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Sweet Pea Births

Chandler, Arizona

Sweet Pea Births

...celebrating every swee​t pea their birth

Blog

Home Birth Rights Rally

Posted on February 11, 2014 at 9:40 AM Comments comments (0)
After much thoughtful deliberation, hours of testimony, and a strong showing by the consumers and the providers of licensed midwifery care at home, the Midwifery Scope of Practice was expanded in 2013.  Just when we thought home birth in Arizona was going to follow evidence-based care...a new bill was introduced this legislative session to undermine a family's right to choose home birth. Read more about it HERE 

Here is the most recent update from our main advocate for an expanded scope of practice, Allyson Fernstrom:

The bill has been posted on the agenda for Wednesday the 12th at 2pm. Here is what needs to happen until then. 

1st: We MUST keep sending emails and making phone calls to Senator Barto. She can still decide to "hold the bill", which means that she will decide not to hear it on Wednesday. Here are the things to include in your email to Senator Barto:
--Let her know that you do NOT support SB1157 (put this in the subject line).
--Ask her to HOLD THE BILL
--Ask her to protect our personal liberties by holding SB1157!
--Let her know that you believe in the rules revision process we went through as mandated by HB2247. We stand by the rules created by Director Humble. 
--Let her know that by holding this bill, she is respecting the lengthy rules revision process that included a great deal of input from ALL stakeholders! 

2nd: We MUST send emails to ALL members of the Senate Health and Human Service Committee. The file below contains all of the contact info for the committee members. The information should be very similar to the email you will send Senator Barto with minor changes. Instead of asking the committee members to "hold the bill" ask them to vote NO!!! Here is what you can write in the emails to ALL Senate Health and Human Service Committee members:
--Let them know you do Not support SB1157 (put this in the subject line).
--Ask them to VOTE NO on SB1157
--Ask them to protect our personal liberties by VOTING NO on SB1157
--Let them know that you believe in the rules revision process we went through as mandated by HB2247. We stand by the rules created by Director Humble. 
--Let them know that by VOTING NO, they are respecting the lengthy rules revision process that included a great deal of input from ALL stake holders. 

3rd: YOU MUST MUST MUST MUST clear your schedule and attend the hearing on Wednesday the 12th at 2pm. I understand that this is a difficult time because kids are getting out of school. Please do EVERYTHING in your power to arrange for someone else to pick up your children. It is not an ideal setting for children to attend the hearing, however, if you can not come unless you have your children, bring them along!! I can NOT stress how important it is for us to show up in huge numbers!! CLEAR YOUR SCHEDULE if you care about your birthing rights!!!

If you can join us at the State Capitol, please come out in a show of support for informed choice and dignity in birth.

If not, HERE is a list of contact information, plus a quick look of phone numbers to make phone calls in opposition of SB1157:
Disclaimer: 
The material included on this site is for informational purposes only.
It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation.  Krystyna and Bruss Bowman and Bowman House, LLC accept no liability for the content of this site, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.  This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.

   


Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson

Rally to Improve Birth - TODAY

Posted on September 2, 2013 at 2:41 PM Comments comments (1)
Today is THE day...The Rally to Improve Birth is happening across the country...did it make the news in your town?  I know it did in the Phoenix area, and I just saw that CNN was sending a crew down to the LA rally.  Yeah for Informed Births!!

Since we are out of town and I can't attend our Phoenix Rally in person, I am thrilled to be able to participate via this Virtual Rally.  

Here are some pictures from our personal family album from Otter's homebirth.  I am sharing them with you today to show solidarity with the families who are out under the elements to Rally for Change in the maternity system.

All Pictures Copyright A Bunch of Smiles Photography
Sweet Pea Births - homebirth - Image Copyright A Bunch of Smiles Photography








Sweet Pea Births - homebirth - Image Copyright A Bunch of Smiles Photography








Sweet Pea Births - homebirth - Image Copyright A Bunch of Smiles Photography
Why are you Improving Birth?

Please leave us a comment - it will be moderated and posted. 
 

Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, PaysonDisclaimer: 
The material included on this site is for informational purposes only.
It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation.  Krystyna and Bruss Bowman and Bowman House, LLC accept no liability for the content of this site, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.  This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.




