Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Hitting close to home..

Just wanted to update you guys on what's going on in Mississippi right now...

Last year, a bill was introduced that would have restricted childbirth attendants to OBs and CNMs (Certified Nurse Midwives) in hospitals. This would have made the Direct Entry Midwives (DEMs) that attend home births in MS illegal. The bill went right through the House of Representatives and over to the Senate without hesitation. Just then, word spread to the home birthing families in MS about the legislation and there was a strong outcry against the bill. Senators let the bill “die in committee” by not bringing it up for a vote by the deadline.

Fast forward exactly one year….After a lot of hard work by MS Friends of Midwives and the MS Midwives Alliance, House Bill (HB) 207 has been passed by the house and now sits in the hands of the very same, Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee with that same deadline approaching, March 1st.

The Medical community is at the Capitol every day lobbying AGAINST this bill. Women in Mississippi have enjoyed the right to birth at home with the care provider of their choice since the beginning of time. However, there are organizations in our state (such as the Mississippi State Medical Association and the Mississippi Nursing Association) that are working to see that right taken away and limited to their services in their hospitals. The organizations that tried to make home birth illegal last year did not and will not give up. They are working to kill our “pro-homebirth” bill and rest assured, they will take another shot at eradicating it next year.
(adapted from source)

Here are the plain sense facts:
~Currently in MS, midwifery is granted an exemption from any regulation. This means, the state allows the practice of midwifery without any training or skills assessment. Anyone can put an ad in the phone book and declare themselves a midwife. This is even more of a problem because surrounding states require licensure. Mississippi has become an asylum for unsafe midwives fleeing states with regulation. This bill changes that- to require MORE training for midwives and to be registered with Mississippi.
~27 states use the CPM credential for licensing. No state has ever recinded a program using the CPM as the standard for confirming a midwife’s skills. The CPM credential is administered by NARM (North American Registry of Midwives). This is nationally accredited certifying agency. The certification requires a rigorous educational and training process including a clinical internship that takes a minimum of 3-5 years to complete and a national board exam.

SO-----Why would anyone oppose this bill? The argument against this bill is from OBs and Nurses. Their professional organizations work actively to make home birth illegal and say that it is unsafe. However, it has been proven time and time again that Home birth with a CPM is safe. CPMs only work with the lowest risk clients. The pregnancies are evaluated regularly and any client that is not low risk is made aware of her situation and advised to consult with an OB.
What can you do to help? 
Email the Senators on the Public Health and Welfare committee - ask them to schedule a hearing for the Midwife Safety Act - HB207.



Don't just take my word for it...

Read more here, here, here and here

Questions? Opinions? Let's discuss!!!!


  1. If someone wants to birth in a hospital...I say go for it. That is their choice that they get to make. I want that same right to choose having my baby at home with a midwife. I respect their choice, I expect the same. After all, this is america right?

  2. as a brit i cannot imagine giving birth (in hospital/at home/wherever) without a midwife, anti-natal care in the UK is midwife led and there is always the option of birthing at home (provided there are no medical complications) or in a home like environment, having heard about us hospital births i cannot believe how medicalised it is! if i was based in the states i would totally support this bill, it makes sense!