There's a war going on between midwives and the medical community over the risks of delivering at home--who will win?
Soon it could be illegal to give birth at home.
Currently, no legislation has been drawn up, but the American Medical Association (AMA) has agreed to back "Resolution 205," a request to support the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists' (ACOG) stance that home births are dangerous.
"We are against home births, period," said Gregory Phillips, an ACOG spokesman. He also told ABC that women who give birth outside of a clinical setting are gambling with their newborns' lives.
But there are many who feel women should have the option to give birth at home. In response to "Resolution 205," The American College of Nurse-Midwives issued a statement citing a study published in the British Medical Journal that showed home births are no more dangerous than hospital births.
And some medical professionals who support home births are worried that the effects of the proposed bill will cause insurance companies to drop doctors who oversee midwives. Meanwhile, moms-to-be worry that their basic rights will be taken away.
"Resolution 205" was created on the heels of the recent documentary The Business of Being Born, by former talk show host Ricki Lake, who filmed her third trimester of pregnancy up until the point of giving birth inside her West Village NYC apartment, with the aid of a certified nurse midwife. In the film, Lake is said to subtly criticize the medical community.
And although ACOG insists the decision to ask AMA to support the legislation had nothing to do with Lake, she was mentioned by name in AMA's annual June conference.
Abby Epstein, the film's director, says the documentary has stirred support of home births. "What the film has done is to cause a lot of women to choose midwives over OBs -- especially younger women who've never heard of midwives," said Epstein. "We've received calls from midwives saying that their practices have doubled since our film was released. There's a lot of ego in this -- that one would want to choose a midwife over an MD. It's really a turf war going back 100 years between the medical establishment and midwives."
Do you think home births should be outlawed?