Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Homebirth in Oregon

Since the beginning of the year, I have heard about around a dozen homebirth losses in that state. So, I'm going to explore the ins and outs of midwifery in Oregon.

1. What is the legal standing of midwives in Oregon?? 
 According to CFMDirect entry midwifery is legal in Oregon as a completely unregulated practice. There is also a voluntary licensure for those who want to recieve medicaid reimbursement Oregon Medical Assistance program (OMAP) and maximize the opportunity for insurance reimbursement; however, in reality access to medicaid payments for fee-for-service maternity care in the home is very limited due to the administrative rules set up by ). Licensure requires successful completion of the North American Registry of Midwives written and skills exam. 

In other words: CPM's can bill medicaid so they can try to make more money and if you want to call yourself a midwife, have fun practicing. 

2. Who tracks the data for this state??

 The answer to this is pretty much nobody. I found on Oregon PublicHealth that in 2006, 269 infants died. Oddly enough, only 33 babies show up on the CDC Wonder Database. I also managed to find this. We know that Melissa Cheney has also insisted all midwives submit their data to MANA, but we also know she is on the board for both places and making good money doing it, and we also know MANA doesn't share data. All in all, nobody tracks outcomes! 

3. How many Licensed Midwives are there??
   Thee are 74 Licensed Midwives. However, the number of unlicensed midwives practicing is unknown as nobody tracks them nor are they held accountable for negative outcomes. 

I did find that there are 36 practices that employ CNM's!




In 2010, Andaluz Birth Center filed a class action suit against Oregon Health and Science University. 

Midwives say doctors and nurses at OHSU have filed baseless complaints to the licensing agency meant to thwart competition.

According to this article , there were 6 complaints lodged against that cente when patients an into trouble and were transported. It states the Oregon homebirth numbers at 877 in 2009. Of course no neonatal or perinatal mortality numbers are mentioned, but, it says fetal deaths are .1% for Licensed Midwives and .5% for Physicians. Oh wait, it does share numbers. According to a 2009 BC Homebirth study, the risk of a baby dying in a midwife attended homebirth is 1.7% versus .6% in the hospital. This study included breech, twins, and vbac (which we know increase risks, but their moms and midwives don't really seem to care about that one). That is a 2.8 times higher risk of death, yikes!


 It's scary to look at this state while people think they are something to be idolized and emulated. It's also sad to think that the only people who seem to care about the dead babies are doctors and nurses who tried standing up against the broken corrupt midwifery system in that state.
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