Midwives are a common option for pregnant mothers who prioritize the natural aspects of childbirth, especially when they prefer home births or private birthing centers over childbirth in a hospital. Although midwifery models of care aim to minimize technological intervention in favor of more natural support and comprehensive care, midwives are still trained and licensed medical professionals. As such, they can be held liable when they provide substandard care that results in preventable injuries.
As qualified health care providers, midwives must receive training and pass examinations in order to become certified. There are several types of trained and certified midwives, including:
- Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) – CNMs are trained and licensed in both nursing and midwifery, and are certified by the American College of Nurse Midwives. Often, CNMs provide their services in hospital settings.
- Certified Midwife (CM) – CMs are also trained and certified in midwifery by the American College of Nurse Midwives, but they are not certified nurses.
- Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) – CPMs are among the most common type of certified midwives, and are trained and certified in midwifery by the North American Registry of Midwives.
- Direct-Entry Midwife (DEM) – DEMs are individuals trained in midwifery for home births or childbirth at birthing centers. They may obtain training through apprenticeships, midwifery school, higher education programs, or a midwifery school.
Whether mothers choose a midwife to facilitate their birth at home, a birth center, or a hospital, they place their trust in these health care professionals to treat them in accordance to an acceptable standard of care. Midwives also routinely consult with physicians and specialists, including obstetricians and perinatologists, who can monitor medical aspects of pregnancy, and intervene if complications arise. However, too often midwives are simply not qualified to manage a labor and delivery. In cases of high risk pregnancies where mothers have gestational hypertension or diabetes only maternal fetal specialists, also called perinatologists, should be managing such pregnancies. Additionally, midwives cannot perform C-sections. When there is fetal distress and time is of the essence to deliver a baby that last thing needed is an unqualified care provider.
When midwives fail in their obligations to adequately monitor mothers and babies during pregnancy, labor, or delivery, or otherwise commit acts of negligence that cause harm, they can potentially be held liable for preventable birth injuries and victims’ damages. Midwife malpractice lawsuits center on proving that a medical mistake more likely than not caused a mother or their child harm, and that those mistakes could and should have been avoided had reasonable care been provided.
Due to the unique nature of midwife births, medical malpractice claims involving injuries caused by midwives can be a challenging endeavor. However, they can be effectively handled with the help of proven attorneys like those at Beam Legal Team. Our Chicago-based birth injury lawyers have represented families across the United States in a range of birth injury cases, and have recovered over half a billion in compensation for their clients. We have the experience and insight needed to handle unique and challenging issues involving all types of preventable birth injuries.
If you or someone you love believe birth injuries sustained by a mother or a child during a midwife birth resulted from negligence, you may have the right to pursue legal action and a financial recovery of your damages. To learn about your rights, the birth injury claim process, and how our legal team can help you, contact us for a FREE consultation.