Does anyone recall a situation . . .

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Lots-o-Tots's picture
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Does anyone recall a situation . . .

. . . where a woman who had a home birth had the authorities called on her for endangering her child, or something like that? Seems like I remember reading or hearing something like that, maybe even here, a few years back.

Not that I'm especially worried, but I was trying to explain to my husband this morning, realizing that I have a UTI (I'm very prone to them), why I want to avoid seeing a doctor - for anything - during this pregnancy if at all possible. I have visions of going to my PCP for some little thing - a UTI, the flu, whatever - and having him refuse to treat me because I'm pregnant, telling me I have to see an OB, and then having an OB take one look at me and see me as totally high risk based on my age, history of hypertension, etc.

Anyway, not that I think I need to see a doctor, but I can totally see where opening that can of worms could present some problems for me, and it's made me think of having heard of someone who had the authorities called on her for having a home birth.

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I know there was a lady on her last year or the beginning of this year that had the cops called on her because she did an Unassisted birth at home and didn't go STRAIGHT into the hospital after having the baby. My midwife does grapefruit capsules for UTI's. You have to make sure it's just straight grapefruit seed extract and you take 1, 3 times a day for 3 days then one a day for 4 days.

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I could be crazy but this rings a bell, was it someone who did not know that they were pregnant with twins, delivered twins at home, much to her shock, and one was SGA or needed a good bit of help, and CFS/DYFSA (or whatever their local state agency was) got involved?

I'm not sure why you are so worried about it. Is homebirth legal in your state? Do they have state laws that you are in violation of (relating to maternal age, or BP, or something?) If not I don't understand the legal concern.

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it rings a bell in my head too but i cannot completely remember. can you mw treat you for a uti or at least check for you? i can see where there would be concern over things snowballing. Potter, i don't think she's saying that she's overly worried about it, just that she was explaining to her hubs why she would rather not have to see her gp through this pregnancy and things going the wrong way and trying to get forced in a hosp birth because of THEIR fears

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I don't know about on here but in my state there was a couple that had their baby taken away due to something that happened during their homebirth. CPM's are illegal in IL and CNM's are impossible to get in some sections of the state. The homebirth ended in shoulder dystocia, baby was fine, but they went to a hospital just to make sure and ended up losing custody of their newborn for around 6 months I believe, while they fought the system. The only cases of CPS getting involved that I can personally remember were ones where there was an issue or complications during the birth.

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"Potter75" wrote:

I could be crazy but this rings a bell, was it someone who did not know that they were pregnant with twins, delivered twins at home, much to her shock, and one was SGA or needed a good bit of help, and CFS/DYFSA (or whatever their local state agency was) got involved?

I'm not sure why you are so worried about it. Is homebirth legal in your state? Do they have state laws that you are in violation of (relating to maternal age, or BP, or something?) If not I don't understand the legal concern.

That totally rings a bell. I can't remember the name though.

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"ourfirstblessing" wrote:

Potter, i don't think she's saying that she's overly worried about it, just that she was explaining to her hubs why she would rather not have to see her gp through this pregnancy and things going the wrong way and trying to get forced in a hosp birth because of THEIR fears

Yes, which I was trying to understand if there was any basis for this worry, legally. I've never heard of a GP refusing to treat a pregnant woman for an ailment unrelated to pregnancy like the flu or a UTI, so I'm a little shocked to even hear that they can DO that! That is scary! Is that common in CA?

In other words, is it common where the OP lives to have to give a past pregnancy history or to go into ANY delivery details at like 14 weeks pregnant, when seeing a GP for a UTI? That would be unheard of here, but I know that we live on opposite sides of the country so I thought that maybe there was some basis for fear that I would not understand as things are so different here. I have a friend who gets frequent UTI's and can just call her GP and have him write her an RX, he wouldn't even know if she was pregnant or not. I guess I was trying to point out that unless there is an actual grounds for worry in CA, legally, she should feel good about being 100% able to seek medical care.

OP, does your midwife have a DR available to write scripts for her? Or are there any homebirth friendly Dr's that she knows of/has had good experiences with? Again, unless they actually have a way to legally force you to disclose medical information and then have the power to restrict your birthing choices OR call the authorities on you.......I guess I'm saying don't sweat it and get treated!

