Tomorrow I will go to Annapolis. I will not be there alone. There will be many women, men, babies, and children there along side me. We will be supporting a new bill that will make legal something that half of our states have enjoyed for years. The bill I am going to Annapolis to support is HB 1056. It will legalize Certified Professional Midwives (CPM) in the state of Maryland. This is only immediately relevant to those of us who have had a home birth, want a home birth, or assist woman at home births. But the reason I am supporting this bill is not specific to home births. For me this is all about choice.
For only a brief flash of human history women have been birthing in hospitals. My grandmother once pointed to the house where she was born. Just 9 at the time, I asked, “why would Grammy come to this stranger’s house to have you?” Her answer was simple, “This is where Grammy lived. Back then people had their babies at home.” My grandmother did not birth at home, nor did my mother, nor did I. But because the option to birth at home (or at a birth center or hospital) exists we have more diverse options in maternity care across the board. Care providers are more conscious of the style of care they provide when consumer preference matters. Less choices may mean more control for some but less freedom for most. Allowing CPMs to practice in the state of Maryland simply means better access to professional qualified midwifery care when women choose to birth at home.
Legalizing CPMs is what will bring me to Annapolis tomorrow. Everyone there will have a direct connection to home birth. I hope our actions tomorrow will ensure every mother yet-to-be will enjoy the best possible variety of maternity care in Maryland.