Advocates believe that home births are safe alternatives to hospital births and that Certified Professional Midwives (CPM) should be granted licenses to practice midwifery.
“We’re one of the few movements that’s succeeded in bringing together pro-life and pro-choice activists, liberal feminists and Christian conservatives,” says Katherine Prown, campaign manager of the group Big Push For Midwives.
Some key issues include the financial benefits that home birth and CPM’s offer, but another concern is the fact that nurse-midwives do not receive equal insurance reimbursements that physicians who perform the same exact duties receive. Several states have addressed these issues and the results are nearly evenly split; 25 states license CPM’s, while the other 25 do not legally recognize and license CPM’s.
The Juggling Work and Life During Pregnancy study of maternity leave and pregnancy outcomes showed that women who take leaves before and after birth were less likely to deliver via cesarean section and more likely to breastfeed. The first paper examined the outcomes of women who were able to take a leave after 35 weeks of pregnancy. Those women who had more time off from work “had almost 4 times lower odds of a primary cesarean delivery as women who continued working.” The second paper considered whether or not leaves before and after birth played in a role in the establishment of breastfeeding. The report found that those women who returned to work earlier than others were less likely to establish breastfeeding.
For links to the two studies, visit Our Bodies Our Blog.
In a 66 to 32 vote last Thursday, the Senate passed a children’s health insurance bill that would extend coverage to more than 4 million uninsured children. A similar bill was passed in the House just a few weeks ago, with a 289 to 139 vote. The bill includes a provision that would eliminates the restrictive 5 year waiting period applied to legal immigrant children who wish to access programs such as Medicaid and S-CHIP.
Former President Bush had twice vetoed the legislation, but President Obama is expected to sign the bill. Overall, 9 Republican Senators supported the bill. Others expressed concern that the passage of the bill would be a stepping stone towards replacing the private health care system with a government-run health care system.
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