Michigan Now Requires Midwives to Have Licenses

The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs is now requiring professional midwives to have a license.

LARA began accepting applications on May 6.

Those applications can be filled out online.

With the recent closure of the OB Unit at Munson Healthcare Manistee Hospital, some expecting mothers are turning to midwives.

One midwife says this new licensing requirement is a good thing.

“It’s a huge move forward. It’s a huge move towards safety for women,” said Jennifer Cameron, a certified nurse midwife at Transitions in Manistee.

As a nurse midwife she won’t need a new license, however certified professional midwives will starting August 1.

She says the ones she works with are happy about this.

“They’re hopeful that the women that are practicing that maybe aren’t following standards or perhaps aren’t providing safe care, will now have to do that or be forced out of practice,” said Cameron.

Cameron says with the closure of the Manistee OB Unit, safety is crucial in OB care in a non-hospital setting.

“The safety for women who choose home births will be greatly increased because of licensure,” said Cameron.

With fewer options for pregnant women in Manistee, Transitions is getting more patients coming in and even adding on a new labor and birth suite to accommodate.

“The care and compassion, you don’t feel like another like name on a chart. You feel like you belong here and they care,” said Alexis Olson, who is expected to birth her little girl at Transitions any day now.

Olson was a patient at the OB unit at Munson but turned to Cameron when they closed their doors.

“I was kind of being seen there during the tail end of everything so it was kind of you need to find someone else and I also wanted that personal effect,” said Olson.

Cameron says using a midwife is for low-risk, healthy women.

“We promote physiological birth. We help women maintain their health and understand the process and were with them side by side through the whole thing,” said Cameron.