Squashed by Politics, Birth Choices Dwindle in Illinois

The debate continues on as the Illinois State Medical Society hides behind a false front of concern for women who choose to birth at home with a illegal midwives (Certified Professional Midwives). They insist they are not against home births, but want to protect women from those who deliver care with "minimal training".

Dr. Wayne Polek, president of the Illnois State Medical Society says...

"Professional midwives have minimal training..."That's our major problem with the bill. It's not about the home birth itself; it's a question of who is delivering the care. People are confusing the issues. If it's a certified nurse midwife who has a physician supervising, then (home birth) is fine with us."  Read More.
Certified Professional Midwives receive national credentials as they meet the standards for certification set by the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM).

On how to receive this credential, NARM website states...

The first step in the certification process is an evaluation of the applicant’s education and clinical training according to the standards set by the Portfolio Evaluation Process. All certification candidates must demonstrate the essential competencies identified by the NARM Job Analysis, either through completion of the Portfolio Evaluation Process or through a route determined by NARM as equivalent. All candidates, regardless of educational route, must complete the second step, which is the NARM Written Examination. The NARM Written Examination is designed to assure mastery of the didactic material that is necessary for clinical competence. Read More
Let's take a look at a general course in midwifery training shall we? Checking out Seattle Midwifery School as a template for the general idea...

MW3101 Midwifery Care 1: Introduction to the Midwives Model of Care3.0
MW3105 Introduction to Epidemiology for Midwives3.5
MW3301  Well Woman Health and Assessment4.0
MW3311 Perinatal Nutrition 1: Pre-conception and Prenatal             2.0

Quarter 2    Winter 2011
MW4100 Genetics and Embryology  2.0
MW4300 Pharmacology and Treatments 1  1.0
MW4302 Midwifery Care 2: Pregnancy and Prenatal Care 4.0
MW4305 Gynecology  3.5
MW4321 Clinical Skills 1   1.0
MW4313 Counseling for the Childbearing Year 1   1.0
MW4800 Introduction to Practicum            0.5
MW5101 Master's Project 1             0.5
Quarter 3    Spring 2011
MW 4303 Midwifery Care 3: Advanced Pregnancy and Prenatal Care4.0
MW4314 Counseling for the Childbearing Year 21.0
MW4322 Clinical Skills 21.0
MW4101 Professional Issues Seminar: Cultural Competency for Midwives 2.0
MW4301 Pharmacology and Treatments 21.0
MW4331 Clinical Seminar 11.0
MW4801 Practicum 1            2.5
MW5100 Research Methods for Midwifery3.0
Quarter 4    Summer 2011
MW4802 Practicum 26.0
Quarter 5    Fall 2011
MW4102 Professional Issues Seminar: Modern Midwifery, History, Politics and Activism  2.0
MW4323 Clinical Skills 3           0.5
MW4332 Clinical Seminar 2 1.0
MW5102 Master's Project 2 00.5
MW5304 Midwifery Care 4: Labor and Birth            6.0
MW5315 Counseling for the Childbearing Year 31.5
MW5803 Practicum 34.5
Quarter 6    Winter 2012
MW4307 Breastfeeding and Lactation Education2.0
MW4312 Perinatal Nutrition 2: Nutrition for Postpartum & Breastfeeding1.0
MW4333 Clinical Seminar 3 1.0
MW5103 Master's Project 30.5
MW5114 Professional Issues Seminar: Health Care Systems & Policy2.0
MW5305 Midwifery Care 5: Postpartum and Newborn Care4.0
MW5316 Counseling for the Childbearing Year 4: Postpartum1.5
MW5324 Clinical Skills 40.5
MW5804 Practicum 43.0
Quarter 7    Spring 2012
MW4103 Professional Issues Seminar: Midwifery Legal, Ethical & Professional Frameworks  2.5
MW5104 Master's Project 40.5
MW5306 Midwifery Care 6: Challenges in Practice4.5
MW5325 Clinical Skills 5            0.5
MW5334 Clinical Seminar 4 1.0
MW6805 Practicum 54.0
Quarter 8    Summer 2012
MW6105 Master's Project 53.0
MW6806 Practicum 64.5
Quarter 9    Fall 2012
MW6106 Master's Project 63.0
MW6307 Midwifery Care 7: Synthesis and Application2.0
MW6335 Clinical Seminar 5 1.0
MW6807 Practicum 78.0
Quarter 10    Winter 2013
MW6107 Master's Project 73.0
MW6336 Clinical Seminar 6 1.0
MW6808 Practicum 8 8.0
Quarter 11    Spring 2013
MW6115 Professional Issues Seminar:  The Business of Midwifery2.5
MW6337 Clinical Seminar 71.0
MW6809 Practicum 99.0

I don't know about you, but that looks pretty adequately trained, with skills to aid a seamless home birth.

Twenty-seven states recognize CPMs as adequately trained and skilled to deliver care to women who choose to birth at home...with success, I might add...yet the Illinois State Medical Society wants to dictate politics based on their personal opinion (and bottom dollar) rather than what is evident.

Meanwhile, here in Illinois, a black market has been unleashed for CPMs as Certified Nurse Midwives (which are legally recognized) are essential unheard of... the Chicago Tribune reports that there are only NINE CNMs in the entire state, most congregating in the Chicago area.

It's so clear to me that doctors in Illinois do not want to lose their market. With Certified Nurse Midwives, they have at least some participation in the market as they behave as a "supervisor"...I'm sure they'll be paid for that as well. Certified Professional Midwives on the other hand would be independent and self-employed for the most part. However, it seems as though their effort to squash their competition has been for naught, approximately 800 women a year, in the state of Illinois, continue to birth at home.

Chicago Tribune
Seattle Midwifery School
North American Registry of Midwives

Additional Links...
Coalition of Illinois Midwifery


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