today i (along with mississippi friends of midwives) will be at the capitol in jackson, ms trying to get house bill 207 through the hearing. i may be speaking, this may be what i’m saying:
i am a home-birthing mother who wants home birth to be more accessible to other mississippi families. i want people to be able to charge their insurance for it. i want it to be easy to find a midwive. i want mothers to feel safe in choosing a midwife, knowing that it is possible to have a good relationship with a doctor, too, in case it is necessary. this bill creates a legitimacy for midwives which will open the door for creating a relationship between midwives, nurses and doctors. this means continuity of care for mothers and babies before and during the birth of a child. this open communication is safer for mothers, babies and midwives.
this bill is about options:
the option to birth at home.
the option to birth at home with a regulated midwife.
the option to check a midwife’s background with the state.
a large tenant of the midwifery model of care is the idea of informed consent / informed choice. midwives spend much time with their clients informing them of their options. the option to have genetic testing done or not, the option to have an ultrasound or not, the option to have blood work done or not. a pregnant mother has a lot of choices to make during her pregnancy and some of them are not easy decisions. but they are still a mother’s decision to make. a midwife will not TELL you what is going to HAPPEN to you (i.e. “you will be induced next week.”), a midwife will, usually, help you make those decisions about your own health care by informing you about the risks and benefits of certain procedures as much as possible. which is not always easy to do when we have been raised in a society where doctors TELL us what will HAPPEN to us our whole lives. However, it is important that we make these decisions for ourselves because, ultimately, we are only responsible to ourselves for our healthcare. A doctor is not the person who will ultimately be living with the choices that were made on your behalf, if you blindly follow a doctor’s care without also informing yourself of the benefits and consequences.
however, that’s not what this bill is about. this bill is about regulation for midwives in mississippi. it’s about families being able to verify that a midwife is who she says she is and has the training that she says she has through the state. this bill will open the doors for insurance and medicaid coverage. this bill will make it possible for midwifery students to stay in mississippi and feel that they can have a booming and legal career.
and while i’m at it, the most common reason for transfer to the hospital during the home birth of a baby? maternal exhaustion.
as in, “damn-i’m-really-really-really-really-tired-right-now, and i could use a break with some pain relief.”
which is not an emergency.