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The more I think about it the surer I am that that did happen to someone who had a lodge on here, years ago. I believe she gave birth to two little boys, one really little who needed EMT's called or something, he made it, but the need to bring in outside help or the fact that it was a twin HB delivery (maybe that was against the midwives charter or state laws???) got child services involved. If I remember correctly they were cleared once it was proven that they had no knowledge of it being a twin birth, and both babies were ultimately fine. I remember the Mama having a really hard adjustment to things, can you imagine going to deliver the placenta and another baby coming out? Ye gads. Wish I could remember her name, did you check with Em to see if she remembers?

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Em does recall a situation like that. A mom who was over on mothering as well as here. She was planning an unassisted birth, which is why they didn't catch the twins. She caught a lot of heat over on mothering for it. She seems to remember the second baby having cerebral palsy though. I can't remember that much detail.

But as to the OP, Lisa, I agree...I think you should be able to safely get some help for a UTI at this point at least! I don't see how they'd get to the point of red flagging you.

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I don't remember the situation mentioned at all... Maybe it was before my time?

As far as how likely something like that were to happen, I would say pretty unlikely as long as a) homebirth is legal in your state and b) your mw is practicing within her scope of practice.

Midwives here can prescribe antibiotics for UTIs as they are such a common diagnosis in pregnancy. If you do see a doctor, I would definitely tell them that you are pregnant as some antibiotics are safer than others in pregnancy.

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I'm pretty positive there was someone last year that had CPS called on them for having a last minute (maybe unassisted?) homebirth because the doctor or provider wouldn't allow her to deliver a breech baby. The birth happened in late summer or early fall right before I had DS2. I don't want to point out names unless she wants to tell you herself but she was for sure in another state (not CA). I also don't think that the state she is in is totally homebirth friendly. From what I recall the baby wasn't taken and it was just a call that occured. I could be remembering wrong but I'm almost positve.

Here in CA I know its OK to have a homebirth so I wouldn't worry so much about legal issues that could come from it.

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At this point, I'm treating the UTI at home with natural remedies. I was really talking from a hypothetical standpoint - I don't feel that I need to see a doctor for this UTI, although I do have a bit of concern that if I start having recurring UTIs then I may end up having to seek a doctor's assistance. I'm on an HMO, and all my medical information/history is readily available to all the docs in the network, as far as I know. I'm totally projecting here, but I guess I could foresee my needing to go to the doctor for something - anything - (and btw, I don't have a long-term relationship with him, he's only been my GP for about a year, and I've only seen him to treat my chronic hypertension), and him seeing that I'm pregnant, 44, with hypertension (which he does have me on medication for), and deciding he won't touch me because suddenly he'll see me as too "high risk," and having my OB/GYN (whom I've seen for annual well-woman checkups despite having my last two babies at home) also see me as "high risk," and yeah, the whole thing just snowballing. Completely hypothetical, though I have no doubt whatsoever that they would definitely see me as high risk.

I honestly don't know the legal parameters in CA as far as compelling a woman to have a hospital birth. Home birth is legal here, but it's interesting because midwives (my mw is a licensed midwife, not a CNM - I guess more of a direct entry mw) by law are supposed to have OB backup, but no OBs are willing to back up mw's here, so technically, pretty much all home birth midwives here are practicing illegally because they don't have OB backup. It's messed up, if you ask me.

The situation I vaguely recall (and I could be totally off on particulars) involved a mom (in a different state, I believe) who had a home birth, hemmhoraged and had to be transferred, then had a subsequent hb and had the authorities called on her for the second hb based on endangerment. ??? Or something like that.

My husband is actually an attorney, but not versed in this area of law at all, but it sparked an interesting discussion this morning.

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This thread interests me too. I'm in Rhode Island where homebirths are illegal according to what I've read. I see a CNM practive and delivered both LO's in the hospital naturally. My midwives are wonderful and the hopsital I deliver at has an "Alternative Birth Center" where you are not expected to have drugs, it's a "home" like setting etc. (it makes me laugh that this section is called the Alternative birth center though! rediculous!)

