Is there a Mother/Baby Friendly Initiative for Home Birth in South Dakota in the works?

Black Hills Today, an on-line publication of news, is claiming this morning that Governor Rounds has intimated in a letter to a constituent that plans are in the works to permit South Dakota’s Certified Nurse Midwives to attend homebirths. They go so far as to call it a "Mother/Baby Friendly Initiative for Home Birth"

Check out this press release which starts with a portion of a letter to constituent Tanya Olson of Custer (I'm assuming the press release is from the midwife group):
“The South Dakota Board of Nursing and the Board of Medical and Osteopathic Examiners will be meeting over the next several months to explore avenues that would permit certified nurse midwives to attend home births. I look forward to the results of those efforts that could provide additional birth options for families in South Dakota.”

The letter to Olson came after her complaint to the Governor when proposed legislation to allow South Dakota’s Certified Nurse Midwives (CNMs) to practice independently failed to make it out of the House Health and Human Services Committee. The proposed legislation would have removed a required contract that nurse midwives must have in South Dakota as a pre-requisite to practice midwifery.

South Dakota's Certified Nurse Midwives (CNMs) have advised the State Board of Nursing and South Dakota Department of Health Secretary that there are no physicians willing to sign the contracts with nurse midwives who want to provide out of hospital care. The contracts require a physician to meet with a nurse midwife for one half day per week but don’t specify who is responsible for paying for that physician’s time. Physicians decline these contracts because it allows nurse midwives to compete with the physicians in the medical marketplace. CNMs say that this has created a situation of unfair trade practice in healthcare in South Dakota.


(Certified Nurse Midwife Jeanne) Prentice is also angry that the State of South Dakota has a "skewed view of the safety of midwifery and homebirths". She claims that because of the inaccurate statistical information provided by the Secretary of the Department of Health, Doneen Hollingsworth, legislators have not been able to make fair legislative decisions. "She has been presenting this inaccurate information to legislators for years and this is what determines how they vote on midwifery legislation."


Prentice met with Long last week to discuss the issue of restraint of trade. “Long’s research says that a woman totally unattended at home (no midwife or anyone else to help her) only has a infant death rate of 7 per 1000 births. This is almost the exact same rate of neonatal deaths as our hospitals in South Dakota with an infant death rate of 6.9 per 1000 births. Nurse Midwives have evidence based research that shows that planned homebirths of low risk women with qualified providers only have an infant death rate of 2.5 per 1000 live births.”
Read it all here. I'm wondering if this is an actual proposed initiative, or a really big stretch of the imagination as taken from a constituent letter. As I'm reading it, the Physician and Osteopath board is supposedly going to study it.

Studying it does not an initiative make...


Anonymous said…
The boards have been studying it, it's on their websites and in their minutes. This will take work, it seems to me, to put this together.

The homebirth crowd has been more than willing to take up legislative time for the last 10+ years with their cockamamie schemes, all designed to legitimize Judy Jones and give her a license without requiring her to attend school etc.

If that crowd would finally wake up and recognize that Judy Jones has set them back years, and is still holding them back, they might get someplace.

Throwing Judy Jones overboard would be a good step for them.
Anonymous said…
Thanks for the interesting post ,PP. South Dakota truly does need more birth options. My sister in MN successfully delivered 4 babies at home with midwives.
And that lady is right about Hollingsworth, she is incompetant and deserves to be banished from state government.

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