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

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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.

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. Elizabeth Avatar

    I have been following you and reading every new article for several years now. Primarily because I enjoy the content and I apply it to my every day routine and I have seen the benefits as described 95% of the time, which is a higher record than anybody else who’s advice I have taken. Thus far your articles have been about recipes whether for food, salves, cosmetics, etc. and it doesn’t take a plumber to see the value in making your own products where you can account for each ingredient and getting wonderful tried and true recipes from you that work. I have written comments in the past articles. All of which were agreeing with you and one of them was a question, neither merited a response directly from you which I did not expect one, so having you respond to every single comment I have made in this article even the ones that simply stated my opinion is well… interesting you have so much time now.
    It isn’t until recently, actually since you patented your “wellnessmama” name and introduced paid advertisement that you have become more political in your articles from the witch hunt towards hospitals to using your power/influence to change Kentucky laws.
    I do ask that you at least post my 6th day old comment that clears up that false statement you and others presented numerous times that I do not consider midwives as competent to handle a routine low risk delivery at home but rather as I cleared up in that post what I have been stating is that low risk pregnancy can and do unexpectedly become life threatening and no one without available specialized tools/equipment can handle it. I also cleared up the other false impression regarding my stance on the freedom to choose where and when to deliver but rather I emphasize that if you will provide data/stats on a subject like home birthing, neglecting listing deaths at home… even if it is zero it still needs to be mention as a complete informed educational statement. You cannot only provide a completely one sided data and conveniently leave out the unflattering data and call that as a well thought out article. I also, in addition, I put a lot of effort to not only substantiate my genuine concerns but also I even included an excellent link that helped YOUR cause!

    1. Katie - Wellness Mama Avatar

      Elizabeth- Thank you for the patience. I was behind on comments and I’ve approved all of the comments from you in the queue. Also, I apologize, I should have made it more clear that all commenters should be kind and respectful, and I do appreciate the time you’ve taken to leave such long replies here.
      Also, just to clear up what I was referring to when I mentioned you saying midwives were unqualified. In a past comment, you said “I use quotation for midwife since I don’t know how an uncertified person can say that is what they are.” and I was merely trying to clarify that my midwife was, in fact, certified and qualified as a CPM.

      1. Caitlin Avatar

        Katie- I can’t tell how old these comments are on my phone but I did want to reply to this thread. ?
        I have been reading your blogs and listening to your podcast for several months now. I just went through this post and comments tonight as I nurse my 5 month old baby girl (who we had a homebirth with a midwife, I’m in arkansas) and I am so happy to see that you are in support of midwives and homebirths. I do believe that every woman has a different life style and may need or want to have a hospital birth. But I am astonished and saddened that Elisabeth has put so much negativity into these comments, when you are trying to accomplish something so close to your heart. And somthing that is close and personally a passion for me! I see her passion, but I feel it isnt needed if everyone disagrees with you. Which its sad you cant help that. I can tell by your post you are a strong (and smart) mama! And you have many mama’s out there on your side! I just wish that people like her would see the line to stop trolling and clogging up feed for good questions and conversations! Stay strong Katie!

  2. Chris Avatar

    Thanks for bringing this up and thanks for all your research and time spent giving home birth the legitimate place it deserves. My wife and I have been teaching childbirth classes for over 40 years. We have thirteen children, we delivered three babies in the hospital and the rest were born at home. My wife doesn’t do well with hospital smells etc. Her labor comes to a grinding halt at the hospital. A doctor suggested home birth for us. He had been an emergency room doctor before becoming an OB/GYN. He told us that if we had a problem and we lived within 15 min. of the hospital, we were as good as being there because it takes longer than that for the hospital to get ready even if you are there. True or not, it got us to make the brake and we would never go back. My wife is now a registered midwife and has delivered hundreds of babies at home. But, the legal climate is still pretty scary, so she now only delivers our own family’s babies or occasionally a very close friend. Hope people take your advice and contact their elected officials. Keep up the great work!

  3. Meghan Avatar

    I’m from IL and homebirth is not really an option here either. You have to know someone that is willing to take a risk. I gave birth to my first son at a hospital with a CNM but ended in a c section. Not an emergency just very long and stopped dilating after 9 and they (in my opinion) were getting impatient and wanted to go home. I was never really wanting a hospital birth but didn’t know what else to do. I’m definitely wanting to get involved somehow so we can have more options! But as of now if I get pregnant anytime soon and can’t find a hb midwife I’m probably going to the farm! I actually just attended an unassisted hb in IL and it was the best experience ever!

