Midwives provide maternity care to expectant mothers. While they offer a valuable alternative to traditional hospital births, there’s always a risk of something going wrong. What happens if you or your child were injured during birth? Can you sue a midwife for medical malpractice?

Types of midwives

In Ohio, the practice of midwifery is subject to specific regulations and licensing requirements, which vary by type:

  • Certified Nurse Midwives (CNM): CNMs are the only legally-enabled professional midwives in Ohio. They must meet specific requirements, including licensure as advanced practice nurses, and are eligible for Medicaid reimbursement.
  • Certified Midwife (CM): Unlike other states, Ohio does not define CMs, which typically involve graduate degrees in midwifery. The absence of nursing credentials sets them apart from CNMs. At this time, CMs are limited to practice in Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Rhode Island and Virginia.
  • Certified Professional Midwife (CPM): CPMs have a different educational background. They often lack graduate degrees in midwifery but still have specific regulatory requirements.

Ohio’s approach to midwifery leans more toward institutional care, rather than collaboration with independent midwives. Unlike some states, Ohio does not allow midwives, including CNMs, to practice without physician oversight.

Midwives and medical malpractice

For a successful medical malpractice claim, a plaintiff needs to prove several key elements:

  • Duty of care: The plaintiff must establish that a provider-patient relationship existed, and the healthcare provider owed a duty of care to the patient.
  • Breach: Next, plaintiff must show that the healthcare provider breached the standard of care. This involves showing that the provider’s actions or omissions deviated from the accepted medical standard of care that other competent healthcare professionals would have followed in similar circumstances. In midwife medical malpractice claims, the plaintiff would have to show that the CNM—the only type of midwife allowed to practice in Ohio—deviated from midwifery standards.
  • Causation: The plaintiff must establish a link between the breach of duty and the harm suffered. In other words, the healthcare provider’s actions or negligence directly caused the patient’s injuries, or worsened their condition.
  • Damages: Finally, a plaintiff must show that they suffered actual harm. These damages can include physical injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and other losses related to the malpractice.

Because a midwife’s classification, education and qualifications can affect your claim, it’s important to call the Law Offices of Tim Misny as soon as possible. We’ll evaluate your case and let you know whether there’s legal recourse against your negligent midwife.

Discuss your case with an Ohio medical malpractice lawyer

The Law Offices of Tim Misny can review your medical malpractice midwifery case. When you’re the victim of negligence or recklessness, I’ll Make Them Pay!® Call my office at (877) 614-9524 so that I can evaluate your case right away.

Birth Injury