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Unlicensed midwife charged with child abuse after home delivery infant death

Posted at 6:24 PM, Jul 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-05 19:24:36-04

OMAHA, Neb. — An unlicensed midwife helped deliver a breached baby at home that ultimately died two days after the birth.

36-year-old Angela Hock helped assist the at-home birth this past June to a mother who is not new to her services.

"She assisted this family in a childbirth about two years ago. And the mother had the same issue with respect to a breach. My client advised her of the risk and advised her with respect to her option to go to the hospital, which the mother did," her attorney Stu Dornan said.

Hock waited over an hour to call paramedics who tried to resuscitate the baby but ultimately failed.

"My client, as soon as the baby started to be born, did everything she could to save the life and protect the life of the mother," Dornan said.

The midwife is charged with a felony - child abuse resulting in death, a penalty up to twenty years in prison.

Hock is a self-proclaimed direct entry midwife, meaning she doesn't need training or a license if she's not performing any medical procedures.

"As long as she's not using medical procedures than she has every right to be there. In an emergency situation she did whatever she could which you would expect anybody to do in saving the life of the child and the mother," Dornan said.

According to Nebraska law, at-home births are legal, but someone can only assist in emergency situations.

"Like I said, it's in case of an emergency that happens where maybe somebody goes into labor right now. Certainly not like a planned home birth," Chief Deputy County Attorney for Douglas County Brenda Beadle said.

According to a podcast Hock did in 2017, she claims with the type of midwife work she does, she doesn't want to follow many rules.

"I am not a licensed midwife, I'm a traditional midwife, I never want to be licensed because I don't like rules and regulations. If mom wants me to work with her and she has a breach or multiples I don't want anyone coming and telling me I can't do that," Hock said in the podcast.

"It certainly gives you an indication of what her thoughts are on the laws," Beadle said.

During Hock's bond hearing today, her lawyer made the case that she's a good mother with five children, no criminal history and this was all one big accident.

"This is a terrible tragedy and sometimes tragedy's happen and nobody's at fault. This is one of those cases. She's very distressed with respect to the fact that this child died," Dornan said.