  4. Nancy Avatar

    Even more important than homebirth I think is water birth. For anyone with narrow hips and large headed babies, this is definitely the way to go. But should definitely be presented as an option for everyone!!

    My 1st birth was csection in a horrible hospital, Philadelphia Hospital, the first hospital of the nation. I didn’t fully vet this place as I was working full time when i was pregnant. So I birthed for like 12 hours, got to 9cm and still was cut open.

    For my 2nd birth, I had a luxurious water birth in a hospital! In a hospital outside of Princeton, NJ, Capital Health. They should be the standard for the country. They have two water tubs in the birthing unit and my midwives (Midwifery Care Associates) had nurse-midwife privileges so they were my primary care providers from the test to see if I was pregnant until the baby was in my arms. It was wonderful, I managed to get to the hospital at 5cm dilated, went into the water and i pretty much had 90% pain relief. A few hours later when I couldn’t talk through my contractions anymore i got out, hugged the back of the hospital bed and squatted through each contraction. My baby was out in 12 minutes!!!! Why aren’t more hospitals using water for pain relief???? (Think about how many anaesthesiologists, and pharma manufacturers would be out of business if they did. How many moms and babies would be healthier and happier if they did).

    *My midwives actually specialize in home water births and have seen and assisted thousands of natural, unmedicated births. I assure you that your obstetrician hasn’t.

    1. Tracy Avatar

      My two were home water births. Well, my daughter was born out of the water about 30 seconds after I got it (my midwife wanted me in the bed to try to keep me from tearing so bad ,but it was too late ,lol ). Birth was NOT nearly as bad as I had always envisioned. I think the water helped a lot. There was still pain, but just not as bad as I thought. Two sisters of mine had BIG babies at home in the water.

  5. Chris Avatar

    My wife and I have had 13 children, sleep is really an issue. I can remember thinking the best day of my life was when the baby slept through the night. We finally came to the realization mom needs to sleep when the baby sleeps. It is not a time to get things done. Nothing is more important than mom, if mom is not healthy nobody will be healthy. I would often have to make her take naps. I helped with as much of the housework as I could without having a nervous breakdown. Then the other stuff just doesn’t get done till the baby is on a relatively normal schedule. i would also recommend that you not drink coffee or other stimulants. We also would put the baby down for a nap and turn on a music box. The baby would usually cry but we would not go back in until the music box stopped. Some people don’t agree with this but our thinking is that if you keep getting the baby every time they cry, some babies won’t sleep, some times they need to be left alone so they can rest.

  6. Elizabeth Avatar

    Katie – You didn’t let me reply to this: “Elizabeth- please be kind to other commenters in your replies. If you want to bring out the claws against me, that is fine, but please be kind to them” So I have to start a new conversation far below to the response of this…
    If commentators such as Meagan, whose comment you agree with, that say “Just because you are an ultrasound tech doesn’t make you any more equipped than a plumber to educate on the subject” would cause me to respond in kind to her specifically with a similar comment but insert housewife instead of ultrasound tech. Instead my comments have been to the point rather than using that individual as an analogy to a plumber.
    If commentators such as Aubryn who say ” need for job security” when in reality I speak for genuine concern that someone is telling women there is no or less risk than a hospital equipped with an OR and surgical team.
    if commentators such as Aubryn who say “her opinion is fully formed-she formed it on a foundation of her own biases, her need for job security and a healthy (or not) helping of faer mongering.” LOL she is actually my favorite! That is why a brought her up twice. I mean come on! how hypocrite do you have to be to talk about my claws when Aubryn is here! we covered the definition of bias and illegal. Lets do mongering =a promoter of something unpleasant. You are right it is unpleasant to bring up known statistical risks of home birthing and to bring up the flip side omitted in this article. It is hard to protect your other commentators when they seek me out with THEIR claws and I guess I surprised you I can make it personal too if that is the level they want to play. Up to that point all of my comments had been general and “sweeping” as another brought up with counter statistics that were omitted, not necessarily want you want to hear but I personally felt necessary to bring up since they come from the same links and since I care more than just “job security”. Anyway… again your article is not just you asking from people around the nation to call Kentucky to add midwives under their regulation BUT also a one sided argument about only the benefits of home birthing. THAT is the part I have been trying to emphasize only. Finding an awesome OBGYN is also a word of mouth struggle too, not just findings a good qualified midwife. Took me 4 tries before I found the OBGYN for me that did not fit in that small box you all have painted about all OBGYN’s. And I only found him from word of mouth and of course I interviewed him and he knew it because I believe doctors are human and I wont have chemistry with every doctor I meet.

