EUGENE, Ore. - A baby died during a home childbirth in Eugene attended by an unlicensed midwife, and now doctors and experts are speaking out about licensing midwives in Oregon.
KVAL News spoke to the woman who said she was in labor for eight days at her home before giving birth to a baby who wasn't breathing.
She told KVAL News she hired an unlicensed midwife for the birth - and that she doesn't think the midwife did her job right.
In Oregon, you don't have to be licensed to be a midwife. If something goes wrong in a birth, like in this case, because there is no licensing agency, there is nowhere for a family or physician to file a complaint.
The chair of an Oregon midwifery oversight board told KVAL News that she thinks this will be a political issue this year.
"There are legislators in Oregon that do think mandatory licensure would be safer," said Dr. Melissa Cheyney. "Require that everyone that calls themselves a midwife would have a basic level of training that was guaranteed by the process of state licensure."
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists said home births carry a two-to-three fold increase in the risk of newborn death compared to hospital births.
KVAL News reached the midwife's assistant in this case and asked her if she thought anything went wrong with the birth. She declined to comment.
The Eugene Police Department said they received a 9-1-1 call about this delivery from a friend of the mother. But police said they never received a police report. And without any complaint, police said there is nothing to investigate.