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5 important things to think about before using a midwife in Ohio

Birth InjuryNews   April 17, 2017

Are women who select home births with the assistance of midwives being told just how dangerous the practice can be?

Or, are they being given a rosy picture of a home birth, which is painted as “more natural” and inherently better for the mother and child?

Home births are less likely to result in medical intervention — but those interventions may just be necessary. The risk of death of a baby during or just after delivery in a home birth is twice as high as that in a hospital.

Before you consider a home birth with just a midwife, these are some things to consider:

— Midwives in Ohio are not regulated. While they are not expressly forbidden, they also aren’t legally defined. That means that you are essentially going to have to take a midwife’s word about her training unless you investigate her closely.

— There are certified nurse-midwives who work in obstetrics and gynecology practices and can help deliver your baby in a hospital — which reduces the risk to you and your child while still helping provide a natural birth experience.

— If you are going to have a home birth, it’s better to have a certified nurse-midwife in attendance or a midwife that’s certified and licensed through the International confederation of Midwives’ Global Standards for Midwifery Educations.

— Make sure that your midwife carries malpractice insurance — or don’t use that midwife!

— There should also be transportation available to the nearest hospital and a doctor available for consultation throughout the labor and delivery process.

It’s also important to remember that any midwife that paints labor and delivery as a painless, easy process that isn’t risky (as long as those hospital doctors don’t get their hands on you) isn’t being realistic and giving you a balanced viewpoint. There are many benefits to a home delivery and some women really are good candidates for the process — but some aren’t. Seek a second opinion if you have any doubts.

If something does go wrong and you realize that the midwife should have done something sooner (like call an ambulance), you can press a medical malpractice claim against a midwife just like you could against a physician. An attorney who handles birth injury claims can provide more information.

Source: The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, “Committee Opinion,” April 01, 2017