The way a couple chooses to do childbirth is a very personal decision. For some, the standard, hospital-based approach is preferred, while for others, having their child at home allows them to better tailor the process to their preferences. For couples who prefer to do childbirth at home, the services of professional midwives are valuable.
Even though the overall number of home births is still small in Oregon and across the country, the number of home births has significantly increased in recent years. Most home births are supervised by midwives, some of whom are licensed, and some of whom are not licensed.
Here in Oregon, there are various types of midwives in practice. These include licensed direct-entry midwives, certified professional midwives, certified nurse-midwives, and certified midwives. The education, training, certification, and license status of a midwife can vary, so it is important for patients to understand the credentials of the midwife or midwives with whom they will be working.
It is also important for patients to understand, as far as possible, the professional history of the midwives they work with, since some midwives carry around a significant history of complaints about substandard care while continuing to remain in practice. Unfortunately, some midwives are not removed from practice until something serious happens, perhaps repeatedly.
There are a lot of things that can go wrong in pregnancy and childbirth, and the damages stemming from these mishaps can cause lifelong damage, if not death, so the costs for patients can be significant. Whenever a patient is harmed by a midwife, or an OB/GYN, it is critical to work with an experienced attorney to explore potential avenues for seeking compensation. Skilled legal counsel can help ensure an injured patient has the best possible chance of obtaining a fair resolution to their case.