WYPR Maryland Morning Show: An Age-Old Debate On The Role Of Midwives Returns To The General Assembly

By Sheila Kast and Jonna McKone

Now we’re going to talk about home births.  As late as a century ago, most women gave birth at home with midwives present. Today in the U.S. around 1% of women have their babies out of hospitals and often at home, but that number is on the rise. The Centers for Disease Control, C-D-C, says home births rose by almost one-third from 2004 to 2009.

Today we’re looking at a bill to make it legal for certified professional midwives to attend home births in Maryland. 28 other states already recognize and license midwives, but in Maryland licensing has been stalled for years by disagreements between the medical establishment and advocates for midwives. 

Now they seemed to have reached a compromise.

To get a clearer idea of how it might work, we contacted Certified Professional Midwife Alexa Richardson.  She is President of the Association of Independent Midwives of Maryland.