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Types of Midwives: A Discussion

5: Comment from Carolyn Havens Niemann


Introduction to discussion of types of midwives
Back to:A comment with two responses


Date: Mon, 4 Dec 1995 21:22:39
From: Carolyn Havens Niemann
To: djz@efn.org
Subject: The Homebirth Choice 1.0

Hi. I'm a CNM in New York City, and brand-new (as in one hour since turning on the computer) at the internet-thing. However, I was browsing various midwifery files and came upon Jill Cohen and Marti Dorsey's The Homebirth Choice 1.0. I was thrilled to find homebirth info on the internet, but can't help but object to the wording of the part about CNMs. According to this document, the CNM "works under the direction of a physician." This is a source of confusion for many, but I think it gives an erroneous impression to the reader. In New York State, for example, my license is as a Midwife (i.e. not a Nurse-Midwife), and we are classified as independent practitioners who maintain a collaborative relationship with physicians and other members of a health care team. I work in a community clinic in Harlem, and whether or not a physician is present is completely irrelevant as long as I have a mechanism for referral in the event that a client's needs are not met by me. Although I personally do deliveries in the hospital at the moment (but eagerly look forward to birthing my children at home and to practicing homebirth), where there happen always to be MDs present, there is nothing in the state's midwifery laws which would require me to be under the direction of a physician. I point this out in the hope that this might be clarified in a future revision of this document, which is clearly intended for consumers for whom there is already so much confusing and misleading information about homebirth and midwifery.

Thank you for helping to keep homebirth alive!

Carolyn Havens Niemann


Introduction to discussion of types of midwives
Back to:A comment with two responses

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Last updated Mar 6, 1996 by
Donna Dolezal Zelzer
, djz@efn.org