Illegal Midwives part 2
The bureaucracy in Quebec has decided to remove another hurdle for women who choose to give birth at home without the support of a registered midwife. There aren't enough birthing centers or registered midwives to go 'round, so more and more women are giving birth "unassisted" or with the attendance of an unregistered midwife.
The women who choose to have their babies at home with "illegal" midwives pay a price: registered midwives are free, paid for by provincial medical insurance. The other midwives charge around two thousand dollars for their services, which is a great deal as it includes sometimes months of prenatal care, personalized and attentive labor and birth attendance, and comprehensive postnatal support.
They also pay with hours of bureaucratic nonsense, when it comes to getting their new baby a birth certificate.
It may be that raggedy old hippies or sneaky foreigners on tourist visas come to mind when you are imagining the women who choose this route. But they are more often highly educated, professional women who are used to doing things "their way" and do not want to go outside their own home to give birth.
I have heard stories of women being threatened with the police and child protective services if they did not present themselves and their hour-old baby at the hospital to do their paperwork. This new directive is a small fairy step in the right direction: