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Licensed Midwife, Homebirth Midwifery and Holistic Women's Health

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A midwife in North Carolina was recently charged with practicing midwifery without a license because her state does not offer licensure for  Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs) and other direct entry midwives.  There was some local news coverage of the arrest and the ongoing efforts of North Carolina families to legalize CPMs.  One of the local news stories included a mother’s birth story from the “If I were at home, I would have died” perspective.

When I hear statements like this I cringe on the inside.  Being a midwife, I hear it a lot.  Women love to talk about their birth stories, as they should;  Storytelling is a natural and beautiful part of our collective journey as women and mothers.  In the park, at mom’s groups, among new friends, anywhere women gather there are stories of births and babies being told.  When I hear a story being told from the “I would have died at home” perspective, I do my best to nod with genuine empathy.  I want to support each woman’s telling of her own story. It does, however, feel like a double bind…

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