There is nothing that makes me want to pull my hair out quicker than reading/thinking/blogging about the politics surrounding birth. It makes my blood pressure go up. And it does so because there is no clear and easy direction to take this thing. I want homebirth with a midwife of the mother’s choice to be legal. Period. But wait a minute…. uh… yeah. Bottom line, that’s what I want. Yes. For sure. I want homebirth to be available and affordable for every Missouri family who chooses it. So how do we get there?
Sidney Midwife put it well and as truth would have it, came to no solid resolution for the conundrum, when a reader wrote:
The terms under which midwives are legally required to work are also the conditions under which women are obliged to give birth.
Exactly. EXACTLY. We here in Missouri are in a wonderful position of being able to provide homebirth women with what they want and are able to create our own practice guidelines. I am finding this position to be quite unique among the states where midwives are “allowed” to practice.
And so it comes down to that statement above… and rests in the hands of women to maintain the freedom they currently possess… I am a birthing woman. And I believe BIRTH impacts the ENTIRE FAMILY UNIT. If you are reading this and share this position, I’d like to ask you to do a few things for me:
1. Go here and become a member of the Friends of Missouri Midwives. Their mission statement is: … that with intelligent inquiry, access to education, and utilization of informed choice and disclosure statements, parents are the sole best decision-makers about their own maternity care, for no one mode or place of birth suits all families. I concur. If you want to be kept up-to-date on current midwifery happenings here in Missouri, have help finding a midwife and support parents rights to choose their maternity caregiver, this is a great way to do so.
2. Get involved locally with other women. CREATE a community if there isn’t one. I’m in the process of this and I can assure you that it is QUITE an undertaking. BUT WORTH IT! Start a mom’s group, join MOPS, talk about stuff that matters to you, etc. It’s not that hard once you get started.
3. Don’t hide out. Yes, you’re going to take some flack if you choose a homebirth. Yes, your parents, sisters, brothers, co-workers may think you’re a nut-job and tell you that straight to your face. You will face ridicule at best and persecution at worst. It’s ok. Truly. You are impacting an entire generation for the the good and that’s never easy.
4. Contact your local law-makers. Get to know them. Let them get to know you. Be respectful of their position of authority and let them know that you LIKE the way midwifery is here in Missouri and that you appreciate their support of the same. If you don’t know who they are (and that’s NORMAL, and OK so don’t feel bad just CHANGE IT!) go HERE and find out.
I like the law here in Missouri – I think it leaves birth in the hands of women and their family and I believe that is where it belongs. Read that statement again if you think licensure or any interference from the government can make it BETTER than what it is now. Read it again:
The terms under which midwives are legally required to work
are also the conditions under which women are obliged to give birth.