Crossing State Borders in Search of Midwives

For some women in Alabama, using a midwife is less about religion and wellness than avoiding traumatic experiences at hospitals. The state’s infant mortality rate is among America’s highest, and maternal mortality is climbing, too.

Midwifery outside of hospitals is illegal in 17 states. But that doesn’t stop women from seeking their services in states like Tennessee and Georgia, where midwifery is less restricted. Some of these mothers end up giving birth in Airbnbs or parking lots—but it’s worth “a greater measure of control over how they bring a child into the world,” writes Rebecca Grant.



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