Colorado Laws regarding home birth

Colorado Direct Entry Midwifery Registration:
For an overview of recent laws and statutes:
Go Here
Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA):
Mission Statement: “Public protection through effective licensure and enforcement”
Go Here
The Colorado Midwives Association:
Go Here
Colorado revised statues for Midwives effective 2004
Go Here
Interesting rules in Colorado regarding Midwifery care
Go Here
Minimum practice requirements regarding antepartum care:
F. Must refer care if twins or Breech.
G. 1-19 – These “risk out” factors would have made it impossible for me to have a home birth with a midwife several times over…most notably G.14 – gestation more than 42 weeks and G.15 rupture of membranes without labor more than 12 hours.
During my fifth pregnancy I carefully tracked the weeks of gestation, and was dismayed but not surprised when I went over the 42 weeks marker. I knew then that if I had hired a lay midwife for prenatal and birth care during that pregnancy that once 42 weeks gestation had been reached, the midwife would have been forced by law to refer care to a medical professional.
During my third pregnancy, it was this very issue of postmaturity that caused me to say to my husband that never again would I submit to prenatal care and a hospital birth. We had thought that our son was 42 weeks and went through the final days of his pregnancy trying every natural induction method under the sun only to learn upon his birth that he had gestated to 37 and a half weeks, and was in fact a month early, and not two weeks late.
During my fourth pregnancy I did my own prenatal care and ended up with a whopper 45 weeks gestation before I went into labor with Andrew.
When I began the 42nd week of my fifth birth with my water breaking at my exercise class, Paul and I entered unchartered territory in terms of not having any of my previous labors begin this way. During my first pregnancy the doctor broke my water just before pushing, my second was a c-section, my third the water broke spontaneously on the second to last push, and with my fourth, he was born in the sac without the water breaking at all.
When I continued to gush fluid for the next 72 hours without going into labor, this was the “trial of my faith” during Ben’s pregnancy. I was never tempted to go to the hospital for care however, because I knew that a few hours after arriving I would be sectioned for “failure to progress“.
It was interesting because during those three days, I could feel various changes happening in my body. My breasts became heavier with the hormonal changes that were happening, anticipating the baby being born and wanting to eat. I slept alot, and continued to eat large meals. I also had some emotional highs and lows as the hormones of labor aligned and fluctuated.
When I finally did go into labor exactly three days after my water broke and three days AFTER a midwife would have been forced to refer me to a doctor, I ended up with a six hour labor, and pushed my nine and a half pound son into his father’s hands on October 25th, 2002 just about on the stroke of midnight. Benjamins head was 15 and 1/4 inches and we enjoyed a lotus birth, safely, quietly, in the sanctity of our own home.
Please take the time to learn for yourself the laws and regulations regulating lay midwifery in your state. I will never advocate any family breaking the law. And I don’t believe I was breaking the law as I am not a midwife, nor is my husband. However, should anything have gone wrong with the birth, lay midwifery birth laws may have been used in court against our family. I don’t know this to be true, but as no Colorado laws regulating unassisted childbirth are in play yet, this could have been the case.
But I do anticipate laws attempting to regulate Unassisted Birth being passed in the future, and it is important to realize that this may severly impinge on our abilities as mothers to do what is natural and normal for our bodies and our babies.
Jenny Hatch
Read the Introduction to this Blog

One Response to “Colorado Laws regarding home birth”
  1. vianey says:

    Hi Jenny,

    Could you tell me how you registered your baby and got him a birth certificate?
    So awesome you stood by your convictions.


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