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Did your child suffer a birth injury after hiring a midwife?

If you are pregnant or just gave birth, you might be concerned about birth injuries in yourself and your child. Many hospitals and birth centers regularly use midwives, but the state of Ohio does not directly regulate non-nurse midwives. This could leave you vulnerable.

Are midwives in Ohio like others nationwide?

Almost a dozen states, including Ohio, do not directly regulate the medical licensing of midwives. Instead, the Ohio Board of Nursing license them as Advanced Practice Registered Nurse. However, certified-nurse midwives may practice in the state, as can non-nurse midwives or “doulas.”

Although there are professional non-nurse midwives or birth doulas in every state, and they all assist in the birth process, not all have medical training. Many attend training courses organized by private businesses or vocational organizations.

However, these training sessions are not always regulated for safety or medical accuracy. Uncertified midwives or doulas cannot always recognize, prevent or treat serious medical issues or birth injuries.

What do midwives do?

All midwives assist women with uncomplicated pregnancies before, during and after their delivery. This excludes breech births, twins or multiples, or other medical complications.

Certified nurse midwives (CNM) have the following qualifications:

  • A Master’s or Doctoral degree from one of three Ohio midwifery programs
  • Recertification every five years
  • A passing grade on the CNM certification examination
  • A collaborative relationship with a physician
  • A Standard Care Arrangement
  • Ability to prescribe medications

Non-nurse midwives or Doulas that advertise in “natural” or “alternative” services might not have the medical qualifications you might need if something goes wrong during delivery. If you rely on them, you and your child could be vulnerable to a birth injury.

If you develop preventable complications during or after your delivery, explore your legal options. You may be entitled to compensation.

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