Was My Last Home Birth Illegal? (I Need Your Help!)

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Was my daughters birth illegal
Wellness Mama » Blog » Motherhood » Was My Last Home Birth Illegal? (I Need Your Help!)

In short… yes. My amazing last home birth experience that saved me from an 8-week c-section surgery recovery was not legal in my state. If you missed my birth story, the birth (of my now one-year-old) was a breech home VBAC and my 8 pound daughter had perfect APGAR scores.

This post is different from my normal posts and I’m asking for your help and activism today. I would not have had the option to birth naturally in any of the medical facilities in our state. And I need your help to make sure other women have the option to birth at home in my state in the future!

Here’s what to do and scroll down to hear the rest of the story:

  • Call 1-800-372-7181 (especially if you live in KY or are a healthcare professional) and say “I’d like to leave a message for all members of Senate Licensing & Occupations Committee: “Please vote yes on SB 105 to license Certified Professional Midwives.”
  • If you live in Kentucky- Leave a message for your Senator: “Please support and co-sponsor SB 105 to license Certified Professional Midwives.”

Was My Birth Illegal?

Sounds like a crazy question… but thanks to the laws where we live (in Kentucky), home birth is not technically a supported birth option like it is in 31 other states. I should clarify that it wasn’t technically illegal for me to birth at home, but that my state does not currently license certified professional midwives (CPMs). This makes it difficult (and risky) for these midwives (who are often certified in other states) to serve families and have access to necessary supplies.

Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs) are nationally credentialed midwives who provide primary maternity care. CPMs are the only maternity care provider specifically trained to attend births outside the hospital.

They are trained to provide health-promoting and preventative care that is evidence based and avoids unnecessary use of drugs and interventions. CPMs are licensed in 28 states but not yet licensed in Kentucky. Licensing Certified Professional Midwives is the best way to ensure that those families who choose out-of-hospital birth will have access to quality maternity care.

Homebirth IS Happening

Kentucky women (and women all over the US) are choosing home birth. In fact, last year, the percentage of KY home births was above the national average, yet women are not supported in this option, having to find midwives through word of mouth or choosing to birth unassisted (without a midwife) if they are unable to find a midwife near them.

In a state with one of the highest c-section rates in the country, home birth midwives offer a safe alternative and we’ve been working to change the laws and support this option in KY. The World Health Organization, the American Public Health Association and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (in the UK) all support home birth as a safe birth choice, yet some states in the US make this option difficult or impossible for women, despite evidence of its safety.

With the WHO calling for the US to work to lower its unnecessarily high c-section rates, supporting home birth as a birth choice is increasingly important. Women are already choosing this option and will continue to do so, and supporting these options with access to lab testing, ultrasounds and necessary medications will help keep moms safe. Consider these studies and the difference in intervention rates in home births vs. hospital births:

is home birth safe

and this one…

safety of home birth

VBAC Safety


My Birth: The Bottom Line

Home birth is not for everyone, but it should be a supported option for women who choose it. My birth would not have been possible in a hospital in my state. I did not even have that option. My midwife’s VBAC rate is 99%. My local hospital’s VBAC rate is less than 20%. My hospital’s breech rate is approximately 0%.

No matter what type of birth you have personally chosen, please help me and others give the women in my state the right to choose their own birth options. I’m happy to do the same for you and your state if it is ever needed.


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Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


100 responses to “Was My Last Home Birth Illegal? (I Need Your Help!)”

  1. Vanesa Avatar

    I just called (from VA) and they said SB 105 is regarding gaming? Like lottery and stuff? She looked it up. Are you sure that # is correct? She just left that off and wrote that Please support licensing midwives in Kentucky. But just wanted to clarify for other callers.

  2. Jennie Avatar

    I wish you luck with changing the laws! I’m attempting a home vbac this August after my first birthday a (probably unnecessary) emergency C-section that left me with PTSD.its a miracle decided to ever go through with another pregnancy after my first. I can’t imagine labor in a hospital not causing flashbacks and panic attacks, so my hubby and I decided home would be best. Good luck!

  3. Dara Avatar

    My first child was induced leading to an emergency C-section. There wasn’t any real reason for the inducement except for the doctor’s vacation schedule (which I found out later). My daughter was very small, and could have clearly “cooked” a bit longer. I feel if we had been left alone we would have been fine.

    For my second child I went to the only doctor in the area that specialized in VBACs. I also had two doulas. My sons birth was amazing. So much so that it kept the doctor from retiring his practice. He wanted to keep helping mothers like me. But it was a struggle with in my family… there is so much mis-information about VBACs that I had people telling me I was making a mistake. It wasn’t until another cousin told me about her own success VBAC that I grew confident with my decision.

    I could never have a baby at home. We have a very serious anxiety gene that affects most of my people — I’m certain we would all freak out. But I very much support women who want this choice. AND I very much believe information about VBACs needs to get out there and more doctors need to support that option.

    AND STOP INDUCTIONS 33% of inductions leads to emergency c-section…. and in many cases, like mine, there was no need for inducement in the first place.

  4. Dennis Stoltzfoos Avatar
    Dennis Stoltzfoos

    We have had 6 kids, all at home and all normal healthy children who will never need braces and the girls will have ease in childbirth just like mama because they are healthy from conception Weston A Price style. Yes this is not for everyone but it has worked for us and many of our friends upon hearing our story have followed suit. We never say they should, just share our story and if the light comes on in their heads and they want to do it we support them. Step one to success in this journey is a healthy diet because a healthy body functions well and the birth process is a time when the body needs to function well if everything is to turn out fine. For us it has been the Weston A Price diet and we do not eat junk food, no sugar, no white flour and little bread period no processed food. We eat a very high fat diet but no processed fats from the store. It is our opinion that you will not have a healthy child on grocery store foods, you must grow your own or buy from a farmer you know and trust to be making nutrient dense foods. This is not easy but doable, just search Sally Fallon on you tube and watch her stuff, all good.

