Midwife indicted in death of city infant


A grand jury indicted a Baltimore midwife on charges of manslaughter, neglect and operating without a license in connection with the death of an Alexandria child during birth in September. 
Karen Carr, reportedly a popular midwife in the home birthing community, was handling a home delivery in the city on September 11 when things went wrong, according to her lawyer, John Zwerling. 
Multiple media outlets reported the baby, a boy, was in the breech position, coming out feet first rather than head first. 
Zwerling only would say the babys head became stuck during the delivery. 
The baby was coming out fine until the head got stuck, he said. By that time there was no going back.
The child died not long after.
Organizations like the American Pregnancy Association and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists list a cesarean birth as a viable option for expecting mothers with breech babies, though vaginal delivery remains possible.  
Adding to the string of charges levied against Carr, officials say she practiced midwifery without a license in Virginia. Krista Boucher, the commonwealths attorney prosecuting the case, declined to comment. 
Its not a situation authorities in Alexandria have much experience dealing with, she said. 
Fortunately, we have not encountered this before, Boucher said.
But Zwerling maintains his client only tried to help with the birth. Pregnancy is not without risk, he said. 
We know there is a dead child, we dont know what caused it and why the babys head got stuck other than those things happen or what she was expected to do what when that happened, Zwerling said. Sometimes these things happen. Giving birth is not a risk free time in somebodys life.
Authorities have yet to outline exactly what Carr did wrong, he said. 
The grand jury indicted Carr for unlawfully and feloniously killing the child. Carr was responsible for the child when by willful act and omission and refusal to provide any necessary care for the childs health [caused and permitted] serious injury to the life or health of the child, according to court documents.
The indictment further calls Carrs actions a reckless disregard for human life.
The charges have rocked the homebirth community. A Facebook page dedicated to Carr had 890 likes by Wednesday morning. The page featured multiple posts from people claiming to have had successful home deliveries thanks to Carrs help.
Organizers urged visitors to donate to a legal defense fund for Carr.
If shes convicted on all counts, Carr faces a maximum sentence of more than 30 years in prison.