As more and more women are choosing to give birth at home, birth safety is often at the forefront of discussion between expectant mothers and their caregivers. Giving birth with the help of a trained midwife is becoming more common and a Mississippi group is asking that the state require all midwives to have state certification. The Mississippi Friends of Midwives Group says that not having state level certification for midwives can be dangerous for both mom and baby, and for the midwifery industry as a whole. More often than not, home births are generally safe, but as with any labor and delivery, things can go wrong quickly, and emergency medical intervention may be needed in seconds or minutes.
When a mother gives birth at home with a midwife, she is trusting that midwife has completed many hours of study and training and while she may not have a medical degree, she is educated in the field of obstetrics and both prenatal and postnatal care of both mother and baby. The Friends of Midwives say that by putting certification standards in place, it will be a catalyst for even safer home deliveries.
The state legislature, however, doesn’t seem to agree. They believe that trained and certified nurse midwives/practitioners, who do have a medical degree and most often practice in hospitals over home settings, are the way to go and lowering the certification standards does the birth industry a disservice.
Needless to say, it is a hot button issue for both sides. A bill in favor of adopting a standard for certification of midwives is currently in the Mississippi House for review, as well as the Mississippi Senate. The two groups have until Tuesday, March 6, to act on the bill, and decide which way to go next.