Midwives Want Del. State Regulations Changed - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Midwives Want Del. State Regulations Changed

Posted: Updated:
(Photo: CBS) (Photo: CBS)

DOVER, Del. (WBOC)- Midwives are asking Delaware to change its rules on their profession. The midwives say right now it is nearly impossible for even fully-certified midwives to help an expecting mother through an at-home, no-doctor birth.

Susan DiNatale is a midwife in Dover - a midwife who says she isn't actually allowed to do that job.

"I got a phone call from a young woman last week who said that if she can't have a midwife, then she and her husband are going to do it themselves. And it broke my heart," she said.

State regulations require a midwife to have a "collaborative agreement" with a licensed obstetrician. The midwives want the rule removed.

"No obstetrician will sign a written collaborative agreement," said Lori Serabo, who lives in Elkton, Md. "You can't get a permit to work, because nobody is willing to back up the midwife. There is one midwife licensed in the state, but she can only attend the Amish and Mennonite."

Dr. Robert Hartmann's practice is the one that has the collaborative agreement with that one midwife. He says it's a good relationship.

But he would not have a collaborative agreement with a midwife working with the general population. He says a doctor is essential, especially when there's an issue for the baby or mom.

"She's got a medical problem requiring a little bit more knowledge. That's when she needs me. But you can't predict who that will happen to."

Plus, Dr. Hartmann says doctors worry about being held liable if they enter into an agreement with a midwife and something happens.

"It's a giant concern," he said. "Society is litigious."

"They're not liable," said Serabo. "It's a myth of implied liability."

Hartmann says he wouldn't want to be the test case on that.

Still, DiNatale would like collaborative agreements eliminated. She says in the end this isn't just about the midwives and the doctors. It's about the parents-to-be.

"They want to do it their way," said DiNatale. "We just want to support that choice."

The Delaware Department of Public Health sent WBOC a statement supporting the practice of midwifery but also affirming the importance of the collaborative agreement system currently in place.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Wicomico County Health Officials Report Possible Whooping Cough Exposure

    Wicomico County Health Officials Report Possible Whooping Cough Exposure

    07/21/2017 15:00:00 -04:002017-07-21 19:00:00 GMT
    Friday, July 21 2017 3:00 PM EDT2017-07-21 19:00:44 GMT
    SALISBURY, MD -- The Wicomico County Health Department are investigating the possible exposure to pertussis, also known as “whooping cough”, of children who attended a vacation bible school.More
    SALISBURY, MD -- The Wicomico County Health Department are investigating the possible exposure to pertussis, also known as “whooping cough”, of children who attended a vacation bible school.More
  • Police Looking for Man Involved in Assault in Milford

    Police Looking for Man Involved in Assault in Milford

    Friday, July 21 2017 3:08 PM EDT2017-07-21 19:08:10 GMT
    Friday, July 21 2017 3:08 PM EDT2017-07-21 19:08:10 GMT
    A Dover woman was arrested after providing officers with a fake name.A Dover woman was arrested after providing officers with a fake name.
    MILFORD, De.-- The Milford Police Department is turning to the public to ask for assistance in locating a man involved in an assault. A warrant is out for Huber Velasquez-Rodriguez of Milford. Police say the 36-year-old was involved in a domestic reMore
    MILFORD, De.-- The Milford Police Department is turning to the public to ask for assistance in locating a man involved in an assault. A warrant is out for Huber Velasquez-Rodriguez of Milford. Police say the 36-year-old was involved in a domestic reMore
  • Cambridge Welcomes Home Gloria Richardson Dandridge

    Cambridge Welcomes Home Gloria Richardson Dandridge

    07/21/2017 22:16:00 -04:002017-07-22 02:16:00 GMT
    Friday, July 21 2017 10:27 PM EDT2017-07-22 02:27:21 GMT
    Gloria Richardson Dandridge - the woman who led the Cambridge Civil Rights Movement - finally came back home.More
    Gloria Richardson Dandridge - the woman who led the Cambridge Civil Rights Movement - finally came back home.More
Powered by Frankly

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices