Date of Award

Spring 5-11-2012

Degree Type

Honors College Thesis


Anthropology and Sociology

First Advisor

Amy Chasteen Miller

Advisor Department

Anthropology and Sociology


The current state-by-state system of midwifery regulation—or lack thereof—has made the issue a subject of debate amongst policy-makers, community-members, and healthcare providers as a whole. In Mississippi, the practice of midwifery is, at present, legal but unregulated, meaning there is no protocol for licensure, certification, or registration. In 2011, a bill that sought to require all non-nurse midwives in the state to become Certified Professional Midwives through the North American Registry of Midwives or a successor organization was proposed. Though the legislation passed the House of Representatives, it was never signed into law. This bill, along with past and current analogues of it, has led many to take sides as supporters or non-supporters of midwifery as well as supporters or non-supporters of varying degrees of regulation. As such, this project seeks specifically to examine healthcare professionals’ opinions regarding midwifery by analyzing data collected through both questionnaires and semi-structured interviews. Emergent themes this paper explores include: a general lack of familiarity and understanding regarding the practice of midwifery, the many facets of fear associated with pregnancy and childbirth, culture-specific influences on maternity care, and ideal regulations that could potentially pave the way for varying degrees of collaboration.

Included in

Sociology Commons