Evansville Indiana Alternative Birthing Options & Research pregnancy

Trying to have a home birth in Evansville, Indiana…

I apologize for not posting over the weekend, I know it is the most popular time of the week for this blog. Things have just been a tad bit frustrating and I lacked the energy to do much other than pull my hair out.

Here is a little background for you, N and I want a natural child birth with limited interventions. I have done extensive research and am very opposed to hospital birthing because they run the delivery much like an assembly line at a manufacturing plant.

Every mother is expected to deliver within a certain time frame, to progress at a certain speed and if that doesn’t happen the doctors feel the need to medically intervene and to control the birthing situation with drugs like pitocin, IV’s, fetal monitoring and so on.

Unnecessary labor induction often results in a more painful labor and can lead to the need for a c-section and episiotomy. They can also cause breast feeding issues and can even cause postpartum depression. Those labor inducing measures are basically forcing your body to deliver when it is not ready to, this is not preferable in my opinion.

Also, continuous fetal monitoring, the use of IV’s and epidurals result in you being confined to the bed for delivery which is not the most optimal birthing position. The confinement and labor interventions are linked to the rise in c-sections throughout the country. Oh and c-sections make more money for the hospital… Lots about the system is just not right and I want a say in how I deliver my baby.

I believe childbirth is a natural normal thing that our bodies already know how to do and that we should trust that and allow labor to play out as normally and naturally as possible in low risk pregnancies. Sure I want a trained professional to be there to monitor it all and jump in if a life threatening complication arises but only after I have been allowed to try things naturally. I could go and on about my reasoning but that is not the point of this post.

The point of this post is that I am outraged by the lack of choice a woman has when delivering her baby. When you are at the hospital and you have a life threatening issue that can be remedied (like heart surgery) you cannot be forced to have the surgery. If you decline heart surgery and are fated to die as a result the doctors MUST honor your decision.

When you are in delivery and have certain views or wishes regarding what is or is not done to you the doctors do not have to honor you wishes as it is their responsibility to keep the baby alive. They’ll do what ever it takes to protect themselves from possible malpractice claims which often means getting the baby out as fast as possible however they feel is best, this is managed birth.

Unfortunately there is much debate about the real benefits of managed births. Women experience much more pain during labor and often are left with awful birth memories and depression as a result of managed birth techniques. Many women are pressured or forced to do what the doctors think is best regardless of what she really wants which results in both emotional and physical scarring.

For example, I don’t want to be hooked up to an IV, a continuous fetal monitor, a catheter or pain meds because I don’t want to be confined to the bed for delivery. Upright laboring positions are better and I want to have the freedom to try them out. Being connected to all those machines prevents me from doing that and many hospitals wont allow you to birth “unplugged” because “what if you need to be rushed to surgery and you aren’t hooked up?”, it is all a liability issue for them.

I basically determined that hospital birth isn’t really for me and that I would be better off doing a home birth and having a midwife attend. Problem is I can’t find a midwife in Evansville that will attend a home birth, because there are certain laws here preventing the traditional practice of midwifery.

You see direct-entry midwives (those midwives who are not registered as a certified nurse midwife) are illegal here in Indiana as they are in about 12 other states as of 2006.

Indiana prohibits the practice of midwifery by individuals other than licensed doctors and nurses (Kaiser Daily Women’s Health Policy Report, 4/4).”

I have found a few nurse-midwives that are listed on my insurance plan provider list that are practicing legally but they are working in a hospital setting under doctors and must comply with the hospital and doctors wishes. I have also contacted past patients of these nurse-midwives and have been told of how despite their midwife title they are practicing just as any other nurse in a hospital would with regards to managed birth.

So if I don’t like the managed birth philosophy of doctors and nurses and direct-entry midwives are illegal what options do I have? I can have an unsupervised, unassisted home birth but that is not preferable considering this is my first delivery and I don’t know what I am doing, I can try hiring a birth advocate (a doula) and delivering in a hospital where I’ll be fighting tooth and nail to get some of what I want or I can hire an illegal direct-entry midwife to attend my home birth. Perfect! Reminds me of the days of back alley abortions. I am just not a happy lady right now!


