Wednesday, February 9

Hip Hip Hooray for the House!

I'm sending out a great big THANK YOU to the members of the South Dakota State House of Representatives today.

For the first time since homebirth midwives were first prosecuted in this state (back in the 1990s), a bill which would regulate the practice of direct-entry midwifery has passed through a full chamber of the state legislature.

The passage of this bill would allow Certified Professional Midwives the ability to practice in South Dakota. That means no more mothers would be forced to have an unassisted home birth or cross state lines to seek care from a midwife trained in an out-of-hospital setting like I did. Midwives who left the state under threat of prosecution could return to practice legally once again.

I suppose it goes without saying that those of us who have followed midwifery legislation in South Dakota for months and years now are very excited!


  1. Hi,

    I am Bianca from Holland. It is very strange to read about you fighting for homebirth while here in Holland people are fighting for hospital birth because they say giving birth at home is oldfashioned and not safe. They say we must look at other countries like America where you don't have to suffer much because you can have paincontrol when you want and less babies die!
    I have three children, the first two were born in hospital but I started at home. The last one was the best, easiest and most beautiful: he was born at home.

  2. Bianca,

    Thanks for visiting! I will say that a hospital birth does afford laboring moms pain medication options when they want them (though I've heard lots of stories about women feeling an epidural or IV drugs were pushed on them even when they didn't want). Please take a look at the United States perinatal and maternal mortality rates, though. Holland has a much smaller percentage of babies and mothers die every year than we do in the US.

    The WHO reported 2000-2009 maternal mortality rates for the Netherlands is 5 deaths/100,000 live births and for the US it's 13 deaths/100,000 live births. I can't find the actual figures for perinatal death right now, but I'll come back and post when I have a chance.


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