midwives

North Carolina is working on legislation to legalize Certified Practicing Midwives. Following is a letter I wrote to members of the committee on licensing midwives. I also sent copies to my local legislators.


(Some identifying information omitted from letter.)

During my oldest daughter’s hospital birth we both suffered iatrogenic complications and I was given medication without my knowledge or consent.

Because of the negative aspects of my oldest daughter’s birth, we wanted to avoid a similar experience and decided to have our youngest daughter at home with the help of a direct entry midwife. The care given by my midwife while I was pregnant with our youngest far surpassed the level of care during my pregnancy with our oldest. Instead of fifteen minute prenatal appointments preceded by an hour or more in the waiting room, I had hour long prenatal appointments with no wait time at all. Instead of one prenatal appointment with the actual obstetrician we’d hired (most office visits were conducted by nurses employed by the obstetrician), I saw the same health care provider at all appointments. Instead of a complete stranger in the delivery room (the obstetrician we’d hired was out of town & a colleague stood in for her), we were surrounded by familiar faces in our own home.

I’m sure you’re aware that military families move a lot. Out of the five states I’ve lived in (Washington, Oregon, California, Florida, and North Carolina), North Carolina is the only one that does not license direct entry midwives.

Certified Practicing Midwives provide better service at lower cost; please allow North Carolinians access to this model of maternity care.


Get involved!
-join North Carolina Friends of Midwives
-write your legislators
-tell your friends

Visit The Big Push for Midwives to see where your state stands on CPM licensure.


Kristina said...

Ours (KY) also does not license and attended home births are considered illegal. Considering how much safer attended home births are, I really believe that KY is shooting itself in the foot. If a mother has to be transported to the hospital, her midwife cannot go with her and advise the doctor on what has been going on because of the danger of arrest.

A midwife can provide things like oxygen (used at both my home births-one in Maine, and one in Oklahoma), heart rate monitoring (my last son's heart rate kept falling and the midwife determined that I needed to get the baby out faster, so we did--naturally), and many other things.

My hubby has said repeatedly that he is thrilled that we had finished having children before we moved here. Now, if only Tri-care would pay for direct-entry midwives after they've been licensed.

Shannon @ Some Fine Taters said...

Here it is perfectly legal to have a homebirth, just illegal for the midwife to attend.

I think Tricare pays for direct entry midwives in Florida. I believe Florida requires any health insurance company that covers births to cover DEMs.

Kristina said...

Yes, exactly. It is illegal for a midwife to attend.

Although, we did determine that perhaps one of the guys from Gary's rescue squadron would be willing to attend. In fact, I had 3 volunteer, if ever I got pregnant again, when I mentioned it. I think I'll just work on getting it made legal here for midwives to attend.

Shannon @ Some Fine Taters said...

I think I'd find it rather disturbing to have my husband's friends volunteering to attend my birth. ;)

Though my poor husband was so embarrassed when he showed his corpsman our homebirth pictures. He told me, "I didn't know there were naked pictures of you there!" It didn't bother me a bit. There wasn't anything graphic. No crowning pics!