<p>A city girl turned farmer. Yes women do farm ;) Owner and operator of direct to consumer, Ryder Family Farm in Southern Illinois.<br /> Wearing many hats I'm also a mother to 3, a wife, a yogi, a farmer, a 4-H & Girl Scout leader & hospitality manager.</p>

41 thoughts on “Trying to have a home birth in Evansville, Indiana…

  1. Marie at Memarie Lane (http://memarielane.com/) had a home birth — and pretty much blogged through it! Crazy lady – and I mean that in the best way possible. Anyway, she’s not in your state but she may have some suggestions. Good luck in your search to have your body and your baby the way you want to!

  2. That’s a crappy position you’re in. What kind of doctor will you be seeing for your prenatal check ups? Maybe he/she can give you more info. I’m guessing N’s insurance won’t cover an out-of-state birth and I’m also guessing that a midwife won’t be willing to lose her license to cross into Indiana to help you deliver. Does Evansville have any birthing clinics? Not a hospital, but an actual building where MDs and midwives practice together to help moms stay out of the hospital? These types of places are starting to gain popularity by me.

    Beckys last blog post..Financials, Spreadsheets and MIDAS, oh my!

  3. @Becky: There are some free birthing clinics here, the closest one is in Indianapolis which is also over a 3 hours drive from where I live. Isn’t 3 hours a bit far to drive during labor? Besides what if we don’t make it in time?

  4. We have had a few (well, more than a few) births here in BC where it was ‘special circumstances’ and because the hospitals were so over worked/understaffed the parents had to go accross the line to Seattle. You can only imagine the problems and stress that causes the parents-to-be, like when the dad didn’t have the proper ID to cross the border and couldn’t go for the birth. Mid wives here also are stuck in legal mumbo-jumbo, due to possible law suits down the line. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying we are back in the dark ages, but you definately have to do your homework here for your options as well. Most hospitals here have ‘birthing rooms’ now, they would rather you deliver in them than in the delivery rooms. They look like bedrooms, with tv’s and radios and floral bedspreads. You pretty much control the show, and the doctor only pops in as the baby is popping out. Otherwise they leave you alone, unless there are complications. I had one friend give birth in the ‘chair’ and she said she it was better, as gravity seemed to do most of the work (so she says anyways), but not all hospitals are set up with one.

    Loris last blog post..Need a back scratch? Get a tattoo!

  5. I had my first baby in a military hospital in Germany. They did not do anything except be there to catch the baby when he came out. There was no anesthesia given, no drugs to speed up labor, etc. He weighed in at 1o lbs 8 oz, and was the easiest delivery of my three children. By the time the two girls were born, I was back home in the states. The first thing that happened when I arrived at the hospital was the IV, then they gave me drugs to knock me out. I did not wake up until aprox. 8 hours after the birth, each time. I was not happy with that scenario.

    I also witnessed first hand how they rushed delivery with my grandson, who is now 6 years old. In my opinion, it was just not time, but the doctors were ready to deliver. Instead of waiting for labor to come naturally, they did a C section and took him out. Again, I thought it was wrong, but the doctor was in charge.

    You would think that the medical pros would do what was the most natural thing as that would be most beneficial to both mother and baby.

    I hope you find what you are looking for, or at least a good compromise.

    Karens last blog post..Project 365 Day 20

  6. Talina, do some research on red-heads effacing and dilating faster than non red-heads. I slept through all but the last 2 hrs of my first. I was told that the reason I was vomiting during the last 2 hrs was that I was dilating very fast. Fast forward 7 and half yrs…. my second was born in less that 2 hours, butt first folded in half. Fast forward again 14 yrs… this one was born in about 40 minutes, feet first in the back seat of a Honda Civic in the hospital parking lot (I lived 3 miles from the hospital that time).