Time To Rally Around Our Midwives

Posted on May 21, 2013 at 11:55 AM Comments comments (0)
Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson
(Submitted as a Public Comment)
Open Letter to the Midwifery Scope or Practice Committee:

  It feels like healthcare in the state of Arizona is going the way of the public school system.  Professionals who are out of touch, some of them not working in the field anymore, or as is said quite often, "couldn't cut it in the classroom," are making rules and regulations for the folks who are in the trenches, getting their "hands dirty" every day.  It is bad enough that teachers are overwhelmed with rules that have them teaching to tests instead of using their God-given talents to teach and inspire a younger generation.    

  Please do not let that model of decision-making work against the professionals who put their hearts and souls into ensuring that mothers and babies have a safe start in life.  Go back to the drawing board; honor the tradition of midwifery that existed long before the field of obstetrics.  Midwives have been bringing babies into the world since time immemorial.  Just because they do not use surgery as their prime mode of delivery does not make them any less professional than their obstetrical counterparts in the hospital.  Birth is intrinsically low-risk and a healthy time-period for the majority of women.    

  Mothers who are induced, given drugs that slow down labor, then given drugs to speed up labor, forced to be still due to all the wires and cords they are attached to, forced to attempt pushing in a semi-supine or supine position: THAT IS NOT BIRTH.  That is a medical event that has been managed into a high-risk situation.   

  Midwives know healthy, low-risk birth.  They know that a mother who had a previous cesarean for iatrogenic reasons deserves a second look.  She is not broken, and necessarily incapable of a vaginal birth just because a doctor in the hospital decided she was out of time after her medically managed event.    

  The right to self-determination is the foundation of our country.  Rules and regulations that start shackling those rights will be resisted, especially when you are talking about taking away the rights of mothers, parents-to-be and their children.   

  You might consider writing a trial period into the new rules and regulations.  I know that VBAC is already basically approved - along with that, allow breech and twins.  I have a firm belief that midwives who know how to assist these births will vette their clients.  As long as both parties are in mutual agreement, then they will proceed into a care agreement together.  I cannot believe that professionals would risk the lives of their clients by entering into a care contract that would jeopardize the life of the mother and/or the baby they serve.  Midwives know that there is a segment of the population that is best served by the care of a surgeon - they will know who needs to be there and lovingly send them in that direction.    

  If the state sees that the professionals are taking too many risks and that mothers and babies are having more adverse outcomes, then the rules and regulations can be re-opened and modified.  I suspect that the opposite will happen, however, we will not know unless the opportunity is provided for the midwives to demonstrate that they know what they can and cannot attend as professionals.   

  I also want to address, "one life is one too many", in terms of maternal or neonatal demise, or in lay terms, when mothers and babies die.  I find that this statement highly suspect and the height of hypocrisy coming from doctors who are trained to perform abortions, and/ or who offer the option for mothers to terminate pregnancies for suspected or known deformities in their unborn children.  In my opinion, you can't fight for life in one setting while being willing to extinguish it in another.   

  At what point does life begin?  That is a debate for another day, however, since "one life is too many" is a term that is thrown around in the debate when consumers ask for the midwives to be able to attend their VBAC, breech and twin births, it is something to think about and possibly explore further.  I am not advocating for a pro-life position; I am simply trying to point out the hypocrisy of the "one life is too many" argument.    

  The state of Arizona is at a crossroads.  You can proceed with the draft rules as written and force healthy, reasonable women into unassisted births because they know that birth is a natural, non-medical event 98% of the time.  The 2% who need extra care and attention, and possibly a hospital transfer will probably die because they choose self-determination over medically managed model of birth.    

  The other option is to sit down with the professional midwives.  Consumers are choosing midwives because they prefer the time honored tradition of midwifery care, and watchful waiting during labor and birth.  Sit around the table with them; listen to them - they know how to safely do their work.  Consumers want midwives to be able to assist in a greater variety of birth situations because we do not want to be subjected to the traumatic and/or patronizing care they received in the traditional doctor/hospital setting.   

  Arizona has the potential to set the standard for a new era of honoring the tradition of midwifery.  We can be the state where women and parents are free to choose care and midwives are free to offer care. Arizona can be a beacon of light to open the path for better maternal and neonatal outcomes when women of all race, class and creed can be treated as equal partners in their healthcare choices.   

Signed: Krystyna Bowman, Chandler, AZ

Readers:  For a summary of the proposed changes to the rules and regulations, check out THIS blog post.   

Would you like to post your own public comment to the proposed changes in the Midwifery Scope of Practice?  You can do so HERE.

Are you in the area?  Please join us for a rally tomorrow at the NWC of 18th Ave and Adams Street from 12:00 - 2:00 pm.  For more information or to contact the organizers, click HERE.

Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson


Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, PaysonDisclaimer:  
The material included on this site is for informational purposes only.
It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation.  Krystyna and Bruss Bowman and Bowman House, LLC accept no liability for the content of this site, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.  This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.

Honor The Midwife

Posted on February 12, 2013 at 9:46 AM Comments comments (0)
There was another Midwifery Scope of Practice Committee meeting last night at the Arizona Department of Health Services.  The consumers came out en force and made it abundantly clear that the requests to have a midwife attend a homebirth of a VBAC, a breech and twin births are Human Rights and Woman's Choice issues.  We know that there are risks involved.  It is our right to do our own research, to explore all our options and to make the choice with the risk decisions that we can live with.  Some women brought up an interesting point:  if we support a woman's right to terminate life with an abortion, why don't we support her right to birth the life she chooses to carry?

Here are my prepared remarks from last evening.  Due to time constraints, I didn't get to present all of them.  I did get most of the points across and I hope that the committee takes these points under consideration.

Thank you to Will Humble and the committee for the amazing, transparent proceedings.  I am so proud to claim Arizona as my home and wish that our nation’s capital would take notes.

Why are we, as consumers, choosing midwives?
We want the midwifery model of care – we want to be treated as individuals.  We like the time we get to know our midwife and for them to get to know us.  We like the approach that birth is sacred and it deserves the kind of time and care we get from our midwives.  

I want to repeat these important points from the presentation by Janice Bovee, CNM:  Midwives acknowledge the power and strength of women, the importance of self-determination, a woman's active participation in the care of themselves, their babies and their families.  Midwives offer compassionate care, they honor normalcy, they believe in watchful waiting, and they believe the birth experience has a profound effect on the mother and on humanity as a whole.  

Let’s remember: Who is driving this movement?
Consumers want the choice.  Consumers started this movement with no money in the bank and a lot of heart behind their belief that all mothers should have access to qualified, supportive, compassionate care in the home setting whether they are low risk, or if they are higher risk and want to find knowledgeable care at home.

What is a key point I want the advisory board to hear?      
  • Consumers want choice.  Licensed midwives have a choice.  Both have the right to choose.       
  • Consumers want access to compassionate care at home that honors their ability to give birth.

Midwives want the best outcome for the mothers and babies that they serve.  They know the extent of their training in normalcy.  Midwives want safe, non-emergent outcomes for the mothers and babies they serve.  

If midwives working in the home setting are going to say yes to any of the options being considered by the Arizona Department of Health Services, they will not do so if their training is just adequate.  Knowing how much they care about the population they serve, my guess is that the ones who say yes to those mothers are abundantly knowledgeable, or will take the steps to be so, before they agree to the care contract for VBAC, breech, and/or twin mothers.  

If a midwife knows that her clients needs do not match her skill set, then she can decline care to the mother.  She will decline care to the mother because above all, midwives care deeply about both the mothers and the babies – they want a Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby outcome not just sometime...Every Time.  They can and they do everything to ensure that outcome as they get to know their clients over the term of the pregnancy.  Even when it is the decision to recommend something that no client wants to hear before their baby’s Birth Day: the better choice for you and your baby is to transfer care.

Safety at home versus safety in the hospital:
I have had the privilege and honor of attending ICAN meetings for the last two years.  I have heard story after story of women who felt abused by the traditional obstetrical and hospital model.  They do not want to repeat the trauma that they experienced at the hospital.  They are choosing homebirths because they have done their research, and they are finding care providers that will provide abundantly qualified care at home.  When they choose a VBAC care provider who works in the hospital paradigm, a common theme is “stay at home as long as possible”.  How is this providing qualified care?  The scary word is “uterine rupture”.  If a woman is at home, alone without any assistance from a trained provider, how is this providing any care at all?

As a state, we have an incredible opportunity to provide the mothers who are laboring and/or birthing at home unassisted to receive qualified, caring, supportive, compassionate care.  The homebirth setting can be that place with clear goals to standardize training as we move forward, and that place can be the hospital with a greater shift to the midwifery model of care.  

Midwives honor us as women.  Let’s honor them as care providers.

  • Midwifery Scope of Practice Advisory Committee Meeting, February 11, 2013 - View the entire meeting HERE

What do you think?  Is the right to choose your birthplace despite your risk category a Human Rights or Women's Rights issue?
Please leave us a comment - it will be moderated and posted.  *I think* that the amount of traffic you so generously generate has led to a lot of spam posting.  In an effort to keep the spam to a minimum, I am taking the time to moderate comments now.  

