- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 22, 2019

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - The state of Alabama has issued its first licenses to out-of-hospital midwives since 1976.

Al.com reports the newly-formed Alabama State Board of Midwifery on Friday approved the licensing of five certified professional midwives. It’s illegal to practice unlicensed midwifery in Alabama, and for decades, the lack of licensing effectively outlawed lay midwifery in the state.

State lawmakers voted in 2017 to legalize midwifery, and the State Board of Midwifery began accepting license applications last year. Board member Kaycee Cavender says she’s been pleasantly surprised at the number of licensing applicants.

Certified professional midwives differ from certified nurse midwives, which are registered nurses who work in hospitals and medical clinics. Certified professional midwives are accredited through a testing and apprenticeship process and can attend low-risk births in out-of-hospital settings.

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Information from: The Birmingham News, http://www.al.com/birminghamnews

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