Birth Services

Joyce Kimball, CPM


A fox invited into the hen house

The proposed midwifery bill “An Act Relative to out of hospital birth” HB#1189/SB#1206 says that there will be an ACOG ob/gyn on the board of midwifery. "Section 261...board members shall be...a licensed physician who is an obstetrician certified by the American Congress of Obstretrics and Gynecology and who has had professional experience working with Certified Professional Midwives;..."

There is no midwife on the American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) board

In April 2017, ACOG wrote the following about home birth. ACOG “considers fetal malpresentation, multiple gestation, or prior cesarean delivery to be an absolute contraindication to planned home birth”. This group of men at ACOG have determined that women who are pregnant with twins or a breech baby or have had a prior cesarean should not have a home birth.

ACOG tells ob/gyns, “Women inquiring about planned home birth should be informed of its risks…a more than twofold increased risk of perinatal death (1–2 in 1,000) and a threefold increased risk of neonatal seizures or serious neurologic dysfunction (0.4–0.6 in 1,000)” using the flawed methodology (questionable sensitivity analysis, flawed odds ratio, 20+ year old studies used) of the Wax study - and

99% of ob/gyns have not attended a home birth. In 1985 Leigh vs. Board of Registration Massachusetts case law determined that the practice of midwifery is not the practice of medicine. In most cases, ob/gyns' medical malpractice insurances and contracts with their hospitals do not allow ob/gyns to attend home birth, even if they wanted to.

Why would home birth midwives have an ob/gyn on a midwifery board? Why would the female profession of midwifery want or need the approval, permission or guidance from a person employed in a traditionally paternalistic, authoritative institution who has not attended a home birth or worked as a home birth midwife?

If you want to license midwives, ok. But the proposed legislation, “An Act Relative to out of hospital birth” HB#1189/SB#1206 invites a fox in the hen house. Stop HB#1189/SB#1206.