    You are right, your body and baby should be able to do the delilvery their way… I was glad for the hospitals because of questions I had during the actual delivery. Since each delivery is unique, all the reading and video watching never are what YOU will experience. Hopefully, you are able to get a dr that will respect YOUR wishes.

    maiden53s last blog post..An “Over The Rainbow” Kind of Day

  7. You are SO good at researching what you need. You will find somebody, even if it means interviewing doctors and midwives ’til the cows come home. You will find a solution, whether it’s with a home birth, or a birthing center or a modern hospital with open-minded doctors and nurses willing to give you what you want.

    Good luck!

    Hyphen Mamas last blog post..Just Another Manic Monday

  8. Maybe you could look for a D.O. instead of an M.D. for your doc. I don’t know if it would make a lot of difference, but the few I know seem to have more of a “whole person” outlook.

  9. Regarding the 3 hours drive – is there anywhere close by that you can stay while you wait to go into labour?

    It’s hard that you can’t have the birth you want. If I was in the US I would be doing all I could to birth with midwives. Luckily here, all our care is midwife based within the hospital and our interventions are minimal. The hospital I am booked to give birth at is actually ranked one of the best baby friendly hospitals in the country.

    I got to have skin to skin with Amy for the first hour of her life, despite her having a difficult birth (her heart rate dropped badly, she needed to come out RIGHT now, they cut an episiotomy and used the vacuum to get her out. She spent the next hour on my chest despite all that.)

    Veronicas last blog post..NOT the spider that was in my cleavage.

  10. I can commiserate. I’ve lived in several midwestern states, all of which do not allow direct-entry midwifery. I apprenticed with a DEM in Iowa, had my first baby unassisted in IL, and am now pregnant with my second and living in Indiana. There is a home birth CNM in my area, but that’s quite rare in this state. Good luck finding something that suits your needs!

    Rixas last blog post..Effects of maternity care practices on breastfeeding

  11. Hey! I agree with you on alot of what you said. I mean I am an example, them giving me pitocin when i was progressing by myself. I mean my first child was 7 hrs and i was only in the hospital 5 hrs this time, and they wanted to speed it up? It makes me wonder!! I found this site. I don’t know if it can help you out at all, but maybe you can find someone through here.

    Indiana Birth Choices State-Directory


  12. Also, if it comes down to it and you can’t find a midwife or doula to do an at home birth, have you considered having a water birth? As far as I know, when you have one, you aren’t hooked to an IV and all that stuff. I think they do put a doppler on you to monitor the baby’s heart beat and stuff, but that is important. Other then that you aren’t really restrained. here’s some info I found:


    A baby spends nine months doing water ballet in a warm pool of amniotic fluid, and then makes a sudden, harsh entrance into the cold, bright (and dry) world. Advocates of water birth say that letting the baby arrive in conditions that mimic those of the womb — warm and wet — can make that entry more peaceful and reduce a baby’s stress.

    If you’re opting for a water birth, you’ll labor in a warm tub or pool, kept at approximate body temperature (95 to about 100 degrees, but no more than 101, because your body temperature could rise, causing the baby’s heart rate to increase). Cold cloths and spray bottles and plenty of water will keep you refreshed (as much as possible — you’re having a baby, after all), while the baby’s condition is monitored by your certified nurse-midwife or other medical personnel with an underwater Doppler device. As childbirth culminates, the baby will be pulled gently into the soothing water and then slowly lifted into your arms. Your partner can be in the water with you — to support you and play catch (literally) with the baby.

    Since a baby’s breathing will not start until he or she comes out of the water and into the air (babies don’t breathe in utero), drowning is not considered a risk of water births. For a couple of reasons, however, a baby’s underwater entry should be limited to no more than a few moments (ten seconds is the norm in the U.S.): first, because the umbilical cord can tear, cutting off the baby’s oxygen lifeline, and second, because once the placenta separates from the uterus — which can happen at any time after delivery — it can no longer provide the baby with sufficient oxygen.

