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.






3 responses to “New Israeli homebirth restrictions drafted (where’s midwife trust?)”

  1. Rowena Avatar

    Not only is it a witch hunt against midwives, it’s also a witchhunt for people that are even considering a midwife! It gives the doctor a chance to talk couples out of using a midwife instead of OB/GYN. It’s more red tape for what should be a natural process and personal choice. The wording of “mentally sound” is pretty much checking to see if you’re a crazy person for choosing a midwife. And yet, maybe I’m reading into it too much.

    Are there many doctors that are actually opposed to using a midwife? I must say there is still a stigma here in the US about using one and I rarely tell people I have a midwife instead of an OB/GYN.

    A lot of health insurance here does not even cover homebirth or doulas.

    1. elie Avatar

      It’s interesting, because in so many ways Israeli health world is into alternative options, mixing Eastern/Western, etc. On the other, it’s also like the States, with stigmas, etc.

      I told my first OBGYN I was considering homebirth and he was in shock and told me off. I was nervous to tell my second, even though he seemed very very midwife friendly… and when I finally told him, his response was, ‘oh, neat!’ He would have given me a ‘letter’ if I had needed one.

      Nothing covers the homebirth here. I paid privately, and it’s expensive. And you don’t get the money benefit you get when you birth at a hospital. And the State has already stripped midwives of certain rights/necessities like having their own form of insurance.

      In such a family-friendly, child-friendly, baby-friendly culture, it’s really interesting that it’s so closed off on this option. And letting mother choose.

      I have always assumed the States was worse though…

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