Last time, we began looking at the difference between C.P.M.s and C.N.M.s, two different types of midwives, particularly with regard to differences in their training. As we noted, 28 states currently allow C.P.M.s to practice, and the risk with this is that untrained midwives may not be competent to handle complicated deliveries.
Here in the state of New York, any individual who wishes to act in the capacity of a midwife must meet standardized licensing requirements, regardless of what midwife designation they have obtained. There are, first of all, general requirements. Then there are education and examination requirements. Among the general requirements are that a candidate must be at least 21 years of age and of good moral character.
In terms of education, midwife licensure requires a candidate to have earned a master’s degree or higher in the field of midwifery, or in an equivalent or alternatively qualifying field. Qualifying programs are generally supposed to include courses in biology, human development, chemistry, microbiology, psychology sociology, and other related fields, and should include instruction in subjects like neonatal care, family planning and gynecological care, nutrition, and pharmacology related to the practice of midwifery.
Because they are licensed professionals in New York, midwives may be subjected to disciplinary proceedings at the initiative of the Office of Professions’ Office of Professional Discipline. As regulated professionals, midwives may also be sued for professional negligence when they fail to abide by established standards of care. In our next post, we’ll speak a bit more about this subject and why it is important for those who have been harmed by a negligent midwife to work with an experienced attorney in seeking compensation.