Link list
Rights For Homebirth
http://www.rightsforhomebirth.com/

Janice Bovee, CNM Presentation
See the recording at the 42:05 mark

Video recording of the MSPAC meeting:
http://www.livestream.com/azdhs/video?clipId=pla_ecdd7764-047a-4dd5-b749-1ab1a9f64bd2&utm_source=lslibrary&utm_medium=ui-thumb

Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, PaysonDisclaimer: 
The material included on this site is for informational purposes only.
It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation.  Krystyna and Bruss Bowman and Bowman House, LLC accept no liability for the content of this site, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.  This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.


Open Letter to The Arizona Department of Health Services

Posted on January 15, 2013 at 4:45 PM Comments comments (0)
The State of Arizona held another Open Meeting with the Midwifery Scope of Practice Advisory Committee last evening.  You can view the proceedings by clicking on this link:
 
HERE is a link to the meeting - ADHS is taping them for public record.


First of all, I want to thank Will Humble, Director of Health Services, for facilitating the Midwifery Scope of Practice Meetings.  I have never been prouder of our state than in the last two meetings I attended.  Director Humble is truly committed to a transparent process.  I can only imagine how wonderful government could be if all agencies and government operated out in the open and in full view of the public that they are supposed to serve.

Secondly, I want to say that I appreciate the perspective of the hospital-based practitioners on the board and in the audience.  I know that you feel passionately about the safety of the mothers and the babies.  Some homebirth transfers that happen are critical, and I understand why you feel that homebirth is not safe.  You only get to see, and you only get involved, when a labor and delivery has passed out of the realm of what a midwife’s training has prepared her for in the home setting.

I have a couple of points I want to make based on the proceedings of January 14, 2013.  The first one is directed at Dr. Manriquez.  The second one is directed at the hospital-based providers that want the public to believe that the hospital is the safest place to give birth for all mothers, regardless of their own risk level.

Point 1.) People having homebirth are informed about the risks and benefits.

Dr. Manriquez made a couple of statements that to my mind betray her bias.  Her first statement was about the ability of the homebirth mother to assess the information that is available to her so that she can make an informed consent decision.  She pointed out the education level of the two consumers sitting on the panel, and her own educational level.  Later, she brought up the high percentage of women who were self-pay on a document that was being passed around with homebirth statistics across North America.

I have news for the panel: A woman’s level of education does not necessarily impact her ability to read.  It does not affect her ability to listen.  It does not affect her ability to feel. Although I do not have a master’s degree, or a jurisdoctorate, or a medical degree, I am capable of researching on the Internet.  I can find the sites that impartially collect information.  I can attend meetings with my peers to hear their anecdotal information.  I can consult with doctors and licensed midwives when I am pregnant.  I can listen to their information and process it to make the best decision for our particular situation.  My formal level of education has no bearing on my ability to educate myself on a topic that impacts the well-being of my unborn child.  My first priority as a mother is to choose what I feel is best based on all the information I have evaluated.

It is a fact – a large majority of homebirth families are self-pay.  There are several reasons.  Here are five that I am aware of:

  1. Most insurance companies do not cover care provided by licensed midwives – they work outside of the hospital model that is ingrained into the insurance industry.
  2. We are self-employed without maternity coverage.  When we do our due diligence, it is less expensive to pay out of pocket for a home birth than a hospital birth.
  3. We have insurance and still choose a homebirth because our informed consent journey leads us to the conclusion that our low-risk pregnancy is safe and better supported at home than in a hospital setting.
  4. We have insurance and still choose a homebirth because our informed consent journey leads us to the conclusion that our higher than normal pregnancy is safe and better supported at home than in a hospital setting, and we find a care provider with the training that we need for our risk situation.
  5. We choose the midwifery model of care because we want to have a personalized relationship with our care provider.  By choosing the midwifery model, we choose less wait time and more face time.  We choose a model that allows them to know us well before our baby’s birth-day so that appropriate care is provided during labor, and that includes up to five postpartum visits before our six-week follow-up in their office.

Point 2.) The safety of homebirth versus the safety of hospital birth is debatable.