  5. Chris Schauermann Avatar
    Chris Schauermann

    My wife and I taught childbirth classes for more that 40 years. We have taught for churches, doctors, hospitals and colleges. My wife is a midwife and has delivered hundreds of babies. We have personally given birth to 13 healthy children; ten were delivered at home. The umbilical cord is more like an electrical cord than a hose. It is almost impossible to tie it so tight that it would stop blood flow. Leaving the cord alone until it stops pulsing is the only rational thing to do, since it continues to supply the baby with an extra source of oxygen. It is foolish to cut it prematurely.

  6. Anna W. Avatar

    I’m confused by the comments because I know of a lady that had a home birth in which her baby had his umbilical cord wrapped around his neck and he was completely fine (b/c of the trained midwife). I am probably naive in this area, but wanted to know if this is different than what these comments are speaking of (is there a more severe umbilical cord issue?). Sorry that this is way after the original posting.

    Just curious as I am planning to have a birth center-mid-wife-birth and have been reading everything. We will perhaps do one ultrasound but potentially none…I’m sure that would get Elizabeth in an uproar. I’m just so over the hospitals and doctors (they have helped me, but more often than not they waste my time, money, and I end up finding a natural way that actually works on whatever I went to them for). My last had to be born in the hospital due to personal extraneous circumstances, but I was so upset when they wouldn’t even act upon my simple wish of leaving the umbilical cord attached for a bit longer than normal (even though they said they would…)

    And also thankful to this shedding light on the legality of home birth/birth centers. I had no clue they weren’t legal everywhere.

  7. Brittany Avatar

    I love this post. I am writing a research paper over the medicalization of birth, and I am interested to know which studies those statistics you shared are from. If you see this comment, please contact me with the study/journal article information!

  8. Michelle Avatar

    Kentucky is a beautiful state, but one of the worst when it comes to giving birth. No wonder the homebirth rate is higher than the national average. I had two children in Kentucky. My midwife was licensed in another state. She wasn’t near me either but we drove out to see her. I seriously contemplated crossing the border to TN and having my first at the Farm, but we probably couldn’t have paid for that.

    Even if you’re lucky enough to not have a c-section, I don’t know anyone who walked out of the hospital without having had pitocin and stitches, if only one or two. And almost everyone, whether they came in wanting natural labor, ended up with an epidural. No thanks. I was gonna take my chances. I was lucky to have found a midwife who was willing to attend the birth because it was riskier for her than for me.

    Sadly some women end up having an unqualified midwife attending because the state government will not allow midwifes to practice out in the open. We have over 20% medicaid/CHIP enrollment and since the c-section rate is so high, many of these women will have c-sections. And once they had one, another. Licensing midwifes and encouraging low risk homebirths if the woman wants one would certainly help, but I’m not holding my breath. I know women who didn’t have more children simply because of traumatic hospital births and feeling it they had no other options. Very sad.

  9. Stella Kelly Avatar
    Stella Kelly

    I enjoyed the article. Home birth the legitimate place it deserves in case of suitable atmosphere and if other conveniences are available

  10. Chris Courage Avatar
    Chris Courage

    Hello, I have a great appreciation for this topic; thanks for sharing your experiences and for inviting others to do the same as well as providing them with an opportunity to get involved with something very important. Everyone can benefit by taking a step out of the restrictions they have decided for themselves… by taking the risk to explore outside of their comfort zone and learn about what else there is, maybe just maybe they’ll find that there certainly is a better way of doing things.

    I’m a man, about to turn 41.. born 6 weeks premature, incubated, and cut (didn’t find this out until I was 22 when I went into Marine Corps boot camp) – my mother’s doctor strongly suggested that she wrap her breasts (apparently a very popular practice in the 70s) and provided her with one “formula” or another for my nutrition, which as it turns out I couldn’t eat.. at some point along the line they started using some soy “formula” so yay me! raised on soy… it was garbage then, and it is garbage now, but that’s not why I’ve written all of this. It’s to establish some background so that readers know where I’m coming from with this comment.

    Over the years, I’ve been able to reflect on my own experiences, and have even done some regression work to remember things that happened when I was very young. I decided long ago to learn as much as I could about pregnancy and birth so that if/when I was to be a father I would be capable of doing everything possible for the health and comfort of the mother and child. Probably the most important thing I’ve learned, is that men could seriously benefit from doing the same, and certainly their partners and children would benefit as well.

    So… as it turns out there is a lot to learn about when it comes to pregnancy and birth, and the field of study continues to grow. With the advent of the 14th amendment and all that comes with it, pregnancy and birth now goes beyond the physical parameters of mother and child.. Birth certificates are not at all what they are marketed to be – they are tied in with the monetary system, along with social security cards, and regulation of the population. There is a reason states like KY have not “legalized” or “authorized” home births – but with the hints I have given, the entrepreneurial investigator should have no trouble researching the topic. More hints: History of Marriage Licensing, History of Birth Certificates, Debt Slavery, Tax Farming, and Maritime Law.. Stefan Molyneux, Jeff Anderson, and Duane the Great Writer all discuss these things in one form or fashion with the idea being, take the time to educate yourself, become more aware, and make better choices.

    Unfortunately, there are countless mothers out there who instead of realistically educating themselves as to what is actually best for themselves and their children, they seek the “professional” advice of someone who is controlled by the medical mafia. I’m not saying that doctors don’t know their field or what’s best for their patients – but from experience, they often have unseen agendas, like script and foreskin quotas. And I’m not saying not to go to doctors, my point is simply to research as much as possible to make the best possible choices.

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