The costs associated with medical care in the United States have continued remained high, even with the changes implemented by the Affordable Care Act. One example is the cost associated with the birth of a baby. According to recent data, the cost for an uninsured woman to delivery a baby vaginally in the United States is just under $11,000. For insured women, the cost drops to just under $5,000 – not a small amount either. If a caesarian section is required, that cost increases. Even with insurance, the costs can be nearly prohibitive.
Midwives are Gaining in Popularity
With those cost increases, many families have begun to examine other options for childbirth. One of the more popular options among families looking to reduce costs is the use of a midwife. A midwife is a healthcare provider that is trained in the delivery of children in low-risk pregnancy and birth situations. Most midwives provide in-home birth services along with pre- and postnatal care, but some are also able to perform deliveries at home. The practice of midwifery has been around for centuries, but the popularity declined with advances in medical care and delivery practices. The average cost for midwife services related to childbirth is $3,000, and their popularity has taken off in recent years.
Lack of Consistent Regulatory Framework Can Raise Concerns
Even though midwives are involved in all aspects of pregnancy, delivery, and postnatal care, not all states require midwives to be licensed nurses. This has raised concerns in many cases involving stillborn children and mothers who suffer injuries during childbirth when the attending midwife had no nursing background. The question is: did the midwife fail to recognize the need to enlist the help of licensed medical professionals because of his or her lack of medical training?
“Without consistent regulations and requirements, individuals lacking formal medical training can place themselves into positions where they may be unable to recognize the need for certain types of intervention,” said John H. Fisher, a Birth Injury Attorney with the law firm of John H. Fisher, P.C.
Given the growth in the number of individuals seeking to use midwives for in-home pregnancies, it seems clear that licensing requirements should be consistent, and should require some sort of medical background. These requirements would benefit both midwives and pregnant women: midwives would be able to receive the licensing and recognition owed for the training and experience most of them offer, while pregnant women can feel comfortable that the individual helping delivery their baby has the medical training necessary to identify when circumstances have changed and more serious medical intervention is necessary.
Was Your Child Injured at Birth?
If you or a loved one have a child that you believe was injured at birth due to the negligence of a midwife, contact a Birth Injury Attorney immediately. Not all states require midwives to carry malpractice insurance, which means that the assets available to fund any long-term care that your child may need could be limited and could “disappear” if the threat of a lawsuit exists. Hiring an experienced Birth Injury Attorney will ensure that your rights, and the rights of your child are protected and that they receive the compensation they are entitled to.