Here’s what happened: according to the Oregonian, Heather Hermans was using a midwife for the delivery of her first child, but during labor she began to experience breathing troubles. That, combined with the fact that the baby was breech, led the midwife to call an ambulance and have Herman transported to Oregon Health & Science University. Once there, an OBGYN delivered the baby successfully by caeserian section but then filed a complaint against the midwife saying she had violated professional standards by even attempting the breech birth.
As a result, The Oregon Health Licensing Agency began investigating the actions of midwives, specifically at the Andaluz Waterbirth Center in Portland. Now the midwives are planning to sue OHSU and the Oregon Health Licensing Agency. They say their practices comply with professional standards and the investigations are a form of harassment.
Have you delivered a baby with a midwife? Should they be able to delivery babies who are breech? What about twins? Should they be able to deliver babies for women who have already had a c-section (a practice commonly known as a VBAC — Vaginal Birth After Caesarian)? As a parent (or parent-to-be), a doctor, a nurse, or a midwife yourself, what’s your experience with midwifery in what some people consider “high risk” situations?
- Heather Hermans: Andaluz Waterbirth Center patient
- Jennifer Gallardo: Midwife with Andaluz Waterbirth Center
- Roy Haber: Attorney for midwives
- Dr. James Cross: Retired Obstetrician and past president of the Oregon Medical Association
- Laura Erickson: Owner and director of the Alma Midwifery Birth Center