NC Lawmakers Don't Want to License Midwives
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Three weeks ago, Plaza Midwood resident Hayden Wilder gave birth to her son. She did it at home with the help of a midwife after deciding she wanted more control and more comfort than a hospital birth. Might sound scary, but Wilder says she felt, "Very accomplished that you did something like that on your own."
Women who choose home births don't get medication for pain or to speed up the delivery. Opponents argue the practice is unsafe and that babies should be born only in hospitals. In fact, just days ago, North Carolina lawmakers voted against the licensing of Certified Professional Midwives, citing safety as a concern.
"I do think there's probably a little bit of turf war,” says Brooke Atkinson of North Carolina Friends of Midwives. She says doctors want babies born in hospitals so they can make money on the medication, machines and often, surgery used during labor.
Home births in North Carolina are gaining in popularity. The Centers for Disease Control shows North Carolina is one of 11 states to see a significant increase over the past few years.
"Not licensing them is not stopping the process, it's just making it a more unsafe environment,” says Atkinson.
Adrianne Chillemi, a first time mom and attorney, was kicked out of her OB/GYN's practice when he found out she delivered at home. She says, "I feel very strongly that this is an issue of bodily autonomy and choice for women to be able to have the type of birth they desire."
Wilder says, "Given that most of the states in the country are allowing home birth, I don't know why North Carolina is so far behind."
Virginia, Tennessee and South Carolina license midwives. In January, an organization called North Carolina Friends of Midwives will introduce their own bill that will call for the licensing of Certified Professional Midwives.