By Nancy Macy
If you go back in time to the very first (11×17, hand typed and mimeographed) Valley Women’s Club Newsletter, in March of 1978, you will see a mention of the importance of supporting women choosing home birth and local midwives. Many years ago California passed a law allowing midwives to assist at births – but they had to be supervised by a medical doctor (even though medical malpractice insurance forbids a doctor from doing so). Now, 33 years later, AB 1308, was signed into law to change and clarify the midwife’s legal roles in childbirth, enabling a woman to choose a supported at-home birth experience.
We have wonderful midwives like Karen Ehrlich CPM, LM, MA, who lives in Felton, to thank for their many years of dedication to the health and well-being of women in labor and giving birth, and to their babies. Karen, along with thousands of her fellow midwives in the California Association of Midwives, worked with legislators and lawyers to craft a more viable, useful law that better protects women’s health now and into the future.