Shoals midwife discusses new Alabama law - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Shoals midwife discusses new Alabama law

(Source: WAFF) (Source: WAFF)
(Source: WAFF) (Source: WAFF)

A bill signed by Gov. Kay Ivey on Wednesday allows midwives in Alabama to assist in delivering babies at home. It's a first in 40 years.

READ MORE: Gov. Ivey signs midwives bill into law

For 10 years, Tori Dennis delivered more than 500 babies as a midwife but had to travel to Mississippi or Tennessee.

"I would travel a radius of up to two hours, and so I was gone from my family a great deal." she said.

Dennis has worked with the Amish, had her own midwife practice and as a nurse in the hospital.

"When I was at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, it was very normal to have midwives, but when I came here I was very surprised with the state law," she said.

When she does go out to assist in a birth, she has to carry all the tools she'll possibly need.

"I truly believe she needs to have good nutrition and be very low risk to use a midwife," Dennis said.

Dennis believes midwives will need to collaborate closely with area hospitals. She said midwives do much more than deliver the babies, like postpartum and help mothers with any further care.

"Obstetricians don't have time to do that and that's not their scope of practice, and they are so busy and so many other things to do, but by integrating midwives into the system, we can do things like that could really help decrease the infant mortality rate, and in Alabama it's very high," she said.

The law establishes a state board of midwifery that will license and regulate midwifes.

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