Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Legislative session

Well, the legislative session in WY has begun again. It's a season of prayer for us, praying that our freedoms don't get trashed any more, and expanded would be even better. There is a bill close to my heart, SF 74 Traditional Birth Care. If it passes, it will legalize midwifery in Wyoming again. Currently, midwifery has been erased from the books, without even notifying the public, or asking for public opinion. CNM, which are nurses with specialized training in midwifery, is covered, but they do not deliver at home here. The bill would allow Certified Professional Midwives (CPM) to attend births.

This is dear to my heart. You see, all 6 of my children have been born at home with a midwife in attendance, some after the legal status changed. I never knew it had been made illegal. I had dreams of becoming a midwife when my childbearing years are over, and my daughter has mentioned more than once a desire to become a midwife. (she has attended my last two births) My husband and I have been so distraught over the outlawing of midwifery in WY, that we have seriously considered moving to another more midwife friendly state. Here in Wyoming, we have a shortage of OB care. What a boon it would be to a rural state like ours, for a midwife to be able to take on the low risk patients, freeing up OB time and facilities to the mid to higher risk patients they have been trained to handle! Midwifery has been a time honored tradition, tracing its roots back to Biblical times, and beyond, I'm sure. The Hebrew midwives in Egypt were honored by name in the Bible for performing their duties admirably. A trained midwife provides so much care, gentleness, and understanding to an expecting woman. They are taught, and believe, that pregnancy is not a medical problem, but a normal state in the lifecycle of a woman. There are parameters to follow, and if a woman and her pregnancy veer outside of normal parameters, they refer the woman to a Dr, who is trained to handle the complications that sometimes do arise. Drs should be there, but they shouldn't be a woman's only choice. It bothers me greatly that a woman can choose to end her pregnancy for any reason (ain't getting into that here) but cannot choose a midwife to attend her birth. Many countries have midwives for most of their women, it's considered normal, and their birth mortality rates are lower than here. And as the US pushes once again to a caesarian rate of nearly 30%, it seems like the almighty dollar is making choices for us, not us for ourselves. (not saying Dr's are performing c-sec's for financial gain, but do we all not know someone who was forced into having a repeat section because of hospital policy or insurance restrictions.) I truly hope that Wyoming's legislators listen to all the statistical information that shows midwifery to be a safe option, and allow us to step back into the 21st century.

Please keep this issue in your prayers....

2 comments:

marye said...

..I am not sure my last comment made it through...

Monica I am praying for you..and with you!

Monica said...

Thanks Marye... They seem to be doing something with the comments pages. Anyways, the legislation didn't get enough votes to be read this year, but we are poised to do very well next year. Please keep all the WY ladies in your prayers too, as now any midwives left here are either not practicing, or are underground....