Every midwife licensed through the state of Arizona is required to prepare and submit quarterly reports.  By the states own admission, the Department of Health has failed to do anything with those statistics until this Midwifery Scope of Practice Advisory Committee was formed.  Presenting statistics with over 2000 empty fields is irresponsible.  With so much at stake, it is absolutely imperative that every “text field” is read and recorded electronically in such a manner that can be used to report the true picture of homebirth.

What the state and the medical community are patently unaware of is all the homebirths that go smoothly and beautifully at home with Healthy Mother, Healthy Baby outcomes.  I echo the sentiment that the state is not ready to have this discussion until a clear picture is received.  

You must complete the homebirth statistics without empty fields.  The state must pull the records from the family doctors, naturopaths, and the certified nurse-midwives that are allowed to attend VBAC, multiple and breech births at home, as well as the unassisted births at home.  We in the community know that these things happen safely at home because we are the ones witnessing them and holding these women up through their birth journey.  It is time for a wider audience to become aware of the real picture of birth in the home setting.   

Going forward, we have to consider the consumer.  The piece that was missing from the discussion last evening was the piece about a consumer having the right to choose her care provider.  We all seem to be making the blanket assumption that if the State of Arizona expands a midwife’s scope of practice, then all midwives across the state will be taking VBAC, multiples and breech deliveries.     

I believe a truer statement is that those who feel qualified to attend those births will make themselves available to do so.  I also believe that mothers will choose providers that have the skill set to support them at home.  We have to try to give the midwives credit for making the best practice choices for their abilities, and the mothers and babies they serve; and consumers credit for making the safest choice for the babies that they carry.

If we remove egos and simply look at care providers as providing a skill set for birth, the paradigm can start to shift.  A licensed midwife is trained to serve low-risk women in a home setting.  A certified-nurse midwife is a great option for a woman who regardless of her risk category, and who wants to birth under the midwifery model of care in a hospital setting.  Obstetricians are trained surgeons, whose level of training and expertise is exactly what a mother in a higher risk category needs.

However, in a country where we live and die by our freedom to choose, there has to be an effort made to provide choices for all women to access care in spite of their risk category.  As Director Humble so eloquently stated last evening, this is an opportunity to rise to the occasion and make a real effort for the women in the State of Arizona to effect Real Change.

I propose that Arizona becomes the first state to provide true informed consent and a collaborative model of care that other states can use as their midwifery model.  We could be the first state that has a way for midwives to confirm on record that they have provided the risks and benefits of a homebirth and offers the option to speak to an obstetrician.  We could be the first state that has mothers under obstetrical care consult with licensed midwives before consenting to a hospital birth.

I implore the Midwifery Scope of Practice Advisory Committee do the hard work to establish a collaborative model of care.  Let us remember that this is a consumer-driven movement – women want the freedom to choose.  Consumers are demanding access to homebirth midwives regardless of their risk status.

In closing, I ask you all consider the babies.  I believe that every provider wants what is best for the babies.  Consumers are asking that licensed midwives be available to legally serve a population that is choosing unassisted births at home.  In which way, shape or forms can it possibly be safe for untrained consumers to intentionally birth outside of any care model? I think we can all agree that it is a situation to which a solution must be found.

There is no way to quantify the empowerment, the rite of passage, the growth in a woman that happens when she is allowed to labor away from the smell, the noise, the pinging and the intrusion of a hospital.  It is our duty to rise to the occasion and allow them legal access to the care they want and the choice they deserve.

Sincerely,
Krystyna Robles-Bowman

LINK LIST
Video of January 14, 2013 meeting
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QacwYdrvp5g&feature=youtu.be

Disclaimer: 
Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson The material included on this site is for informational purposes only.
It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation.  Krystyna and Bruss Bowman and Bowman House, LLC accept no liability for the content of this site, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.  This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.

Midwifery Scope of Practice, Arizona

Posted on December 18, 2012 at 2:04 PM Comments comments (0)
I was thrilled to be part of a process in our state by which we as citizens can participate in the legislative process yesterday.  The Arizona Department of Health Services has started an Open Meeting process with the Midwifery Scope of Practice Advisory Committee.  

The stated goal of this committee is to review and update the rules and regulations that govern Lay Midwives and Certified Professional Midwives that practice in the state of Arizona.  As a consumer, am hopeful that they will be modernized to reflect current evidence-based practices. 

Historically, there has been animosity and prejudice between midwives and obstetricians.  When it comes to homebirth advocates, the stance is that birth is safer at home; the other side argues that birth is safer in a hospital.  Both sides are correct.  In healthy, low-risk pregnancies, a birth at home is perfectly safe.  There are circumstances in which a birth at a hospital is the best choice.  And then there is a chasm, a gray area, in which births can go either way.

