While giving birth at a hospital is the best option for many families, more and more people are choosing to deliver children at home or in a location other than a medical facility. Trained midwives can provide essential care during home births. However, the state of Illinois has not recognized midwives as a licensed profession. That will soon be changing due to the passage of the Certified Professional Midwives Practice Act in 2021. Starting in 2022, midwives will be able to obtain professional licensing that will allow them to provide care before, during, and after out-of-hospital deliveries.
To ensure that they can receive the proper licenses, midwives will need to meet certain requirements, and they may need to address disciplinary issues, malpractice claims, or other concerns that will affect their ability to practice. The attorneys of Williams & Nickl, LLC have a strong understanding of the laws and legal issues that will affect these licenses, as well as extensive experience addressing medical and professional licensing concerns with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR). We can help midwives meet their licensing requirements and ensure that they will be able to provide services in Illinois.
Certified professional midwives will be able to provide multiple forms of care. In addition to assisting with childbirth, they may provide supervision, education, and advice before and during pregnancy, including assisting with family planning and “well-woman” care such as performing Pap smears to test for cervical cancer or screening for sexually transmitted infections. They may also provide education, assistance, and care following a child’s birth, such as by assisting with breastfeeding.
To be licensed as a certified professional midwife, a person will need to complete an education and training program certified by the Midwifery Education and Accreditation Council (MEAC). Midwives who had been certified after completing a non-accredited educational program prior to January 1, 2022 can obtain a Midwifery Bridge Certificate issued by the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM) in order to obtain a license in Illinois. A midwife must also be at least 21 years old, they must have graduated from high school or completed equivalent education, and they must have CPR certification, including completing a neonatal resuscitation program within the past two years.
A midwife who applies for a professional license may be disqualified if there are any factors that could potentially lead to disciplinary action. These include:
Illinois will begin issuing certified professional midwife licenses on October 1, 2022. However, midwives who have completed their educational requirements may begin the license application process before that date. Williams & Nickl, LLC can assist with midwife license applications, including addressing any disciplinary concerns or other issues that may affect a person’s ability to obtain a license and practice midwifery in Illinois. With our knowledge of the procedures followed by the IDFPR and our experience helping healthcare providers resolve disciplinary matters and other licensing issues, we can help midwives successfully obtain the necessary licenses. To arrange a free consultation and learn how we can assist you, contact our office today at 312-335-9470.