Risks Associated with Home BirthsFebruary 14, 2019
The child birthing process is one of the most incredible, overwhelming, life-changing experiences for a woman. It is also an extremely personal process. Some women prefer to deliver their baby in a hospital surrounded by doctors, nurses, and high-tech medical equipment, in case something goes wrong. Others choose to deliver at home with the help of a midwife, where they can have a more intimate birth experience. However, child birth can be very unpredictable, and even the best laid plans do not always work out. If a midwife involved in a home birth acted negligently at any point during the birthing process, you may want to consider filing a medical malpractice claim.
In recent decades, the number of women who opt for home births has increased significantly. In fact, between 2004 and 2009, the number of home births in the United States increased by 29 percent. Despite this trend toward home births, they are still considered controversial. Things can and do go wrong during the delivery process and a midwife does not have access to the medical resources that are readily available in a hospital.
Types of Midwives
There are three types of midwives that may be present at a birth, including the following:
- Certified nursing midwife (CNM): These are actual trained nurses, most of whom work in hospitals. Most CNMs do not participate in home births because their liability insurance prohibits them from doing so. They must get recertified every three years.
- Certified professional midwife (CPM): This is the most common type of midwife. To become certified, they must have a high school diploma and complete either a midwifery school or an apprenticeship, along with a 350-question exam.
- Direct-entry midwife: These individuals do not have any medical training and are not certified. Anyone who wants to become a midwife can go this route, but it is not recommended.
Factors to Consider Before Having a Home Birth
Parents who are considering a home birth should consider the following factors before making their decision:
- High-risk pregnancy: If the pregnancy is high-risk, it is more likely that the mother or baby will need intense medical monitoring, medications, and physician intervention. The mother may also be more likely to need a cesarean section.
- Know your state laws: Research your state’s regulations regarding home births and midwives so that you are prepared.
- Research midwives’ backgrounds: Make sure your midwife has not been involved in previous malpractice lawsuits or home birth injuries. Find out whether the midwife has malpractice insurance.
- Have a backup plan: Find out what your midwife is legally allowed to bring in the event of an emergency, such as an oxygen tank, fetal monitoring equipment, or certain medications. Be prepared with a backup plan if your midwife is unable to provide these items.
Baltimore Medical Malpractice Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Protect Victims of Home Birth Injuries
If you or your baby was injured while under the care of a midwife, you are urged to contact the experienced Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. We will conduct a thorough examination of your case and determine whether your midwife was negligent in any way. Our dedicated team will secure the maximum financial compensation you deserve. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent medical malpractice victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.