Anyway, I have been happy with my hopsital births but have thought about HB. Thing is, I'd never dare to go against the law and try to have one because I'd be risking too much I think.

What can be done to change these laws against assisted HB with a MW?

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Yep, y'all are remembering correctly:) Illiana (Jade) had a breech baby, VERY short labor, and ended up delivering at home unassisted! Someone called the police because they didn't go to the hospital immediately after. Nothing came of it. She still pops on this board from time to time.

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"tink9702" wrote:

This thread interests me too. I'm in Rhode Island where homebirths are illegal according to what I've read. I see a CNM practive and delivered both LO's in the hospital naturally. My midwives are wonderful and the hopsital I deliver at has an "Alternative Birth Center" where you are not expected to have drugs, it's a "home" like setting etc. (it makes me laugh that this section is called the Alternative birth center though! rediculous!)

Anyway, I have been happy with my hopsital births but have thought about HB. Thing is, I'd never dare to go against the law and try to have one because I'd be risking too much I think.

What can be done to change these laws against assisted HB with a MW?

Get involved with local groups working to change the laws. http://pushformidwives.org/

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"cmljll" wrote:

Yep, y'all are remembering correctly:) Illiana (Jade) had a breech baby, VERY short labor, and ended up delivering at home unassisted! Someone called the police because they didn't go to the hospital immediately after. Nothing came of it. She still pops on this board from time to time.

I definitely remember that one.

There's another one though, specifically undiagnosed twins...still racking my brain!!

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"JorgieGirl" wrote:

I definitely remember that one.

There's another one though, specifically undiagnosed twins...still racking my brain!!

I can't remember her preg.org user name, her name was Lydia. Her blog is here:
http://conradzone.blogspot.com/

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"Lots-o-Tots" wrote:

I honestly don't know the legal parameters in CA as far as compelling a woman to have a hospital birth. Home birth is legal here, but it's interesting because midwives (my mw is a licensed midwife, not a CNM - I guess more of a direct entry mw) by law are supposed to have OB backup, but no OBs are willing to back up mw's here, so technically, pretty much all home birth midwives here are practicing illegally because they don't have OB backup. It's messed up, if you ask me.

The situation I vaguely recall (and I could be totally off on particulars) involved a mom (in a different state, I believe) who had a home birth, hemmhoraged and had to be transferred, then had a subsequent hb and had the authorities called on her for the second hb based on endangerment. ??? Or something like that.

Midwives in CA aren't practicing "illegally" as long as they notify you that they do not have OB backup as required by the law. You have to sign a waiver acknowledging this and provide your own backup OB, and that makes it not illegal. Clear as mud, huh? Blum 3

For your reading pleasure, here's a link to the CA Midwives Standards of Care: http://www.mbc.ca.gov/allied/midwives_standards.pdf
There's a whole list of things that require referral, but with many of them it's the midwife's judgement call, and perhaps how much confidence she has in her liability waiver. Wink Standard #4 says the midwife "shall respect the autonomy" of a pregnant mom, and that the mom is "the primary decision maker." Standard #5 states that the midwife "shall uphold the client's right to make informed choices." Some midwives will say that they can't deliver twins or breeches in CA, but some midwives will take on those clients in an evidence-based capacity; if the evidence shows things are going well, they will keep you as a client, but if there's evidence of things going wrong, they'll transfer, which IMHO is as it should be.

I think you're remembering someone who hemorraged in her *hospital* birth, and she felt it was because of her OB's actions. She chose being at home with a midwife for her second birth against her OB's advice & he told her that she would die if she delivered at home. He threatened to call CPS, but either he didn't or they didn't do anything, and anyway she didn't hemorrage at home. She was pregnant around the same time I was with Weston IIRC. I was poking around on the birth lodges but can't find a name that rings a bell.

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"CamelNoodle" wrote:

I can't remember her preg.org user name, her name was Lydia. Her blog is here:
http://conradzone.blogspot.com/

Ah thank you!! Now I know why she rang a bell. We had our babies a month apart. I found her lodge, haven'r re-read it yet: http://www.pregnancy.org/bulletinboards/showthread.php?242766-*-lconrad-s-(Lydia)-Lodge-*&p=2962265#post2962265

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"momW" wrote:

Get involved with local groups working to change the laws. http://pushformidwives.org/

Unfortunatly, Rhode Island is so bad they don't have a local group through this organization. *sigh* Thank you though!

