You got a license to deliver that baby?

November 4, 2011

” …two free-standing birth centers opened near my home within the past two years.”

Most pregnant women seek out a traditional, medical, model of care for their pregnancies and births, choosing a medical doctor or nurse as their provider and electing to birth in a hospital setting. But there has been a resurgence of women seeking out-of-hospital births, whether that be at a free-standing birth center or at home, often attended by what are known as direct-entry midwives, or sometimes, Certified Professional Midwives (C.P.M.).

Recently, two free-standing birth centers opened near my home. Healthy, low-risk pregnant women hope out-of-hospital birth can help them avoid unnecessary interventions and encourage drug-free labor and delivery. State laws vary regarding the practice and licensure of midwives practicing outside of the hospital setting.

On WestlawNext, click on “Secondary Sources” under  the “All Content” tab,  then “Law Reviews & Journals.” Run the following search within Law Reviews & Journals:


I receive 28 results with that search. Browse the headings for articles discussing the legal issues surrounding direct-entry midwifery.

Narrow these results to more recent articles, in the past 3 years, discussing home birth. In the box for “Search within Results” filter on the left, enter:


Then filter date for “Last 3 Years.”  Apply filters to find 5 articles mentioning home birth within the last 3 years.