Can a Midwife be Held Responsible for a Birth Injury Like Erb’s Palsy?

Although hospitals and doctors are responsible for most baby deliveries in America, millions of Americans each year put their faith into midwives for both hospital and home births. Midwives are a popular alternative as they add a personal touch before, during, and after the mother gives birth, allowing for a more personalized birth plan and a more spiritual and empowering spin on childbirth that many mothers-to-be appreciate. They provide additional helpings of moral support and empathy; however, these qualities are not entirely helpful if the midwife is not medically-trained and causes an injury like Erb’s palsy while performing a home birth. 

At Gershon, Willoughby, & Getz, LLC, our Baltimore birth injury lawyers have extensive training and knowledge in the medical field and have won compensation for countless families with medical malpractice and birth injuries cases, many of which involve midwives.

What is a Midwife? 

A midwife is a health professional trained to help women throughout the childbirth process. Midwives are the alternatives to doctors and nurses in hospitals, and, just like medical professionals, they can usually be held responsible for birth injuries sustained in their care. 

There are two types of midwives in the United States: 

  • Certified Nurse Midwives (CNMs) are trained nurses who usually work out of hospitals and rarely perform home births because their liability insurance prohibits that service. 
  • Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs) is the most common midwife designation in America. CPMs do not need medical degrees for registration. 

Midwife Malpractice

One of the most commonly-occurring birth injuries in the U.S. is Erb’s palsy. This condition is caused most frequently during delivery when the midwife or doctor accidentally stretches the newborn’s head too far to one side, damaging or tearing vital nerves. Erb’s palsy can temporarily or permanently disrupt the baby’s ability to move his or her arm, neck, or shoulder, as well as cause pain and numbness in those areas. There are four categories for varying severities of the injury. We explain each of these categories and the long-term effects of this condition in this recent blog post.

When certified midwives act negligently while delivering babies and cause Erb’s palsy or another birth injury, it is possible for them to face malpractice charges because of their carelessness. 

If your midwife was negligent during the delivery process and you suspect that your child has developed a birth injury as a result, call the cerebral palsy lawyers in Baltimore at Gershon, Willoughby, & Getz, LLC today for a free consultation!

Posted in Blog, Uncategorized.