(Sneak preview of a series of illustrations I’m doing for Nebraska Friends of Midwives.)
Home births are on the rise, according to a new report by the CDC. They still make up less than 1% of births in the U.S., but have risen 30% since 2004. I have mentioned here that I’m not interested in a home birth for myself, but I do support the right of other women to make that choice. This is one of those issues that, for me, isn’t an us vs. them kind of thing. You do your thing, I’ll do mine.
The problem is, I live in Nebraska, and Nebraska is one of two states that actually considers it a crime for Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNMs) to attend home births (the other state is Alabama). It is legal for a mother to give birth at home, but a felony for a CNM to attend the birth, even though outcomes are far better with a CNM in attendance – in fact with a low risk pregnancy and a CNM present, a home birth is as safe for the newborn as a hospital birth and with less risk of medical intervention.
If you think it’s important for CNMs to be able to attend home births, do us Nebraskans a favor and sign this change.org petition. A bill known as LB 712 was heard by the Health & Human Services Committee last week; it would permit CNMs to legally attend home births. You don’t have to live here to sign the petition but your signature will help support this bill.