    Water births are really only an option for low-risk pregnancies, but they’re available in more and more settings. With your midwife’s approval, you can have a water birth at home; most birthing centers also offer the option and have tubs or Jacuzzis in the birthing rooms. (You can at least take a comforting soak even if you decide you don’t actually want to give birth in there.) If you prefer a water birth but want to deliver in a hospital, check to see whether they offer the option. If not, contact your practitioner and the hospital to inquire about bringing in your own portable birthing tub (see the Resource Directory for more information).

  13. I was also going to suggest a water birth. It sounds like something you may be interested in.

    I’m so sorry you’re struggling with this. But it’s good that you’re tackling it early on.

    I think my views as an NICU nurse are a bit skewed since I’ve seen so much go wrong throughout the birthing process. My only advice is to find and ask other mother’s in your area for resources and advice, especially if they had good experiences. Make a “birth plan” for yourself, and develop it as you go along your pregnancy.

    Momisodess last blog post..Just In Case You Didn’t Spend Enough Time In Front of the Computer

  14. Well, you areoing to need that determination once the contractions come because pain can seriously alter your opinion of the situation.
    I take a different viewpoint because I am a 2 c-section Mama – I wouldn’t dilate even 2 weeks late and under pitocin. The fact is that before c-sections became an alternative to birthing moms, many women and babies died in childbirth. There’s a reason that hospitals won’t allow a Mother to go all natural to the bitter end – because if they lose the child, no matter how staunch their opinions may have been while they were pregnant, they are going to sue those doctors and that hospital for losing their child. Having a baby is a very emotional experience. A part of that experience for me was trusting the doctors and nurses around me – and I did. I had a very good experience both times because I let go and allowed the doctors to rush me in to get my first daughter out. It’s more important to me to have a healthy Mom and baby than to birth the way I think is should.
    With all that said, I’ve always wondered if the situation could have been different for me – and I could have given a normal birth if I had been more staunch in my opinions. However, looking back, I wouldn’t have changed a thing. Some women give birth naturally with little to no problems, some have lots of issues, and some just can’t seem to do it. I have tremendous gratitude for the doctors and nurses who attended my birth and assisted in my recovery. The entire experience was Very humbling for me as I have always been a strong, healthy girl capable of keeping up with the best of them – and in birthing, I just couldn’t progress at all and it was completely out of my control. There wasn’t an exercise in the world that would have made me dilate. So, that’s my opinion.
    Also, awhile back you wrote about having your wedding just three weeks after giving birth. Girl, I would not do that if I were you. Give yourself 6 months unless you want to have a wedding in your living room in your grubbies. You just don’t know when you’ll deliver or even how you’ll deliver. If you have a c-section, God forbid, your recovery time is 6 weeks – and the swelling in your stomach doesn’t go down for several weeks. That wedding dress won’t look quite so pretty with a swollen belly. Plus, you have these wild, swinging hormones and you just don’t know how you’re going to feel. A few months out and you start feeling much, much better.

    Kristins last blog post..The Landscape (ac hem) Has Changed

  15. Hey, Thanks for visiting our website and entering our giveaway. A nursing cover is a something that gives you some privacy when out in public and nursing. Ours have boning in the neckline to allow you to see your little one while you get settled and nurse. Plus it is a whole yard of fabric to cover all of you and your baby. I loved having them with my two little ones. Everyone uses something different. Some people only use a blanket, cover, or nothing at all. Hope this helps!

    Wow! This is a heavy post. I am a RN and practiced in L&D. It is so tough. I am a nurse that wants to give the control to the patient and you are shot down at every turn. With my first I wanted a natural delivery in a free standing clinic. My insurance wouldn’t pay for it so we ended up transferring care to a MD that would perform a water birth in a hospital. I went through all of their training and classes only to end up with a c-section. It was ok- really! He was 10 lbs 7 oz. With my second I wanted to VBAC (vaginal birth after c/s). I traveled an hour away to the doctors I was comfortable with and knew they would do a VBAC (not all of them will). They wouldn’t induce me (I wasn’t ripe, and it was dangerous too) and I waited until 41 weeks. Had my second c/s with a 10 lb 6 oz baby! I really wanted that natural childbirth. I can totally attest to the fact of going through the depression because things didn’t go the way you wanted so badly.

    As far as you situation, I would suggest calling around. There HAS to be someone out there that will deliver in a hospital (which seems like your only safe option from this post) with your wishes. Also call the hospital and ask the nurses!!! They know how that person practices. A doula is a good way to go too. She might know some good practitioners in the area. Let me know if I can answer any of your questions. Sounds like you do tons of research! Good for you! Good luck with the arrival of your little one!

  16. My husband is a paramedic and knows the Indiana hospital system fairly well. Your best chance to have more control over your delivery is to find a hospital without a religious affiliation. Not to pass judgment, but they tend to be more ridged about their birthing procedures, which may or may not align with your vision.

    corrins last blog post..Time to bundle up!

  17. @Ashley BB: Thanks for stopping by and for your input! I am still on the hunt and would love to find a hospital that will allow a water birth, that would be amazing!!

  18. That is precisely why I am having an unassisted birth. My first birth in a hospital with a medwife was so horrifying and traumatic and left me with permanent physical and psychological scars. No does not mean no in the delivery room.

    For what its worth, the more I researched UC, the more comfortable I became with the idea. I am due in a few weeks and 100% at ease and totally looking forward to a gentle, loving greeting.

    Good luck to you!

    Sheryls last blog post..Mommy’s Pregnancy Pics

  19. I am in the same boat Talina! I too live in Evansville and am actually due June 25, 2009. I fear having a clinical hospital birth, and was upset when I found out it will be my only option. I don’t want to be trapped in a hospital bed with residents and med students staring me down, watching my every move. I think I can request they stay out, but it still doesn’t sound at all enjoyable. Then, they take your baby away to get cleaned up, shot up, and inspected by the doctor! I will continue to research and if you come up with any ideas, please post them, or email me at kakee2005@hotmail.com. Good luck to us!

  20. I was going to let you know…that I am also from the Evansville, IN area….I have had the same problem. Right now I am going to prenatal visits with Dr. Baird and she isn’t too bad. I am now 16 weeks along and have been looking for a Legal Midwife since I was 6 weeks. Right now I have resolved myself to go ahead and deliver at the women’s hospital but I am hiring a doula and pretty much refusing any and all interventions (including a nasty hospital gown) when I get there. I am going to try to labor at home for as long as possible with my husband and doula by my side. Unfortunately I noticed you wanted a water birth and I think both deaconess and st. mary’s throw fits about that one….
    Well good luck and if I happen to find a Midwife I will let you know

  21. I am 18 an i dont want to have a hospital birth i am scared that since i am so young that the docters will try to talk me into to do the wrong things. Things that are not right for my baby and i. I would love to have a midwife and an underwater birth. But from reading this post i dont think there is great chance of me finding one. I agree with what you said about hospitals dilvering your baby in an assabley line. I dont want any meds at all i would love to try to have my first baby natural. An at my own pace, i would feel much more confortable. If you can find a midwife or you have found one please let me know… thank you

  22. Contact me. Maybe I can help brainstorm. There are ways to find the help you need. I am lucky to live in a state where access to midwifery is easy. 🙂 I will put out some feelers…

  23. I can not wait to become a midwife,so women will have more options. I swear I want to be apart of the Midwifery revolution!!! I would travel to states that it were illegal!! This sort of situations are horrible. I can not believe there are not more people that are willing to just do it. I do not if you have already had your child, but you might want to look up Nancy Wainer in Boston. She is a awsome Midwife. I had a friend who used her with her first child while she lived there. She is one of the people who founded the VBAC movement in the 70’s. She may be able to refer you to someone near you. When my friend moved to tn she had such a hard time finding a midwife she liked.She eventually just settled for the least medical ones. She through the years stayed in touch with Nancy and talked with her over the phone alot through her birth.

  24. I live in Evansville and need to know the same thing! My husband and I are thinking of having a baby and we both agree that homebirth is best for us. Please let me know how if anyone knows how to get my insurance company to pay for any of this and who is a good midwife here. I don’t think there are any here in Evansville. I need help please!!!!

