I have mentioned here before that I am a Midwife. I help women have their babies safely at home, or in a birth center.
For the last 7 months, I have been working mostly from home. I took on a part time position at the local library through the late summer and fall, but generally have been doing the #housewifing thing since June.
In May of last year, the state of Maine passed a new bill requiring Midwives to be licensed as of January 1, 2020, and requiring that they not attend women who are determined to be high risk by obstetricians. I had several issues with this.
The First, was that these high risk assessments would be coming from people who’s personal income could be personally affected by not assessing some women as “high risk”. Women who statistically had low risk factors, but made up a larger portion of the OB/GYN’s practice- for instance, women who are overweight and obese.
The Second, is that here in Maine, the Cesarean rates are through the roof and all but three hospitals in the state don’t offer Vaginal Birth After Cesarean because of insurance assessment- not because of actual risk statistics. Which means that a good THIRD of maine women are being forced into unnecessary surgery when their only choice is a hospital.
The Third reason is that this legislation creates a monopoly. The Certified Professional Midwife credential is the ONLY credential that the state licensing board is prepared to recognize. there are 23 CPMS in the entire state- an additional 70+ more midwives are Certified Nurse Midwives, and another dozen, myself included, hold different certifications. CNMs are being relegated to the hospital only, despite having more training in birth than the CPMS, and those of use who are outside those boundaries, are not eligible for practice at all. In reality, this means that 12 of maine’s 16 counties will be without midwifery care at all if nothing is done.
I had a discussion with M, last friday and then with my former Midwifery Preceptor (teacher/trainer) and realized not only was I personally not willing to give up a calling given to me by God, and abandon more than 70,000 women who, without me, would live in a place where licensed midwives would not travel.
I refuse to bow to a government that does not have my client’s best interests in mind. I refuse to spend more than twenty thousand dollars pursuing a credential that is less intensive than the one I already hold. I refuse to give up my clients to major surgery with major complications because a malpractice insurance company refuses to cover the local hospital for a safer procedure.
After a lot of research, my former Preceptor and I have decided to create a private membership association, requiring clients to join prior to recieving care. The membership fee will be deducted from their service fees (which are also, by the way, less than 1/3 of the cost of a normal-med-free-hospital birth) thus creating a private relationship between members. If I am charged with practicing midwifery without a license, I will pay my $5,000 fine and go right on practicing.
15And the king of Egypt spake to the Hebrew midwives, of which the name of the one was Shiphrah, and the name of the other Puah: 16And he said, When ye do the office of a midwife to the Hebrew women, and see them upon the stools; if it be a son, then ye shall kill him: but if it be a daughter, then she shall live. 17But the midwives feared God, and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the men children alive.
I am commanded by God not to follow unjust commands.