Thursday, April 29, 2004

Midwifery Legal Update - Pennsylvania

Judith Wilson was arrested last Friday in Pittsburgh, PA on charges of involuntary manslaughter, endangering the welfare of a child, and practicing midwifery without a license. Judy, a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM), had been under investigation since the November 2002 death of a footling breach baby who required resuscitation after delivery and died two days later in the hospital.

The baby's parents, Jonathan and Heather Daley, do not blame Ms. Wilson for the death and do not support the prosecution.

And the news goes from bad to worse. Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala, Jr. said Tuesday that he may empanel a grand jury to investigate unlicensed midwives and whether they should be charged. Previous to the current investigation, direct-entry midwifery in Pennsylvania has been considered "legal by judicial interpretation or statutory inference," according to the Midwives Alliance of North America. Pennsylvania regulates nurse-midwives, but makes no provision for non-nurse midwifery, though it is not specifically outlawed by statute.

As an aside, it would be completely legal for a midwife with identical training, experience, and certification as Judith Wilson to practice in Texas and at least fourteen other states. Ms. Wilson is credentialed by the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM).

Butler County midwife charged in newborn's death, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Midwife charged in baby's death, Pittsburgh
Grand jury investigation of midwives eyed, Pittsburgh
Friends of Judy provides updates on the case and is organizing an auction to raise money for Judy's legal fund.
Jon & Heather Daley's website with an account of baby Isaac's birth and death.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004


Fifty or Sixty babies have died in the last year, and hundreds have become malnourished, after drinking fake infant formula sold in the eastern Chinese province of Anhui.

China Blames Fake Milk in Infant Deaths from Yahoo!/AP.
Chinese baby milk blamed for 50 deaths from The Guardian (UK).
Tough action to wipe out 'killer' milk powder from People's Daily.
Fake milk formula kills dozens of babies from The Herald (UK).
Fake milk powder kills babies from The Age (AU).

Monday, April 19, 2004

Monday, April 12, 2004


The birth story of Jude Roman Fairbanks is the most beautiful birth story I have ever seen - told in pictures, not words. It takes some time to load, but is well worth it. Make sure you have your sound turned on.

Saturday, April 10, 2004


Don't miss The Birth Battle: Doctors, Midwives and the Politics of Pregnancy, April's cover story from Parent:Wise Austin. Although midwifery (direct-entry as well as the nurse-midwifery variety) is fully legal in Texas, the political climate is growing worse, which means fewer birth options for families.

Sunday, April 04, 2004


Yahoo/AP writes about the debate over unpasturized milk - Unpasteurized Milk Has Fans Despite Risk.

And here is Don't Drink Your Milk from Dr. Mercola.

The Blomme Family has posted an amazing birth story. Twin girls were born in an unplanned, semi-unattended homebirth, the second a breach baby. While I certainly wouldn't recommend doing it this way given the choice, it is a wonderful testament to the ability of our bodies to birth naturally.

Thursday, April 01, 2004


Everyone, but especially mothers, should be aware of the potential dangers of Dihydrogen Monoxide. This substance in sufficient quantities can cause illness, coma, even death, and it is extremely prevalent in the environment, including the atmosphere and the food supply. High levels of Dihydrogen Monoxide have been found to be present in breastmilk, as well as baby formula and most baby foods.

Link: Dihydrogen Monoxide Research Division