The Amish Cook from Oasis Newsfeatures

Pennsylvania Midwife Granted Reprieve

Home-birthing among the Amish is as common as a buggy ride or a kerosene lamp. Most Amish mothers would far prefer a delivery in the safe, familiar confines of home than a hospital. Possible medical complications are left in the hands of God and perhaps a skilled midwife.

States have been cracking down in recent years on unlicensed midwives. Our society is very litigious so I think midwives have to probably be insured, licensed, etc. Unlike us, though, the Amish don't sue someone for making a mistake or when an error occurs. In fact, the Amish have been rallying to the defense of a Pennsylvania midwife that yesterday won a victory of sorts in court. I'm not sure what the solution is to this. All I know is that home-birthing is what the Amish generally prefer, it's worked for them for years, why send a bunch of bureaucrats in to mess it up? Perhaps expectant mothers could sign a waiver before contracting the services of an unlicensed midwife?

Meanwhile, check out a piece in Indiana Prairie Farmer (one of my favorite magazines, right up there with People and Newsweek!) about the continued recovery from a recent tornado in the Indiana Amish communities. The piece really does illustrate once again Amish self-sufficiency.

Leah's picture

Conflictin' Emotions on this Topic!

This is an interestin' topic for me.  In the community in which I hail from, it is up to each women as an individual whether she chooses to have her baby at home (with the help of a midwife; which most women choose to do) or to have the baby in a hospital (which is the option that is chosen when the mother or baby is known to have complications or problems prior to givin' birth). 

There are women within the Amish community who do help others with the deliverin' of a baby.  And more often than not this is an elder women who has given birth to her own family of perahps seven or eight children (perhaps even up to 12 children!).  And then along with givin' birth to her own children, she also aids other women in the community with the delivery of their children.  Now, legally she is not registered by the state as bein' a "licensed midwife."  But here's where my question comes in:  doesn't this experience of deliverin' hundreds and hundreds of babies make this women as "licensed" as perhaps someone who's never had the equal amount of experience, but perhaps passed some courses in University that now gives her the title of being "licensed"?

 I would trust the Amish midwife with the delivery of any baby I might be blessed to have in my future.