Midwife Malpractice

A midwife is healthcare provider with specialized training in obstetrics.  While a midwife can have his or her own practice, most work within a hospital or in a doctor's office alongside an obstetrician or OBGYN.  There are nearly 7,000 practicing midwifes in the United States.  Approximately 5% of births in the United States are attended principally by a midwife.

There are two ways to become a midwife.  Direct-entry, meaning that the midwife has learned the trade through an apprenticeship (with a midwife or doctor) or community-based program that does not involve nursing (such as midwifery school).  Certified nurse midwives, on the other hand, are registered nurses who have secured midwife training and certification.

Many OBGYNs have at least one midwife in their practice so that they can care for more pregnant mothers and manage more deliveries.  Many patients are surprised when they go into labor and a midwife appears at the hospital in place of their doctor.  While this could be your delivery plan, studies indicate that a majority of pregnant mothers expect an OBGYN to be present for the baby's birth.  Depending upon the practice, the duties and responsibilities of a direct entry midwife or certified nurse midwife may include: disease prevention, oversight of general care for women before and after birth, family planning, gynecological examinations, prenatal care and providing support during labor and delivery.  Generally, midwives should not provide principal care for complicated deliveries because of the increased risk of injury to the baby, and potential for malpractice, such as a cephalohematoma from a labor complication, Erb's palsy due to a preventable shoulder dystocia or cerebral palsy due to prolonged hypoxia.  In situations where there is fetal distress, the knowledge and experience of an OBGYN may be necessary to avoid permanent injury to the baby.

The trial lawyers at Bottar Leone, PLLC, have decades of experience investigating, prosecuting and trying to verdict medical malpractice cases due to or arising out of midwife mistakes.  If you or your baby were injured while under the care of a direct entry midwife or certified nurse midwife, you and your family may be entitled to compensation for lifelong health care, medical expenses, medical bills, loss of income, and pain and suffering. 

To discuss your case or concerns with an experienced Central New York medical malpractice and birth injury attorney, contact us now at (315) 422-3466, (800) 336-LAWS, or by e-mail at info@bottarleone.com.