Illinois will soon join over 35 other states by allowing midwives to become a licensed profession. Regarding the new legislation, Governor Pritzker says that it will ensure “safe home births for every mother who chooses to deliver out-of-hospital – another step forward advancing health equity in communities across our state.”
Currently, Illinois law only allows for the certification of nurse-midwives – meaning that the only midwives who are legally able to provide obstetric and gynecological care in Illinois (which includes prenatal, delivery, and postnatal care) are those that have earned a nursing degree.
Beginning on October 1, 2022, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) will begin to offer the opportunity for certified midwives, including those who do not hold a nursing degree, to apply for state-licensure and become able to provide obstetric and gynecological care in Illinois.
In order to become a licensed certified professional midwife, the applicant must meet certain requirements outlined in the new legislation. For instance, midwives who have not already been certified for at least three years will be required to complete a course approved by the Midwife Education and Accreditation Council and be certified with the North American Registry of Midwives. In addition, midwives will also be required to undergo training in neonatal and cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
While this recent change opens up great opportunities for many individuals in Illinois, it also creates new situations in which midwives may be forced to interact with the IDFPR or other agencies who will have regulations in place to oversee the practice of midwifery.
For additional information to see if you may be eligible to become a licensed certified professional midwife, or for assistance with licensure applications or defense, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at Crick Walanka Law Group.