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Recently passed law requires licensure for all Michigan midwives

Most women choose to have their families in a hospital setting with an experienced team of nurses and physicians to assist them in their delivery. In some cases, women may make use of a nurse midwife in a hospital setting. Nevertheless, the vast majority of women choose to be in a hospital when they give birth.

A small percentage of women do opt to deliver at home, though, and make use of midwife services in doing so. In Michigan, there are several types of midwives: Certified Nurse Midwives; Direct-Entry Midwives; and Certified Professional Midwives.  

Certified Professional Midwives are required to go through three to six years of training in academic work, skill development and experience assisting at a certain number of deliveries. At the end of the process, they are credentialed. Direct Entry Midwives may go through a similar training process as CPMs, but don’t have the credentials.

Then there is the Certified Nurse Midwife designation, which allows a practitioner to deliver babies in a hospital setting. CNWs have been required to be licensed, unlike other midwives, and are regulated by the Michigan Board of Nursing. Up until recently, other types of midwives in Michigan were not required to be licensed. That changed, though, under a measure signed into law earlier this year. Now, all midwives in the state of Michigan are required to be licensed to practice.

The law also establishes other requirements on all midwives, including the requirement to obtain informed consent from patients and to set up plans to transfer the patient to a physician if necessary. Administration of prescription drugs will also be overseen by a new state board.

In our next post, we’ll say a bit more about the law, and then about the importance for midwives, and other health care professionals for that matter, of working with an experienced attorney when they are accused of harming patients. 

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