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Midwife Faces 20 Years in Death of Breech Baby

Angela Hock, unlicensed, charged with negligent child abuse
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 4, 2019 10:07 AM CDT
Angela Hock   (Omaha Police Department)

(Newser) – An unlicensed midwife is facing charges after she unsuccessfully tried to deliver a breech baby, who later died. Angela Hock of Nebraska Birth Keeper was paid at least $3,000 to assist 25-year-old Emily Noe in delivering a baby at her Omaha home, per the Omaha World-Herald and KETV. Some 24 hours into labor on June 15, Hock had only managed to partially deliver the baby. The baby was eventually delivered without a pulse as paramedics whisked Noe to a hospital, according to an affidavit. Placed on life support, the girl named Vera died two days later as a result of what a hospital OB-GYN termed negligence. An incident report quoted by ABC News notes the baby was "deprived of oxygen for approximately 10 to 12 minutes during the time that Hock attempted this delivery without medical assistance."

Noe told investigators that Hock had warned her the baby was breech. But she said she decided to continue with the home birth because Hock claimed to have training in this area. Her website, listing services including home birth and postpartum care, said her "calling" was "to help women find their power and ancient wisdom through traditional midwifery." Police say Hock doesn't hold any medical or certified nurse midwife license in the state. In a 2017 podcast, Hock said she got around this by using private membership associations. "I never want to be licensed because I don't like rules and regulations," she said, per KETV. The 36-year-old, reportedly assisted by an unpaid doula, was booked into the Douglas County Jail on Wednesday on a charge of negligent child abuse resulting in death. She faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted. (Read more midwife stories.)

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