MOLLIE S. WATERS/THE GREENVILLE STANDARD
Late last month, the Alabama Birth Coalition pushed for reform in at-home childbirths using midwives with the filing of The Childbirth Freedom Act, House Bill 316 (HB 316).
According to a press release from The Alabama Birth Coalition, HB 316 is being sponsored by Representative Ken Johnson and co-sponsored by 35 State Representatives.
What will HB 316 do? It will establish a state board for midwives and will regulate midwife licensure.
“Alabama is the only state in the U.S. which has zero access to any out-of-hospital childbirth care providers,” says Kaycee Cavender, President of The Alabama Birth Coalition.
“The Childbirth Freedom Act not only provides Alabama families with access to Certified Professional Midwives for safe out of hospital maternity care, it also provides the security of knowing that their care provider is regulated by the state, properly credentialed and integrated into the broader health care system. None of this exists in the currently failing maternity care system in Alabama.”
Right now, families can select to have births out of a hospital, but if a midwife is present, the midwife could face legal repercussions.
While using a midwife may sound a bit old fashioned to some, it was clearly the right choice for first-time Greenville parents Digger and Tiffany Kimbro.
Their daughter, Charlotte (Charley) Raelyn Kimbro, was born on Feb. 23 under the supervision of midwife Vicki Brooks at Baptist East Hospital in Montgomery.
“I used a midwife,” said Tiffany Kimbro. “She is part of OB/GYN and Associates. I loved her and the experience.”
Kimbro added that her midwife was professional and knowledgeable about childbirth.
“Midwives take a more holistic approach, have lower tear and c-section rates, and are overall more patient during the delivery process,” said Kimbro.
Kimbro said her midwife made a huge impact on her childbirth experience.
“Vicki was patient with the process,” said Kimbro. “I was even able to help deliver Charley. I labored and delivered without drugs or an epidural. That’s not everyone’s desire; but for those that it is, a midwife is the way to go.”
If HB 316 passes, Kimbro could opt to have any future children at home under the supervision of a certified midwife.
For more information about midwifery regulations and HB 316, visit the Alabama Birth Coalition’s website at www.alabamabirthcoalition.org.