I read the July 5 article about the unlicensed midwife from Riverdale charged in an infant’s death who is being held on $25,000 bail. While I understand the implications, I feel extremely sorry for the family and everybody concerned.
My dad and his twin sisters were born at home in 1910 and 1912. They had a doctor who traveled with horse and buggy. Plus, both my dad’s grandmothers were on hand as midwives for his birth. His mother (my grandmother) lost her first baby.
Back then, it was not uncommon to deliver babies at home with the help of a neighbor or someone.
For my dad’s birth, his parents resolved to take no chances. Hence, the medical doctor and both grandmothers were present and they had vast amounts of birthing experience.
One great-grandmother, Hannah Jane (Isley) (Marples) Norris, had given birth to 11 children.
I respect those women who choose to have a midwife. Some new parents feel they cannot afford (or don’t want) a hospital birth. Some think an at-home birth would be for them.
In any case, I’d urge caution. In contemplating a midwife, it is imperative to check the credentials so you don’t have to deal with tragic and unexpected consequences later.
James Marples, Longview, Texas