In 1983 midwives first started practicing in Nebraska. Since 1983, however, it has been illegal for them to attend home births. What is shocking is that Nebraska is one of only TWO states in the entire country that have outlawed CNM assisted home birth. Why is that? Are they just behind the “times.” I don’t think so, as midwifery has been a commonality since, essentially, the beginning of time. In my opinion it has to do with maintaining funding to county and state hospitals and the doctors who are employed by them. Home birth with a midwife costs anywhere from $2000-4500, whereas a vaginal hospital birth costs anywhere between $15,000-25,000. But that is a different post for a different day.
There is a Grassroots group called Nebraska Friends of Midwives that has proposed a legislative bill (for the second time) to remove the phrase “except that a certified nurse midwife shall not attend a home delivery” in the Certified Nurse Midwifery Practice Act. This bill, LB 428, is paramount for women in Nebraska. Why? It is no surprise that sometimes, when things are illegal, they continue to still happen “underground.” Home birth in Nebraska is no different. Unregulated and unassisted home births are still occurring every day. Passing this bill will allow for these women to have a “safe birth option” other than delivering in a hospital. Certified Nurse Midwives are trained and equipped for a multitude of “what-ifs” or “just-to-be-safe” situations, that lay midwives or parents may not be trained to handle.
NFoM and LB 428 has finally received its day in court! There is a hearing set for TOMORROW in front of the Nebraska Health and Human Services Committee. Here, women will be able to give testimonies regarding their own home birth stories, and CNM’s will be able to give testify about their standards of practice.
Please, any of you that are in Nebraska or know of people that are, please share this, raise awareness about the movement. But most of all pray! Pray for the committee members and the people giving testimony, because in the words of Matthew “…whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.” (Matthew 21:22)