katieKatie McCall was born at Pomona Valley Hospital in Southern California by scheduled c-section as a frank breech due to the current medical system insistence that breeches should always be delivered that way. Katie’s father’s family was filled with teachers, her mother’s family was filled with healers. It is no surprise then, that she went on to have her own two children and spend her adult life involved in a combination of teaching and healing through midwifery, childbirth education, doula work and serving families in Southern California.

Katie attended USC for her general education and then went on to study with the American Academy of Husband Coached Childbirth to become a certified childbirth educator. Shortly thereafter, she certified as a birth doula (labor assistant) with the Association of Labor Assistants and Childbirth Educators. Katie was also mentored through a pregnancy and birth support business called The Birth Connection in Glendale, CA, which Katie later purchased and expanded to include a 1500 square foot education facility, retail store and birthing center. She enrolled in midwifery school and apprenticed with the midwives who ran the birth center as well as with midwives who attended homebirths. She sold her business to pursue her midwifery education full time in 2006 and passed her midwifery (NARM) exam to become a Certified Professional Midwife in 2008. She went on to gain her Midwifery License from the State of CA Medical Board in 2010.

Katie has received supplementary education in lactation to become a lactation educator, vaginal birth after cesarean support, support of sexual abuse survivors, aromatherapy and is neonatal and CPR certified. She assisted over 500 couples through childbirth education and attended over 550 births as of 2011. As a Southern California native, she has a wide range of experience, serving mothers from diverse backgrounds. She believes her job is one of empowering women to develop their own trust and connection with their bodies and their babies during their own unique journey into motherhood. If she has learned anything through her experience with birth, it is that every birth is as different as the women who are laboring.

On August 17th, 2011 Katie was convicted of practicing medicine with out a license for a 2007 birth she assisted as a student. She was arrested, charged, tried and convicted while holding her medical license in good standing and while having no complaints issued against her as a licensed professional. She has never lost a baby or harmed anyone while serving birthing families.

The charge arose from a home birth where Katie’s supervising midwife could not arrive because she was at another birth. Instead of leaving the family to birth unassisted, Katie stayed.  She recommended that the family transfer to the hospital and the family refused.  They were aware that she was only a student midwife and that she was unable to secure an overseeing midwife. The original complaint was made by a bystander and not by the family who chose to birth at home.

When the mother began to push, the baby got stuck in a condition called shoulder dystocia.  Using her training as a student, Katie performed the Gaskin maneuver to free the baby.  The maneuver was successful, however, the mother began to hemorrhage due to a partially retained placenta.  Again, using her training, Katie was able to stop the bleeding and protect the mother from harm.  At trial, Katie argued through counsel that her practicing medicine was justified due to the emergency situations above.

Despite testimony from the Assistant Director of the Emergency Department at UCLA-Santa Monica and a renowned OB/GYN that Katie’s actions potentially saved two lives, a jury convicted her at trial. Hundreds of letters were written in defense of Katie and the judge remarked that he had never seen so many people show support to a convicted criminal in his court room.

Finally, on September 16, 2011 the judge sentenced Katie to 3 years probation and told her she cannot work as a midwife during that time. She was not given any time in prison or jail, but was instead given 280 hours of community service and $10,000 in restitution to the CA Medical Board, which was down from the nearly $45,000 they were asking for.

Katie was strong-armed into surrendering her midwifery license (she was told it was either that or pay a quarter of a million dollars to fight a possible revocation) in 2012. In February 2013 she was let off of probation early for “good behavior” and fulfilling her probation requirements. Two days later she set off to find another state to work in after nearly starving to death in her home state. She is an exile from her family and home and hopes to find a better life for herself an her two children in New Hampshire. She tells of her experience on criminal probation in her blog www.supportmidwifekatiemccall.wordpress.com and of her travels to New Hampshire in her blog www.shirebound.wordpress.com

Donations on her journey can be made directly through paypal to kjenkinsart@hotmail.com

For further information, please take a moment to read what the media has had to say: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/16/los-angeles-midwife-gets-_0_n_966558.html?ref=fb&src=sp&com

Connect with Katie on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/thebirthconnection

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