Law Banning Midwives From Home Births Is Anti-Mom

home birth midwifeWe have choices in this life. Thankfully so. A woman should have a choice when it comes to having a baby. She should be able to choose if she wants a hospital birth or a home birth. Her choice should include if she wants a doula or a midwife or her partner in attendance. It's her body -- her choices matter. Imagine if you didn't have the choice. Imagine if you were told you had to give birth at home when you wanted to be in a hospital? And now imagine if you were told that you couldn't have a midwife because the practice of midwifery was illegal. This is happening. Right now. In America.

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You can have a home birth in Alabama, but if you have a midwife or even an obstetrician attend that home birth, it is illegal. And just because it's happening there doesn't mean it can't happen in your state. Women should have rights -- we have the right to choose how we want to birth our babies. We shouldn't have to fight for these rights in 2014. But we do. All of us, in every state, we need to work together to overturn this ruling.

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Doctors are saying that the reason the practice of midwifery is illegal is because of safety -- they are saying that a woman must birth in a hospital because any other way is too dangerous. And so, if a woman chooses to birth at home, she must do it alone. This sounds spiteful. It seems as if the hospital is trying to scare women into a hospital birth. They are inserting fear into our choices. Many women choose to birth in a hospital -- a choice we all deserve to have -- but we shouldn't be told that if we choose to birth at home, then we have to do it alone without the support and expertise of a midwife in attendance. That is wrong -- very, very wrong. Birth isn't always a medical procedure. Birth is a natural event; it is something that women are born to do. Our bodies are specifically and beautifully designed to create life, nourish life inside our wombs, and give birth.

The "mother of authentic midwifery" Ina May Gaskin believes that "midwifery was not made illegal because of safety -- quite the contrary. It only became illegal in Alabama in the late 1970s when Medicaid began to make it profitable for hospitals to take care of women who could not previously afford hospital care."

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Hospitals are a business. Birth is big business. Hospitals need patients to survive. Making midwifery illegal means midwives can be prosecuted for practicing, forcing many women to birth in a hospital setting, home birth alone, or work with a midwife who risks her underground practice. Home births are on the rise. Women are educating themselves, empowering themselves, knowing that their bodies are capable of giving birth in a non-medicated and natural setting. Of course it's necessary that we have hospitals -- some of us are high risk, some births need to take place in a hospital setting, but not all. It all comes down to choice. Birth isn't scary -- and hospitals should never instill fear. Hospitals should work with midwifes -- inside and outside the hospital. The practice needs to be accepted -- it shouldn't be about money. It should be about choice -- a mother's choice.

Do you believe we should have the right to choose where we birth and how we birth?

 

Image via eyeliam/Flickr

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