    This is straight out of this link that is a website dedicated to fighting for you cause!

    “There are no laws in Kentucky that specify where a baby can or cannot be born. We’ve all seen a news story where a baby is born on the side of the road while on the way to the hospital (or some similar story). It is not illegal for these babies to be born on the side of the road just as it is not illegal for a baby to be born at home.”

    This is straight out of this link that is a website dedicated to fighting for you cause!

    So “my claws” as you pointed out with me but not Aubryn or Meagan for your own reasons, towards you came out when I realized how misleading the title to your article is “Was My Last Home Birth Illegal? (I Need Your Help!)” When more accurately it should have said what your article says which is, why does my midwife not have a kentucky permit to practice? Then you wouldn’t get commentors like Riri, Christy and Valeria saying… disgusting you can’t own your own body… because even when they don’t read the article that it ACTUALLY wasn’t illegal to birth at home or in a car, what IS not legal is for a non kentucky permitted midwife to “practice nursing without a license” as stated in the last midwife lawsuit that was brought to her in “the late 1990’s”, yes people … over 17 years of midwives practicing “illegally” with no lawsuits.
    “Despite the lack of prosecution of midwives in Kentucky, many midwives still exercise great caution in making themselves widely available since they are practicing without the required state-issued permit. The goal of the Kentucky Home Birth Coalition is to see the state of Kentucky issue licenses to Certified Professional Midwives so that they can fully exercise their scope of practice in caring for women and babies.”…”No one knows precisely what happened in 1975 to prompt this change, but we do know that it effectively pushed direct-entry midwifery underground, and no new permits have been issued since that time. There have been numerous efforts to change midwifery law and regulation of the past 40+ years, all unsuccessful.

    A lot has changed in the midwifery landscape of the United States since 1975. Since that time, 31 states have licensed or otherwise legalized direct-entry midwifery. Also in that time, the Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) credential was created. The CPM is the only midwifery credential that requires knowledge about and experience in out-of-hospital (OOH) settings.”
    “There are no laws about where you can have your baby, or who must be in attendance.” So actually you DO own your body in kentucky, yay! It sounds like something happened up to 1975 that made the lawmakers change their minds about giving out permits but I am sure they are as educated as plumbers and you all know better!

  7. Kimberly Avatar

    I also had two illegal home births here in NC. My midwife is licensed in VA and SC and is great. I also agree that home birth is not for everyone, but it was the right thing for me.

  8. Esther Avatar

    Katie, I am so happy for you and how well things went for you. I understand where you are coming from. I am so blessed to be able to have birthed 3 of my 4 children at home and in 2 different states with 2 WONDERFUL, CARING AND COMPASSIONATE midwives. I would NOT trade that experience for anything in the world. It was the best experience my husband and I experienced. He was totally behind me in this desire. I had a similar experience where in my state it was illegal to birth twins but yet legal in another state. To keep the story short, our midwife had already delivered twins that no doctor or midwife suspected. They were fine. We knew our midwife was well experienced but would not take any risk. My labor with her was very short for the first baby but then contractions slowed. She kept the heart monitors on both of us and neither were under stress. Finally we decided to go in and have the 2nd baby at a hospital that would be less apt to do a c-section. In short, the baby was head down but face up. The doctor used forceps to deliver. The baby was fine. The doctor gave me 6 weeks of emotional trauma! I believe I was allowed to have the hospital birth to be able to understand better how bad they can be. Then when I gave birth to my last baby, I would probably have been considered high risk because of my age but everything went perfect! I understand both sides and I know it is not for everyone but I too think it should be available for all to consider.
    Maybe the ultrasound tech, Elizabeth, is not aware of the women that die or have to be transferred to a hospital from an abortion clinic who were in care of a doctor. Maybe she has not heard the stories of the many women who were traumatized from a hospital birth. I understand they are not trained to know how many of the things our children are faced with today, come from. I do not beieve you will not find 1 child without immunizations with autism for one! We can all do the research. My heart aches for all the children that have suffered and some have become parrilized by some of the things they inject into the bodies of our children! Thank you again Katie for all your wonderful articles!

