6-10-11: The Future of Midwifery in Maryland

June 10, 2011 at 11:29 am 3 comments

In May, a midwife based in Maryland pleaded guilty in Virginia to two felonies stemming from the death of a baby after a home birth.  That midwife, Karen Carr, is now being investigated by St. Mary’s County in another death in rural Maryland in November.

Karen Carr is a certified professional midwife–a form of midwifery not licensed in Maryland, though it is recognized in 26 states.   In Maryland– and throughout the country–the majority of midwife-attended births are attended by certified nurse midwives—they’re trained in both nursing and midwifery.   The consumer group Citizens for Midwifery does a good job of detailing the differences between the two groups.

We discuss those differences on air with Karen Fennell, a policy consultant and lobbyist for the American Association of Birth Centers.  She’s working to  gain licensure for certified professional midwives in Maryland.

We also hear from Larry Fogelson, an obstetrician who’s the head of Women’s Health Associates at St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Towson.  He works with the certified nurse-midwives who practice there.

Earlier this week, we examined the different settings in which midwives practice–at home, in a birth center, and in hospitals.  And last month, we spoke with Karen Carr about how she practices midwifery.

We welcome your comments about these segments.  We’d also like to hear about your own birth experiences, whether they took place at home, in a hospital, with a midwife or a doctor – leave us a comment, email us at mdmorning@wypr.dot.org, or give us a call at 410-881-3162.


Entry filed under: Health, On Air, Policy. Tags: , , , , , .

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Emily Patterson  |  June 10, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    I had my first son in a hospital, my second in a birth center. The birth center was a relaxing, supportive, loving and nurturing environment. The hospital, was, well, scary, nerve-wracking, too rigid, and forceful rather than nurturing. I don’t think I would want to do a birth at home – too much mess to clean up when all you want to do is cuddle with your new bumpkin and sleep.

    I feel there should be a certified nurse midwife in attendance at all births – home or birth center.

  • 2. prgrsvmama26  |  June 10, 2011 at 4:01 pm

    I don’t believe that doctor’s stories about the two Nurse Midwives, not doing proper prenatal care. I know every single nurse midwife practicing in our state and they are following their mamas closely. How dare he malign them. I also do not believe that a vbac at home is outside of the scope of a midwife. And post dates mothers can be followed closely with fetal surveillance and safely have their babies after the hospital model’s 42 week expiration date. My own mother had both me and my brother at 43 and 44 weeks gestation, back in the day when doctors weren’t just practicing convenience medicine or defensive medicine. Midwives have their own standards of care. MANY do not agree that a vbac is outside the scope of domiciliary birth. Many midwives do not agree that ACOG is the only source of standards.

  • 3. CLarkin  |  June 10, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    I am so glad that this segment was on the show. I do disagree with the Dr that was on this morning tho. I had a c-section with my first, a VBAC in hospital with my second and a HBAC(homebirth after c-sec) with my third. I also chose not to have myself tested for GD with my third pregnancy and all was fine. I think Drs are far too often looking for a problem in pregnancies and births and treating pregnancy like a disease instead of the completely natural beautiful process that it is.


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