What's the difference? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 01-13-2014, 06:23 PM - Thread Starter
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  I was wondering if anyone could explain to me the difference between a Canadian, and an USA midwife?  Do the USA midwifes carry malpractice insurance?

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#2 of 4 Old 01-15-2014, 11:11 AM
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My understanding is that there's different types of US midwives (CNM, direct entry, lay-midwife). In Canada in order to be called a midwife you have to go to an accredited university and be licensed through your provincial college. Canadian midwives have set scopes of practice. 

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#3 of 4 Old 01-17-2014, 12:39 PM
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The US does not a have national certification for midwives who arent' CNM's. The laws vary by state. Certified Nurse Midwives (CNM's) generally work in hospitals with doctors and I imagine they would have malpractice insurance that way. I live in California and we have CPM's, Certified Professional Midwives. They are certified through the state board of nursing I believe. I don't know if they have malpractice insurance, but it seems like they would. In some states, it is illegal for midwives to attend homebirths so there is no recognized certification.

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#4 of 4 Old 01-26-2014, 01:29 PM
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Canadian Registered Midwives are legal and authorized to practice in all provinces.

American Nurse-Midwives are legal and authorized to practice in all states.

American Certified Professional Midwives are legally authorized to practice in 28 states.

"Other" (direct-entry, lay, etc) midwives - those who attend births but do not hold a credential - are allowed to practice in a handful of states.


The question: Do midwives in the US carry malpractice insurance? depends on many different factors - some states require malpractice insurance for CNMs and CPMs. Others do not.

Most of the time, a CNM employed in a hospital setting will be required to carry malpractice insurance either by state licensure or hospital policy.

Very few states that license CPMs require malpractice insurance. Florida is one state that I know of that has this requirement.


Most CPMs provide birth services in out-of-hospital settings: birth centers or homes. I am venturing a guess that most CPMs do not carry malpractice insurance. But that is just my guess.

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