New Israeli homebirth restrictions drafted (where’s midwife trust?)

From Haaretz:

Israel ministry drafts new rules to restrict home births
A woman planning to give birth at home will have to obtain a letter from her family doctor testifying that she is both physically and mentally sound, under new regulations being drafted by the Health Ministry that many believe are aimed at curtailing home births.

The letter would have to be submitted to the midwife or doctor attending the birth before the home birth can take place.

The thing is, I could be ok with some of this if it wasn’t such a clear witch hunt against midwives. If midwives had more of the benefits they deserve, if homebirthers got similar benefits, if the balance was more even – do what helps make it a safe homebirth while offering it as a totally doable option – that’s something to get on board with.

This seems pretty aggressive though. Maybe it’s not. No midwife should do a birth if it’s more than 30 minutes from a hospital anyway. A midwife’s license should include more rights, even if it means making it harder to become one (meaning, higher quality midwives). Does a doctor need to be involved in this? There should be more trust and support for midwives instead of paralyzing them further.

Homebirth in Israel.

UPDATE (April 2011): After this post was written, down the road, for my second child, we did a home birth in our apartment in Tzur Hadassah. I’ve got more info on the subject now from firsthand experience and am happy to share:

At this point, I’ve dipped my toes into the third trimester and thus far have read a lot of too much research, visited two Jerusalem hospitals and met with one home birth midwife.

Needless to say, the water’s cold.

I’m caught in this tiring cycle of not knowing whether I should do the home birth thing or not. I mean, I do know I should, but between all the reservations of the people around me and the looming status of ‘first pregnancy’, my birthing confidence is crushed.

I figure, maybe if I can hear from women who have done it/do it, as opposed to just midwives and people who are anti, I could feel better about making a confident decision. Because either way, I feel confidence is key and I need to find it in myself within the next 10-12 weeks.

So… if you’ve been there, done that, labored through it at home, feel free to chime in with a comment about the following (or you can email me if you’d rather):

  • Where did you do it? Where did you live? House, apartment?
  • Did you use a midwife and doula?
  • Was your husband/partner into it? What kind of a role did they play at home?
  • What did you do about pain relief?
  • Did you check into a hospital after?

I’d love to hear thoughts from women who have given birth in Jerusalem hospitals, too. I realize it’s a very realistic situation that I could end up choosing to be in a hospital or end up needing to be in a hospital. Talking to women who are satisfied with their experiences either way and are willing to share can really help me at this point. Unfortunately, there aren’t many Israeli birthing stories on the web, at least that I could find.

I guess the problem is right now I’m so open minded, I don’t have any direction.