    1. Elizabeth Avatar

      Hey Esther… maybe you haven’t heard the story of several European countries that tried to reproduce Dr. Andrew Wakefield’s findings regarding linking vaccines to Autism. NO ONE COULD REPRODUCE HIS FINDINGS! not his collegues, not other countries… NO ONE! so they looked into how he got to that conclusion and this is the quote about him: “The widespread fear that vaccines increase risk of autism originated with a 1997 study published by Andrew Wakefield, a British surgeon. The article was published in The Lancet, a prestigious medical journal, suggesting that the measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine was increasing autism in British children.

      The paper has since been completely discredited due to serious procedural errors, undisclosed financial conflicts of interest, and ethical violations. Andrew Wakefield lost his medical license and the paper was retracted from The Lancet.

      Nonetheless, the hypothesis was taken seriously, and several other major studies were conducted. None of them found a link between any vaccine and the likelihood of developing autism.

      Today, the true causes of autism remain a mystery, but to the discredit of the autism-vaccination link theory, several studies have now identified symptoms of autism in children well before they receive the MMR vaccine. And even more recent research provides evidence that autism develops in utero, well before a baby is born or receives vaccinations.”
      Do some research on this doctor and how he was the ONLY one who “believed” that since no one could reproduce his results. But thanks for bringing measles and mumps back! base on a quack job.

  9. Heidi Avatar

    Between 1984 and 1998, in NJ, I had 3 children in a free standing birth center run by midwives, 3 homebirths with CNMs and 2 hospital births (one with an OB and one with a CNM because he was 22 days early). The hospital births were adaquate but the homebirths were by far the best. Once we moved to AL we were shocked to discover that home birthing with a qualified midwife is illegal. We also had an “illegal” homebirth. My husband caught the baby so his name is on the birth certificate. We had two excellent “doulas” assist. My adult daughter and several younger friends have recently traveled to TN to deliver their babies with midwives, one was a perfectly successful breech and another a VBAC. It amazes me that in the southern states, where citizens pride themselves on self sufficiency and independence from federal interference, they have not recognized this simple truth. Women should choose where to have their babies and who should assist them.

  10. Mary Avatar

    Maybe I missed this in the article, but once the states would legalize this, would they also be regulating it? My mom was an OB nurse and knew of a midwife in the community with multiple fetal demises and other complications, but no one was regulating her so she could continue delivering.
    PS your birth story is so inspiring! Thank goodness the OB in charge at my birth center will deliver breach babies! But he’s one of the only doctors in the state that will do it. I wish everyone had access to the kind of care we have here! I’ll be fighting for this with you!

  11. Christine Hoeflich Avatar
    Christine Hoeflich

    I birthed both of my girls at home. They are now almost 19 and 22. My insurance covered the CNM and the home births. I’m so glad they were born at home!

  12. Susan Meeker-Lowry Avatar
    Susan Meeker-Lowry

    I’m well past childbearing age (65), but 2 of my 3 boys were born at home in Vermont – 1977, 1979 (my third was born in 1981 in a hospital birthing room attended by the doctor who trained my second midwife – it was considered a high risk birth because of stress – my mother had died of cancer and my sister was recovering from a traumatic brain injury all while I was pregnant).
    I chose to birth at home because of the terrible obstetrics at the local hospital. My midwife was trained in England and her husband was a doctor. I tried to get hospital backup but they refused to play that role, they were so opposed to home birth. In England, midwives receive extensive training, including in emergencies so I was in good hands. It was a long labor, Jason was a large baby, but everything was fine and I was able to walk and rest and basically listen to my body during labor. In the hospital, I would have been strapped to the table, given drugs to speed up the labor and, who knows, maybe even a c-section.
    My second birth was with a different midwife as Kay had moved. The baby was 3 weeks early and my labor was quite short. Ethan was born with a cleft lip and palate. If he had been born in the hospital, he would have been whisked away from me immediately and I would not have been able to hold him or bond with him for those so-important hours after birth. He was healthy, the hospital (where the doctor who trained this midwife worked – not the hospital that refused to be backup with Jason), was called and the next morning I brought Ethan in to be examined and begin the long process of dealing with his birth defect.
    My third, born in a birthing room, was a totally normal birth, the cord, however, was wrapped around Colin’s neck. I stopped pushing when the doctor told me to, which was difficult, he unwrapped the cord and Colin was born. His apgar was 2 but after I greeted him by name, he sputtered and literally came to life and his apgar was 10. Within 2 hours I was up, washed, and Colin, his dad, and I went home to pizza and champagne. The nurses talked about how quickly I left for weeks after. Had this birth happened at home, I believe it would have had a similar outcome. But I will never know. Even so, I totally support home birth with well-trained midwives, and I wouldn’t trade any of mine, both home and birthing room, for anything.
    Women should have the choice of where and how to birth their babies. Doctors, midwives, doulas, nurses, should support the mother, and the family in this choice.

