A new Indiana law allows for a dozen state-certified direct entry midwives who can assist in home births.
The Journal Gazette reports that Indiana’s new direct entry midwife certification is aimed more at home births and making it legal for some who were already doing so. Previously, only a registered nurse could practice midwifery, though most of Indiana’s 187 nurse midwives work out of a hospital.
Adams County Prosecutor Jeremy Brown says he began looking at the issue after law enforcement expressed worry about injuries and deaths occurring at home births with unlicensed midwives.
Certified direct entry midwives must be at least 21 and meet certain educational requirements.
Medical and legal professionals hope the new certification gives Indiana’s expectant mothers another safe, legal option other than a hospital setting.