Lay midwives provide prenatal care and deliver babies outside of a traditional medical setting, such as in a birthing center or home. They may be affiliated with a doctor in case an emergency delivery occurs, but they are not supervised by a doctor.
Lay midwife training consists of an apprenticeship with an experienced midwife, workshops, and classes. Because a lay midwife does not have professional medical training and is not licensed or certified, he or she may have limited ability and technology for handling complications or sudden emergencies. Experience, training, and medical backup for emergencies are important factors to consider when contracting the services of a lay midwife.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise