Licences are being considered in the US state of Hawaii which would require midwives to be licenced by the state before July 1 2020.
Since the late 90s, midwives in Hawaii have been regulated under the Board of Nursing.
Supporters of the midwife licence proposal claim that Hawaii is one of just 17 states that currently does not regulate midwifery, leaving women unsure on who is qualified to practice.
State Rep. Della Au Belatti, who is also member of the Women’s Legislative Caucus, said: “A license [sic] conveys a certain amount of expertise and training. This bill is important because we know the practice of home birth has resulted in some very negative consequences in our communities, to our mothers, as well as babies.”
However, some people have argued that this would make traditional practice illegal for some midwives.
Doula and mother of four, Sara Kahele, said she had traumatic births with her first two children therefore chose a midwife for her last two children.
She said: “I knew that I could trust my midwife. She carried an oxygen tank, she knew how to suture if I tore, I was very confident.
“She’s really dear to me, and to think that she wouldn’t be able to attend a future birth of mine or my daughter’s birth, it breaks my heart because she’s one of the most educated people that I know.”
The proposal states that Native Hawaiian healers will be exempt and a three-year exemption will be given to birth attendants in order for them to develop their own standards and accountability measures.
The proposal will be negotiated between the House and Senate.
Source: Hawaii News Now
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