The Future of Birth is Bleak

June 26, 2023

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We're Maryn + Margo

We are mamas and birth workers who decided to do birth differently– and bring others along with us. We are kind, fun to work with, and great at (lovingly) calling people on their bullshit. With 12 children and 20 years of midwifery between us, we’ve learned a thing or two along the way, and Indie Birth is our space to share it all with you.


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Let me paint you a picture. If things continue how they’re going in the birth and midwifery world, here is my prediction for how things will look here in the US in 20 years, when I’m in my 50’s, and my daughter will be in her childbearing years.


Midwifery will be highly regulated via licensing. In order to get a license, you will have to attend a MEAC accredited school (which really means a US Department of Education approved school), accumulate significant student loan debt, and be put through a grueling, hypermasculine, technocratic “midwifery” curriculum for 2-3 years.

Then once you’ve completed that process, you will pay for a license that you will have to regularly renew. The licensing board in any given state will eventually have zero or one midwife on the board, and it will be entirely under the direction of medical doctors that don’t understand or respect authentic midwifery (this is already true in many places). They will create ever stricter rules about who you are allowed to serve as a midwife. But everyone will think it is really wonderful because now midwives are “integrated” into the system. They have collegial relationships with the hospital and it’s practitioners and transports will be relatively “smooth” (I am not saying this is a bad thing, but I suspect it will be touted as a major win).

It is possible that many insurance companies will even cover these “midwifery” services once they are fully regulated and tightly controlled.


For women this will look like what we are already seeing in places like Canada and the UK. If you want to have a home birth you will need to contact the midwives in your area as soon as you know you are pregnant, and you will need to hope that they still have space for you that month, because there will be a massive midwife shortage. Your care will be less personal, and any risk factors that crop up won’t be tolerated in home birth care, and your care will be transferred to the local clinics with zero discussion of alternatives. For every 10 women that hire a midwife, maybe half will actually make it to laboring at home and half of those remaining will actually birth at home.

There will probably still be “birthkeepers” that offer underground home birth support services, but if things continue the way they are going, I would probably recommend birthing alone, or at the hospital rather than with people that know enough just to be dangerous, and not enough to actually be helpful.

I don’t actually believe that midwifery knowledge can ever be fully controlled or eliminated from feminine consciousness, but as we saw in the case of Lisa Barrett in Australia the state may crack down on the dissemination of real midwifery knowledge, which would mean it would become less and less likely that underground psuedo birth attendants had the same amount of knowledge and training as they even do now/

Authentic midwifery as we know it will be nearly extinct, and women will be left to fend for themselves.

The work we are doing at Indie Birth is the only meaningful thing I am aware of that is standing between where we are now and this dystopian nightmare.

If you give a shit about birth, and preserving midwifery for future generations we need you to take action. The time is now. The time is ten years ago, honestly, but here we are.

We are leading the charge in preserving autonomy centered midwifery, which means standing OUTSIDE of government systems and institutions. People ask us if our midwifery program is MEAC accredited, and the answer is a resounding NO because if we capitulate to their bullshit, we are contributing to this nightmare.

We need people to take real and consistent action where they live. We need more doulas. We need more childbirth educators. We need more autonomous midwives. We need people to fund this revolution – to put their money where their mouth is.

We have some ideas for you below about how to do all of this, and encourage you to come up with your own ways, too. But it seems like people are needing direction and specific tasks. We get it, perhaps you are busy and taking care of 100 children. But if you care (which I’m guessing you do if you read this far), please don’t stop here.

1. If you are in need of any type of birth education, we have something for you, and your enrollment contribution is funding the ongoing creation of materials and the active strategic movement we are building to create a new paradigm of midwifery so we can avoid all of that ^^^. We have parent courses and a social platform over on Mighty Networks that you should check out. If we can’t pay our bills, this all ends, and we don’t know of anyone ready to step up and fill the gap that would leave.

2. We have a Doula Academy for people that want to turn the doula role and world upside down and provide exceptional care to women. It is basically an intro to midwifery course in many ways as well.

3. If you are at all interested in preserving midwifery knowledge or becoming a midwife, the Indie Birth Midwifery School has a complete 20 month long program that is the richest, most in depth resource on authentic autonomous midwifery every compiled. Every community needs at least 1 woman who has taken it, even if you don’t start up a midwifery practice.

4. Print out 30 copies of this, this, and go stick them in the pregnancy and birth books at your local library and bookstores.

5. Buy 5-10 copies of Gentle Birth Gentle Mothering (used is fine!) or our book Indie Birth: A Story of Radical Birth Love and put them in your local little free libraries.

6. Contact your local Women’s Care Centers, Pregnancy Crisis Centers, etc (put aside your ideas about hem being potentially problematic for a minute) and ask them if they would hand out the above books or articles, or perhaps even let you teach a class or hold a pregnancy circle. They have a built in network of pregnant women, and often they are the women who are the most vulnerable to birth trauma and mistreatment in the system.

7. And lastly, tell us what action you are taking! Reply here in the comments or even better, come join our social platform where 6000+ likeminded women are gathered.

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Meet the duo behind Indie Birth

We are mamas and midwives who decided to do birth differently– and bring others along with us. We are radical, fun to work with, and great at (lovingly) calling people on their bullshit to help move us all towards a new more beautiful world. With 12 children and over two decades of midwifery between us, we’ve learned a thing or two along the way, and Indie Birth is our space to share it all with you.

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