After 20 years, women in Birmingham will again have the choice to select a nurse midwife for the delivery of their baby. Sheila Lopez was recently approved by Princeton Baptist to begin delivering babies.
Although lay midwives are illegal in the state of Alabama, nurse midwives are not. The main difference is that nurse midwives are trained and certified in medical practice, whereas lay midwives (not medically trained) may only have some practical experience and certification is not as clear nor as regulated.
The value in having a midwife who is also a medical professional is obviously clear. In the case of an unexpected complication, a medical professional is well acquainted with what needs to be done and can begin taking the best medically recommended steps.