    1. Christy Avatar

      Thank you for sharing such a good experience with birthing. It is good to also share what other cultures do and how they see birthing. My husband lived in Malaysia for years among the people in remote areas, they took birthing to be almost an everyday thing, they helped each other – and often gave birth in very (what we would consider) ackward places and even went right back to work. The English do have a good system that supports birth at home with midwives. Our cultural attitudes shape how we see probable danger- or the lack of it, and as I live mostly in Greece and Italy, I see quite a range of attitudes; here in America, the tendency these days is to want everything ultra safe and secure, I believe life is not like that. If you do not fear the birthing process, your anxiety may cause you to hold back and not let nature take it’s course, I have a girlfriend who gave birth at home to all four children, the last was an incredible birth, less than an hour of labor. Everyone is different, and every woman should have the right to make their own choice.

  13. Tracey Avatar

    Katie- My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your precious new little one. Although I am past my child bearing years I wanted to add to this all important conversation. With my first child I prepared by going with the Bradley method of training and delivery. 27 1/2 hours of WHAM contractions later my son was born WITHOUT medical intervention in a hospital in NC. My daughter was born 18 months later 20 minutes after walking into the hospital and after laboring for 6 hours at home (in Mo). Both of them could have easily been born at home- no problem. Insurance dictated that we at least be in hospital for delivery. My grandmother had 3 babies at home with midwives. She lived to be 104. My husbands great- grandmother had 8 healthy home deliveries on a farm with midwives – she sadly lost 6 of her children NOT to birth related deaths but to the #1 killer of children at the time- accidents. This crazy idea that we humans just HAVE to have a doc and a hospital dictating every health decision we make is ludicrous. Thomas Jefferson warned of governmental control of food and medicine and there has been much written about how the control of food and health care decisions are instituted SOLELY TO CONTROL POPULATIONS. It is curious to me how someone who is all onboard with a straight line allopathic approach is even reading your blog, let alone leaving comments?! Keep up the good fight- you are on the side of right.

  14. Tracy Avatar

    I should try to get some of my sisters in law to read, comment, and hopefully call. They have some incredible stories of homebirth. Several scenarios there and all with happy endings.

    I had my two children at home with a CNM. I had no complications with my first beyond a tear that healed on its own. She was perfect. My son was born with the cord kinked over his shoulder. My midwife knew something was wrong and had me push him out fast (resulting in another tear that also healed on its own). He was limp. Blue. Looked dead. She was in the pool with me and had my husband grab the baby oxygen, handed baby to me, and had me check to see if the cord (obviously free now) was pulsing. It was and I know that helped him tremendously. It seemed forever, but maybe 30 seconds of oxygen and he came around. He’s an active (very active) year and a half old pure boy now!

    It makes me sad that Kentucky is like this. My dad’s grandmother was one of the Frontier Midwives based in Leslie Co, KY. She came on mule back and delivered my dad (likely others of the 8) at home just down the mountain from where I grew up. I and the next 4 kids my mother had were born at the Mary Breckinridge Hospital in Hyden, KY., which at least at the time (not sure now), trained midwives. If you don’t know who Mary Breckinridge was, look her up. She was the original Frontier Midwife.

  15. Angela Avatar

    I just had my 4th homebirth of my 5th child 10 days ago. I am so grateful midwives are now licensed in my state (they weren’t with my first homebirth) which opened the door to my homebirth being covered by insurance. My first was born in the hospital so I’ve had both experiences and I hope to never have to give birth in a hospital again. Midwives are the most qualified health professionals at low risk births. They have 1 hour prenatal visits v. 10 minute doctor visits and stay with women throughout their entire labor; therefore knowing the women they are attending to much better and gain much more experience in the behaviors of laboring women v. showing up at the last minute to catch the baby (or in my case not even making it). There is no excuse for these hard working women not to be licensed anywhere. I wish you the best in getting that done in KY.