  25. I also live near Evansville and am due August 2. This is my 3rd child and I’m having a hard time making my Dr. understand that needle-phobia means I will refuse an IV unless absolutely medically necessary. I will refuse an epidural under any circumstances. He keeps trying to convince me that it will be fine.

    I delivered my first 2 at Welborn Hospital with no IV, and no drugs. Unfortunately, my current youngest is 13 and the OB/GYN who delivered him is retired. If my Dr. doesn’t come around, I may just have to labor at home and may or may not make it to the hospital on time.

  26. Wow, isn’t that the truth! How is it that I can choose to abort my baby, but I have no right in choosing whether to have my baby at home or in a hospital. My last birth experience, my ob said I had a choice to allow him to csection or he would drop me. I called ten or more obs and noone would take me because I didn’t have earlier care with them, never mind that I had consistent care with an ob from the start. So, against my will, I had a csection which prevented me from having any other children, having tried for four years (I think some damage was done). Why was the csection forced on me? Because I was late and past some calendar date that the ob had for me. Ridiculous!!!

  27. Well to all you out there who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant…don’t give up on your birthing plans. My son was born through water birth at Expectaions birthing center in Muncie, IN in May of 2002. It was the best experience by far. I had a daughter 2 years prior in a hospital setting (which wasn’t bad, but not what I really wanted). I researched and read lots online and found this place. I loved it. I am not familiar or upto date with current law, but I would tell you stand by your wishes and don’t give up..the results are worth it. My son’s birth was absolutely amazing and wonderful. There is a waterbirth international.org website that has lots of resources avaliable. I would encourage anyone who has a safe and normal pregnancy to try it. You will LOVE it!

  28. I don’t know if you are still pregnant or not, but how far away are you from Cincinnati, OH? It looks fairly close on the map. Sucks that you are surrounded by states where midwifery is illegal and the ones that aren’t have pretty far boarder where you live. I have heard of ppl who travel to birth in other states they go live here for around 2 weeks surrounding the expectant birth time. Whatever it takes. And I’d write to my senators to let them know that they really are endangering the lives of mother’s ad babies by taking away our rights to birthing choices.

    I live in Utah, home of the epidural. But there is a very supportive community for Midwives here. We even have a few private birthing centers.

    I hope you are able to find the means to birth the way you feel comfortable with.

  29. This post just makes me so sad and so angry. I am in a very similar situation. I had a TERRIBLE birth experience with my first son. My doctor was your typical OB and I was too uneducated and stupid to see it. I went along with everything she said and ended up with an induction(for no good reason), forceps and 4th degree tears. I was in pain for 18 months before I finally found a doctor who sent me to physical therapy. It left a very painful scare down below and in my heart. I believe that to this day it has affect my relationship with me and my son. I hate that.
    I found a new doctor. One who is patient and kind. After a lot of education I hired a doula and went on to have a wonderful natural birth. My doctor said it was on the second time that she has seen a birth like that. I did have to argue with the nurses and felt like it was a constant battle to get my natural birth. Even my doctor who I loved kept trying to get me to be induced or break my water.
    Now I am pregnant again and just found out my OB is pregnant too. She will be out the last month of my pregnancy and has referred me to someone else. I am really starting to freak out. I barely trusted her to follow my wishes and she is one of the best around. I had built up trust with her and felt like she understand how I felt and would have done whatever she could to help me out. I just don’t trust doctors….especially OB’s. They are just trained in a way that makes giving birth a medical experience and not the natural experience it should be. If I lived somewhere that had birthing centers or allowed midwives to practice at home I would do it in a heartbeat. I’ve even thought about doing it at home alone, but that is so dangerous and scary. UGH. This really sucks and is so not fair.

  30. I came across this blog by accident, but I wanted to let you know that as of tomorrow, direct entry (CPM) midwives are legal in indiana.

  31. Hi, I’m in Indiana and having basically the same issues.. But this will be #3 for me. May I ask the outcome or any advice?

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