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  • Writer's pictureWai + Tori

Providers who offer an Out-of-Hospital Experience

Baby in a crib playing with his crib mobile; out of hospital birth, midwifery, doula, homebirth, birth center birth

Want an out-of-hospital birth but not sure what providers offer this option? Hopefully, this list of providers can help to calm your mind and anxiety knowing that you are making the right decision for yourself and your family. All any mother wants is to have a healthy baby, a safe birthing environment, and a wonderful birthing experience. The following list of providers is en from 'The Essential Homebirth Guide: For Families Planning or Considering Birthing at Home' book.

Direct-Entry Midwife (DEM)

A DEM has a wide range of training and experience that lends to her abilities and safety in practice. She may or may not have attended midwifery school but will have acted as a midwife's apprentice for a period of one to three years or longer. She may or may not have credentials or a license to practice midwifery issued by her state. These credentials may not even be available in her state. To understand who she is and how she practices, you will need to interview her and speak with other women she has worked with. DEMs can be ququalifiedas credentiale, licensed midwives. These women are trained on the front lines and often focus on self-directed learning within the context of a clinical experience. DEMs also work with healthy birthing mothers and attend homebirths. And are typically paid in cash.

Certified Professional Midwife (CPM)

A CPM is a midwife who is credentialed by the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM). The NARM verifies that her education and skills are of a certain standard of competency. CPMs have a minimum of three years of midwifery-based education or its equivalent and at least one year of apprenticeship with a qualified midwife. In some states, a CPM qualifies a midwife for licensure while in others she must pass additional exams and take additional training. CPMs typically work with healthy birthing mothers and attend homebirths or freestanding birth center births. They may accept cash and or insurance, depending on state rules. Credential:

Licensed Midwife (LM)

LMs are normally CPMs who has applied for and undergone the testing or other requirements of her state in order to practice midwifery there. LMs typically work with healthy birthing mothers and attend homebirths or births at a freestanding birthing center. LMs may accept insurance depending on state rules.

Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM)

A CNM is a registered nurse (RN) who has a master's degree in midwifery. Because she is credentialed to work in a hospital, she can often provide care for a woman who is high risk and therefore not considered a good fit for home birth. CNMs also work with women who want midwifery care with a hospital birth. Many CNMs will work with birthing women at their homes or in a hospital setting, although some do not attend homebirth either because they choose not to or because they are not allowed due to malpractice insurance regulations or state regulations. Some attend births in freestanding birth centers and typically accept insurance.

Physicians: Chiropractic, Family Practice, Naturopathic, Obstetric, and Osteopathic Doctors

A Chiropractor, Naturopath, OR osteopathic physician may have additional training in homebirth. These practitioners work with healthy birthing mothers in their homes or in freestanding birth centers. There are obstetricians and family practice MDs who do home births in certain communities.

Drichta, J. E., Owen, J., & Northrup, C. (2013a). The Essential Homebirth Guide: For Families Planning or Considering Birthing at Home (Original ed.). Gallery Books.

Learn More about what questions to ask a homebirth provider here


The Essential Homebirth Guide: For Families Planning or Considering Birthing at Home

Homebirth: The Essential Guide to Giving Birth Outside of the Hospital

The Homebirth Handbook: How to Have Your Baby Calmly and Safely at Home

Home Birth On Your Own Terms: A How To Guide For Birthing Unassisted


Learn more about Midwifery:

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