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Missouri Midwifery Bill Having Trouble

Looking for The Lactivist? She's retired. But you CAN still find Jen blogging. These days, she's runs A Flexible Life. Join her for life, recipes, projects and the occasional rant.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

The Columbia Daily Tribune ran a story last week that talked about the trouble that local advocates are having in getting adjustments made to the state's requirements for home birth.

Right now, home births are legal in the state, but only MDs and Certified Nurse Midwives working in conjunction with an OB are allowed to attend them. With less than a dozen practitioners in the state that are willing to attend home birth, that makes it virtually impossible for Missouri mothers to make a true choice.

From the article:

A bill sponsored by Sen. John Cauthorn, R-Mexico, would allow midwives certified by the North American Registry of Midwives to practice in Missouri. During a House hearing, Rep. Cynthia Davis, R-O’Fallon, said certification generally involves three years of formal training.

Under the bills, midwives must also prove they have attended at least 40 out-of-hospital births, although that requirement would be waived for midwives with 20 years of experience who pass a skills test.

[Chuck] Graham aide Ted Farnen said the senator is concerned for the safety of children and mothers, pointing out he isn’t the only legislator - or the only one from Columbia - who opposes the bill. "He’s the one filibustering the bill," one woman countered.

In an interview later that afternoon, Graham confirmed he is trying to block a vote on the bill. "I support the right of people to have home birth," he said. "But I want to make sure that it’s safe and that people have proper medical training before we’re going to license them to deliver babies."

This type of thing simply incenses me. Every single study that has withstood peer review has shown home birth with a CPM for low-risk moms to be every single bit as safe as hospital birth. Why our legislators can continue to bury their heads in the sand AND to get away with it is simply mind-blowing.

If you're a Missouri mama and you're reading this blog, I hope that you'll take the time to contact your own representatives to let them know how you feel about this legislation.


  1. Anonymous dana schultz | 7:12 PM |  

    Graham is completely without a single clue about birth. In a hospital setting or out of one. Missourian's have got to stand up and take a stand against this type of over governing. These men should not be taking away my choices.

  2. Blogger Kati | 2:23 PM |  

    We're planning an unattended home birth after cesarean. As nuts as that may sound, it's still safer than the hospital alternative (early scheduled section). Because of this law we are forgoeing prenatal care and the attendance of a midwife at our birth. Praise God that He is soverign and will protect us.....the state sure won't!

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