Illinois Families For Midwifery -- homebirthishealthy.org
Talking Points -- what should I say?
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If you've read the "How to Talk with your Legisators" page and crave more talking points, you have come to the right place!
Home birth is both a family right's and women's reproductive issue. You can choose to frame your discussion how you feel most comfortable. Keep in mind that it is helpful to find some common ground with your legislators to build on.

THREE MAIN POINTS

1) People want home births.
The popularity for home birth is on the rise. People will keep on having home births, for a variety of reasons (including religion, cultural preference, personal philosophy, modesty and privacy). Families find themselves searching for whatever care they can find, or, worse, doing without maternity and delivery care.

2) There are not NEARLY enough licensed providers in Illinois. Historically non-nurse ("direct-entry") professional homebirth midwives have attended the majority of home births; they are uniquely educated specifically for home birth. With the hostile legal climate in Illinois, many midwives have left or stopped practicing. Add to that in the past 10 years, the small number of licensed home birth providers in Illinois has shrunk drastically. The situation is getting to be desperate for the home birth community!

3) Licensing professional home birth midwives (CPMs) is the answer. Certified Professional Midwives are nationally certified and uniquely qualified to deliver babies at home. All the evidence shows this is a healthy option. Illinois should license CPMs (and if we have current legislation, ask your state lawmakers for sponsorship).

SOUNDBYTES
  • Women have a right to choose the birth they want, and for those who choose home birth midwives are needed to keep it safe.
  • Parents have the right to choose how and where their children will be born. A well-trained midwife can protect the unborn.
  • This is a matter of freedom of religion. Many religions support the home birth choice, including Amish, Mennonite, and some churches. They might choose home birth for religious and/or modesty reasons.
  • This will help tie up many loose ends with birth certificates. In this day and age (with terrorism and identity theft), we don't want them falling into the wrong hands.
  • With the exodus of obstetricians from many rural areas, midwives can be one part of a solution to help families who would consider or desire this kind of care.
  • Illinois women deserve to have access to all the nationally certified maternity care providers that women in other states, like Wisconsin and Minnesota, can choose from -- including CPMs.
  • All Illinois CPMs were required to take part in the British Medical Journal study, as a condition to remain certified. This study (from the year 2000) was a prospective, cohort study (numbers were reported at the beginning and end of the pregnancies so that nothing could be omitted). The outcomes were excellent and showed that CPMs provide very safe care for healthy women (meaning those who don't have major medical risks).
  • Midwives are known to do an excellent job working with under-served populations, including undocumented worker populations, who are more accustomed to midwifery care and home birth.
  • With obstetricians leaving that profession, midwives can help fill the gap for normal births and appropriately identify women who need medical care beyond the scope of home birth midwifery care.
  • Licensing CPMs would give Illinois consumers a mechanism for verifying that their midwives are appropriately trained to provide safe care.
  • With their unique out-of-hospital training, Certified Professional Midwives can be a vital part of emergency services in times of epidemics, natural disasters or terrorist attacks (when hospitals might be overwhelmed with actual medical emergencies)

Having trouble deciding which points to use? We suggest you choose based on what you feel best represents your own feelings and think would resonate with your state legislators. If you need help determining this, please don't hesitate to email us or call Pat at (309) 722-3345 or Colette at (773) 278-8625.

We hope that you find these points helpful.
Please let us know what you think, or if you have further questions.



Website visits since April 6, 2005