As some of you may know, HB316 is being voted on tomorrow so I have been busy writing emails to legislators. I am making this one public because I want everyone to know exactly why MASAs amendment will kill this bill making midwifery care technically allowed, yet impossible. Hopefully, they will hear my plea for this bill!
First, you all need to know briefly about my story. Had this bill been in place in 2015, I would have chosen midwifery care and my life would be much different right now. It was not and I walked into my local hospital at 8 cm asking for a natural birth, but no one there knew how to support a natural birth. The medical model of care and the midwifery model of care are two very different approaches as you all know. My perfect daughter lost her life because of the medical interventions that I was pushed into while I was in active labor. No mother should have to argue nor convince her care providers of her choices while in active labor. This bill means so much to my family, not only to honor our daughter, Eliza Petty, but I am now 8 months pregnant with our first boy. Now after the hell that I have been through, I have found the most amazing perinatologist in Atlanta named Dr. Bootstaylor of See Baby(please, look him up so that you can see what kind of top notch OB I’m talking about – www.seebaby.org). He is what maternity care should be like and what should be Alabama’s ultimate goal. He is my back up doctor and fully supports and encourages me with the Georgia CPM that I have hired. I see them both and when I go into labor, I will make my way to Georgia to meet my CPM and Dr. Bootstaylor will be ready IF we were to need him. Now that my friends, is perfect care and would be an amazing future for maternity care if we could get the OBs here to accept CPMs and work with them, not against them as they are now. Not only do many moms in this state need CPMs as a basic option, but it is also one that many other moms would choose such as myself. If a mom who has gone through the worst tragedy any mom could go through is knowingly making the decision to do this, there must be safety and comfort there. I would also like to add that we have had to move mountains to make this happen and I am very thankful that we have accomplished this, but no mom should have to go to these great lengths for this!I also want to address two major issues with MASAs amendment that stand out to me. Everyone needs to be aware that CPMs do not need to study as long as nurses would because they do not use all the drugs and protocols that hospitals do. Let’s be real – it is based on a natural process and experience is where you learn natural birth making it much more simple. Therefore sitting for the CNM examine does not make sense because they will not have knowledge of epidurals, pain medication, hospital protocols etc because they will not be using them at all. Secondly, the list of qualifications to be able to birth at home is, to say the least, impossible. Many different items would disqualify me completely from being eligible for a home birth, yet my perinatologist is fully aware of my entire history and recommends a home birth for me. Did I mention he is one of Atlanta’s top doctors and that he has a 5% cesarean rate – I am sure Medicaid would love to see a rate more like that? These qualifications need to be left to the care providers involved and not in our laws. I also do not think that breech and multiples need to be included, but from what I understand this is one way that ABC has tried to please MASA. This bill needs to be passed, so I am okay with dealing with changing that later once we get CPM access and it proves itself. I am confident it will as long as we do not over regulate it and give it time to work and expand. We are not asking for something that no other state has not done successfully as I am sure that you are already aware that 32 other states license and regulate CPMs. I am also sure that you are aware that the majority of Alabama does not even have access to care which makes the passing of this bill an emergency in reality.