I got an email from a reader in my area looking for a certified nurse midwife to do a homebirth.
She had mentioned that she wanted a 'legal' homebirth and therefore only wanted to interview CNMs since CPMs are not legal in Missouri. (Though technically, the illegality is on the part of the CPM for attending her, not on her part for hiring one.) I encouraged her to interview the two CNMs she was aware of but also to consider this option:
"If you are considering a homebirth with a CNM, I think you might find Sage Femme and its midwives a pleasant surprise. It provides a lovely birthing environment and Kirsten Miller was my midwife for my homebirth last year (she no longer does births at home). I think she is wonderful and ditto for Sage Femme. It is a jewel and a well kept secret. If I were you I would appeal to my insurance company- they may very well cover a birth center birth. I went through the appeal process with my insurance company, who at first refused to pay anything. They eventually (it took a year!) covered 100% of the cost of my homebirth- even though their policy was not to pay for them. To speak to your comment, "I was afraid that my options might be limited" - they are. That is why we as birthing women must be willing to negotiate for what we want in birth- and fight if need be. Let there be no doubt- women are losing their options in birth. If we don't work to keep those options open, no one else will. "
Though I really don't want to steer this woman away from homebirth (I hope she'll be happy with one of the two midwives she has to choose from), I was happy to be able to offer another option. Women like this are exactly why I'm writing my book. I can't tell you how many women I meet or hear of who are interested in homebirth but drop the idea because they can't find a midwife to attend them or buckle under the pressure of opposition. My book won't create midwives where there are none, but I'm hoping it will help women find the resources they need to make their births happen in an out of hospital birth environment. (For instance, I'll have a whole chapter dedicated to dealing with insurance companies.) Homebirth and Birth Center birth are the real options to hospital birth. What can we do to make them more accessible to more women?