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It really just depends on where you are as different states have different laws on this particular issue. I wouldn't worry about seeing a doctor. I saw my PCP when I was pregnant because I had a cold, and he didn't even ask me if I had an OBGYN. I guess it also depends on your doctor as well... maybe some don't care if you have an OB or not...

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"Spacers" wrote:

I think you're remembering someone who hemorraged in her *hospital* birth, and she felt it was because of her OB's actions. She chose being at home with a midwife for her second birth against her OB's advice & he told her that she would die if she delivered at home. He threatened to call CPS, but either he didn't or they didn't do anything, and anyway she didn't hemorrage at home. She was pregnant around the same time I was with Weston IIRC. I was poking around on the birth lodges but can't find a name that rings a bell.

I think you're right, Stacey. This sounds very familiar. I know what I'm recalling was not something that happened in the last year or two, since I was on hiatus from pg.org from shorty after Finn was born in 2008 until just recently.

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Really sad that there are MULTIPLE similar incidents that might be "the one" you're thinking of...

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Oh, and I just wanted to add that I have an HMO (Kaiser) and they don't generally require you to see an OB for every little thing. Your PCP might consult with an OB if there's a question about whether a med is safe or something like that, and you might be booked with an OB if your symptoms could be pregnancy-related or not, they'll err on the pregnancy side. When I went in for what turned out to be a broken toe, they booked me with my PCP, but she called up to the OB department for advice on whether to send me for an x-ray or not.

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Yep, it was Lydia. She had twins at home & while she refused to have it made 'official' she knew it was twins. One was a footling breech & his little head got stuck and now has CP as a result. She had other various issues during the pregnancy as well, I believe hypertention and possibly signs of pre-e. I remember a mention of a homebirth midwife (maybe more than one, I can't remember at this point?) refused her care b/c she wouldn't address the issues that the midwife felt was important. Not all of the details are on her birth lodge. She ended up having CPS called on her & there was a bit of an uproar at the time due to what was going on.

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"Chimmy" wrote:

Yep, it was Lydia. She had twins at home & while she refused to have it made 'official' she knew it was twins. One was a footling breech & his little head got stuck and now has CP as a result. She had other various issues during the pregnancy as well, I believe hypertention and possibly signs of pre-e. I remember a mention of a homebirth midwife (maybe more than one, I can't remember at this point?) refused her care b/c she wouldn't address the issues that the midwife felt was important. Not all of the details are on her birth lodge. She ended up having CPS called on her & there was a bit of an uproar at the time due to what was going on.

Wait, are you saying that she KNEW that she was carrying twins, more than one HBMW refused her due to concerns which she refused to address, and she had an UC which resulted in a permanent disability for one baby?

If I'm reading that right, I'm not surprised at all that CPS was called, frankly.

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"Potter75" wrote:

Wait, are you saying that she KNEW that she was carrying twins, more than one HBMW refused her due to concerns which she refused to address, and she had an UC which resulted in a permanent disability for one baby?

If I'm reading that right, I'm not surprised at all that CPS was called, frankly.

Yep. Yep. And yep. Although I can't recall if it was more than one hbmw, but I do know she was denied care by one due to her behavior.

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She was really reamed out on the mothering boards for it.

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Personally I only see one victim in such a case....and it isn't Lydia.

This is why so many people abhor UC, IMO. Much as some pregnant women want to paint everyone who presents sound medical wisdom as being "out to get them"....sometimes it just ain't so.

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when you first talked about her i followed the link to her lodge and went back to when she was carrying the twins and there are def. some things that struck me as odd. I hate to be judgemental of someone over how they chose to birth but it just seems like she either completely missed or ignored signs that possibly could've given her lo a different outcome...

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"Potter75" wrote:

Personally I only see one victim in such a case....and it isn't Lydia.

This is why so many people abhor UC, IMO. Much as some pregnant women want to paint everyone who presents sound medical wisdom as being "out to get them"....sometimes it just ain't so.

Truly.