  16. Devorah Shulman Avatar
    Devorah Shulman

    I realize that I’m posting so far down that, Katie, you won’t even read this, but here goes anyway. Even though I’m a Labor and Delivery RN, I, unlike most of my colleagues, am not against homebirth. Even though I see every type of disaster that one could imagine, and more, I realize that most, but not all, of these cases would risk out of a homebirth. And that that women choosing homebirth tend to be a self selected group that are far more educated and informed than your typical woman having a baby in a hospital, who just wants to deliver as quickly and pain free as possible.

    What my problem is, is that there is hostility anda lack of collaboration between the homebirth midwives and the hospital community. This fosters some risky behavior, like transferring too late and making what should have been an urgent situation into a STAT one. Also, I don’t like that, in my area at least, that midwives straight out of school are going right into solo practice without taking a few years to apprentice with an experienced homebirth midwife. And they go to births without any assistant. What if they need to take care of, say, suturing mom who has a bleeder that can’t wait, but baby needs help getting started? I am aware that hospital practices can cause problems, but some problems can arise spontaneously. Or, as the saying goes, “Meconium happens.” My wish is for a truce to be called, which will make birth safer for all.

    Sorry for the length off this post, but, believe me, I held back. There’s lots more to say on the subject.

    1. Katie - Wellness Mama Avatar

      This! 100% this:

      “I realize that I’m posting so far down that, Katie, you won’t even read this, but here goes anyway. Even though I’m a Labor and Delivery RN, I, unlike most of my colleagues, am not against homebirth. Even though I see every type of disaster that one could imagine, and more, I realize that most, but not all, of these cases would risk out of a homebirth. And that that women choosing homebirth tend to be a self selected group that are far more educated and informed than your typical woman having a baby in a hospital, who just wants to deliver as quickly and pain free as possible.”

      I, likewise, wish we could call a truce and wish there were thousands more like you who are well educated and willing to research both sides of the issue. I agree that if anything, the hostility towards home birth and midwives actually makes things less safe for women, though I have seen midwives encourage moms to transfer who otherwise wouldn’t, and the outcomes have been very positive. I’m not sure about other midwives, but I know that mine did extensive school and training, apprenticed and now has her own apprentices who see hundreds of births before ever catching on their own. They also always have multiple midwives there. And I know that I am very lucky to have such wonderful midwives nearby and that not everyone does.

      Again, thank you for the thoughtful and respectful comment and for your perspective. Any chance you would like to come offer this valuable point in front of a senate committee next year? 🙂

  17. Judith Avatar

    Ugh! Hate when government feels the need to interfere in choice. Regulation is one thing and can provide safety; however, preventing an option not based on scientific evidence is not reasonable. Good luck with your actions.

  18. Abby Avatar

    Hi Katie, I had a VBAC in KY last year but also have some experience with this subcommittee and could possibly help. Please send me an email to talk offline. Thanks for posting this!

  19. Charity Avatar

    Such an interesting topic. I am a criminal defense attorney in Utah and an advocate for home birth. There are several of us that would love to advocate for any midwives or their client’s that are charged with a criminal offense.

  20. cathy Avatar

    This is a very important subject to me. In 1983 I had a c-section. It was necessary. I had placenta previa. I hemorrhaged an tried labor but lost to much blood. My son was 8 weeks premature. I am glad to say he survived and is an incredible human. Then I had to deal with all the hospital mistakes. They let me bleed to long, they messed up my epidural and I couldn’t breath. I almost died, I got spinal headaches, shakes, and felt horrible for months. I got an infection in my incision. I got mastitis. My son was vaccinated, unfortunately. They didn’t give as many in 1983. I finally got my strength back. I got pregnant within the year and I told my OB I didn’t want another c-section. No way. I had to fight to have a VBAC. The hospital fought with me. I did deliver her vaginally. I was the first one in our county. I had another son VBAC. I am so glad that my last 2 were natural birth. I used to work in a hospital. I realized then that the hospitals were not always the best and safest place. That was 34 years ago. Since then, I saw my loved ones killed, maimed and poisoned by drugs to death. I avoid them. We need to stand up and fight. God bless you Katie.

    1. cathy Avatar

      There is a book that was written back in the 80’s called Silent Knife. That was where I learned the truth. I forgot to mention it

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