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Home birth and the importance of regulating CPM’s

26 Aug

WFIU: I love you

Yesterday my Facebook status at 12:30 EST read: “My heart is racing and I can’t get out of my 90 degree car as I’m listening to Noon Edition cover the topic of home birth. I’m so proud of my community, of Molly, Mary Helen, and Dr. Labban!!”

Noon Edition is a local program of WFIU based in Bloomington, IN. I’m a member of both WFIU and the birthing community and it was extremely fulfilling for me to hear these two worlds come together to discuss home birth.  I’d just like to say that I’m very proud of Molly Mendota, especially, for representing all the local doulas.  You are an inspiration to us all!  And Dr. Labban for supporting home birth. I have been warmed by his kindness and generosity to women as they labor. (At the time of this post, I dont’ yet know Mary Helen personally, although I hope to at some point have the chance to get to know her.) I’d like to add that we are truly blessed to have such a great labor and delivery unit at IU Health Bloomington.

I’d like to share the link to the audio file of today’s program with you. Listen, learn and join me in being proud of our local birthing community!

One of the topics discussed during the program today was the efforts in Indiana to pass a state licensing bill for CPM’s (Certified Professional Midwives).  Just last night I sent a letter to my representative, Senator Vi Simpson, asking her to attend the upcoming Health Finance Commission in September 2011 and vote in favor of the CPM licensure bill.  If you’d like to get involved in the process, please join the Indiana Push for Midwives Facebook page.

Time Magazine

Rather coincidentally, later on last night as I was browsing some favorite internet sources, I stumbled upon a great article from Time Magazine, titled “American Women: Birthing Babies at Home” from 2010.  The article gives a great overview of the American debate about whether home birth is safe or not and what research shows that supports differing views.  For those of you who are considering home birth,  please note what author Catherine Elton states are the two most important factors that are instrumental in successful home births: “a mother who is at low obstetric risk and the possibility of a seamless transfer to the hospital in case of medical necessity.”

You can read the article in its entirety here.

I’d like to share the paragraph from this article that I believe really sums up the importance of the need for regulating and licensing CPM’s in our state:

“Many obstetricians and midwives can at least agree on one thing: easy and immediate access to hospitals can improve birth outcomes and increase home-birth safety overall. Which is precisely why midwives say they are pushing to expand state licensing of CPMs. In states where licensing already exists, home-birth advocates say, there is, on the whole, good cooperation between midwives and hospitals. A midwife’s working relationship with a hospital aside, what really matters is her competence. The reality is that licensed or not, midwives are already practicing in every state, many in the shadows and many lacking any certification whatsoever….In states without licensing programs, the danger is that women seeking a home birth will not know whether the women delivering their babies are CPMs. Many don’t even think to question whether certified and uncertified midwives have different training. That’s why in two states where legislators have recently considered licensing CPMs — Wisconsin, where a law was passed, and Massachusetts, where the matter is still pending — the bills were championed by unexpected proponents: women whose babies died during home birth. Their babies didn’t die because the women chose to give birth at home, they said, but because the midwives who attended their births had not been certified as competent. In the absence of a state licensing system, women can be none the wiser [italics and bold added].”



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