However, the forgotten component here is: what does the consumer want?  Even if her risks are higher in one place or the other, where does the birthing mother feel the safest?  Where does she want to choose to give birth to her child(ren)?

The truth is that in the “land of the free”, women of Arizona are shackled in their birth choices.  The only option for a mother who has a breech baby, who is carrying multiples, and who has a history of previous cesarean is birth in a hospital setting.  (At least now, in many cases, access to Certified Nurse Midwives is growing, so that a woman can still have midwifery care in a hospital setting.  Even so, they are a considered a threat by some OB's).  In some places, women with previous cesareans are not even allowed a trial of labor.  They are forced to have repeat cesareans, despite evidence that best practice should be to allow women to labor for a vaginal birth.

Is every birth outcome going to be perfect? No.  That is unrealistic.  However, each woman should have the option to approach the care provider of her choice to have the conversation about the possibility of having her birth wishes honored and come to fruition.  If a woman is willing to assume the risk of any of these births at home, and if she can find a homebirth midwife who is willing to travel that path with her, then they, as two consenting adults, should have the right to enter into that contract together without fear of repercussion from the state in which they live.

What I suspect is missing from the discussion is the understanding that no mother and no care provider would knowingly and willingly endanger the life of a child.  A mother knows her mind.  A care provider knows their abilities.  If the two do not mesh, then a different choice will be made, a choice that ensures the safety of the child.

Here is my speech from yesterday during the “Call to Public” portion of the meeting.  As a mother who carried a breech baby, I felt that I could speak to that aspect of the law:


My name is Krystyna Bowman.  I am the mother of four children.  Three were born in the hospital, and our last was born at home.  I am here to address you today to ask you to consider the choices that are available to women in Arizona today.

Anything other than a uterus intact, head-down, singleton pregnancy at the time of labor is considered high-risk under the medical model.  There is rarely any assessment of the mother or the child as individuals, nor is there any belief that any other variation of labor can tolerate a natural labor and birth.

We had a breech presentation with our third child.  We had two options under Arizona state law since trained midwives are not allowed to deliver breeches at home and our obstetricians were not willing to share the names of any doctors trained in breech birth.

1.  We could have a cesarean birth after a trial of labor.

2.  We could drive to Tennessee, where there is a group of midwives who are trained and legally allowed to deliver breech babies. 

Are these reasonable choices in this day and age?  I could agree to undergo major abdominal surgery fraught with it’s own risks and complications; or I could load up my entire family of four and drive 1,600 miles, hoping not to go into labor along the way, so that I could have legal and professional care.

We are asking you to recognize that educated, informed healthy women want to have the choice to approach other trained, educated women about their care.  It is up to a woman to decide if she wants midwifery care in a home setting, and it is up to the licensed midwife to decide if she will accept a patient into her practice.

The beauty of the midwifery model is that skilled people, trained under a time-honored model of education know how to recognize the difference between a low-risk pregnancy and labor and one that needs a more medical approach.  The one-to-one care during labor allows a midwife to assess when it might be time transfer a patient for medical observation much sooner than the impersonal, ticker-tape of a fetal monitor.  Take under consideration that the fetal monitor is being watched on a screen by a nurse who is caring for two to four women, it’s feasible that a distress signal would be missed. 

We would like the opportunity to show the personalization of the midwifery model works for women outside of the paradigm of healthy, low-risk mothers with vertex presentations and intact uteruses.  Mothers with breech, multiples pregnancy, and previous cesareans should also have the choice to seek care within the home midwifery model. 

If two parties can come to an agreement, then care should be able to proceed in such a manner that our intelligence and our choices are honored by the state and the country in which we are supposed to be free citizens.  Freedom to choose, and sometimes to choose differently, should not be legislated.  When a state starts to “protect” instead of endow, we enter a slippery slope of rules and regulations that slowly strip away our freedoms.


We ask for the freedom to choose our birth as long as we can find a midwife who is willing to travel that journey with us because she can do so without fear of repercussions from the state in which we live.


I hope that you will do some reading, visit the Rights for Homebirth webpage and Facebook page.  Get involved.  You have a voice.  The Arizona Department of Health is listening.

Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson Disclaimer: 
The material included on this site is for informational purposes only.
It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation.  Krystyna and Bruss Bowman and Bowman House, LLC accept no liability for the content of this site, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.  This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.

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