Home Birth: Is it safe where you live?

  1. One of my patients had a home birth with her last pregnancy and was disappointed that she couldn't find that option around here.

    It has me wondering where in the US is homebirth accepted, backed up by MD's, and not "underground". Yes we have "underground" home births here.

    I am sure that homebirth could be a safe and satisfying option for many women if there is good support from physicians. Unfortunately we recently had a woman who was seeing the doctors that had a homebirth with a tragic outcome. As a result my partner and I cannot care for anyone who desires to birth at home.

    Just curious where in the US and Canada there is that support...
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    Joined: May '05; Posts: 263; Likes: 11

    12 Comments

  3. by   JeanettePNP
    I'm in NYC and there are a number of homebirth midwives with backup.
  4. by   tinyscrafts
    CA has lots of midwives both CNM's and LM's (and some lay too) that do Out of hospital births. The CNM's have backups. The LM's have some unofficial backup physicians but no one will officially back them because of liablility concerns. Until the law changes the word "supervision" to collaboration or some such I doubt it will change.
  5. by   RNnL&D
    It's "underground" here in Ohio, although the DEM's do usually have discreet physician back up.

    Ohio is actually working to make it much harder for women to choose HB. If they want a birth certificate, that is. Pregnancy has to be documented by a licensed provider, delivery has to be documented, baby has to be evaluated by a physician, etc.
  6. by   lisamc1RN
    I'm in Ohio and had a homebirth with my last child. My CPM had a physician that worked with her but that is very rare in Ohio. RNnL&D, I was sent a newsflyer on that very issue and I hope that it is shot down in state congress. It is already way too difficult to homebirth in Ohio.
  7. by   mandana
    In Austin, TX it's a fairly common experience. Of course, by fairly common, I don't mean that every 3rd mother you meet birthed at home, but I do mean that there are good options for experienced, well-qualified midwives to attend home births. There are also a couple of really nice birthing centers.

    I think in general here that people really respect those as safe alternatives to a hospital birth.

    Amanda
  8. by   palesarah
    Safe & available in New Hampshire- there are a number of excellent CPMs practicing throughout the state. Or, I think in this state, it's LM or NHLM, instead of CPM, specifically. I think the OB's malpractice insurance companies have pretty much ended the practice of them having specific "official" backup MD arrangements, but many of the midwives have good professional relationships with certain OBs.
  9. by   onehusbandsevenkids
    We have underground homebirths in KY (I'm in central kentucky...we have 1 HB midwife for about a 2 - 3 hour radius.)
    We are working on legislation, but I'm not very hopeful........

    -a little off topic, but we also only have 1 CNM now in the Lexington, KY area. pretty sad.-
  10. by   JRapha'sRN
    Where I lived in Alaska there was a place women could go to have their babies. It was staffed by midwives and had several cottages for women to stay in for the days/weeks right before they were due. It was like having a homebirth, but near a hospital. Is this common in other states? I would love this kind of environment to have a baby in--not quite home birth, yet not in a hospital either. I always thought it was a great compromise between home and hospital. (BTW: I am an ER nurse with no desire to work OB so I'm not really very knowlegable when it comes to these types of issues... I'll have to learn before we get pregnant, though!)
  11. by   RNnL&D
    Quote from lisamc1
    RNnL&D, I was sent a newsflyer on that very issue and I hope that it is shot down in state congress. It is already way too difficult to homebirth in Ohio.
    We had an unassisted HB last year. It was simple to go downtown and fill out the birth certificate form, then. If that legislation passes, we would have to jump through hoops to get a BC.
  12. by   tinyscrafts
    whats buggin me most lately is it's getting harder and harder to find a mw to do a vbac. The docs won't, So women are left with the choice to schedule a repeat or go unassisted. grr
  13. by   Geeg
    Unbelievable, so the docs have rigged it so you can't get a birth certificate, basically, unless they attend the birth. What happens if you have the baby in a cab, so you can't get a birth certificate? I wonder if the cabbies are doing C sections to avoid liability? LOL.
  14. by   quiltncatch
    Any study done on the safety of homebirth shows that it is a safe option for low risk moms. Each state has it's own laws and regs. Some are legal, some alegal and some downright illegal. Midwifery is political, there's no doubt about it. The narm website, www.narm.org has lists of the legal status of DEM's by state. There are also links to studies done.

    I'm starting midwifery school in May!

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