An Evansville woman is facing charges after police say her actions as an illegal midwife possibly led to the death of a newborn.
State police say practicing midwifery without a license is a class D felony. 14 News talked with Detective Toni Walden with Indiana State Police who tells us situations like this are uncommon in this area.
"Several hours after the birth, the child ended up having breathing difficulties," says Det. Walden.
Walden says 64-year-old Alice Gates delivered a baby in rural Posey County in December 2012. She says when the infant's parents noticed those breathing difficulties, Gates told them she didn't think the problem was severe and that they could monitor the baby at home or go to the hospital.
Hours later, parents noticed the baby wasn't breathing and called an ambulance, but the infant couldn't be revived.
"Just hearing that they used a midwife, I asked them in the midwife was certified or licensed in any way," says Walden. "They had assumed that she was."
State Police say Gates was not licensed and she was arrested at her Middle Mt. Vernon Rd. home in Evansville Friday morning.
"We do not know there are other mothers that received her care for prenatal care," says Walden.
Det. Walden says in order to be a midwife in Indiana, a person must be a registered nurse, have a masters degree in midwifery, and be certified through the state.
"Just do your research," says Walden to those looking for midwife services. "You can research anyone's name and check their certifications with the state board of health."
14 News reached out to Gates and she hasn't returned our calls. Det. Walden says it's easy to check names and see if midwives or other people in the medical profession are properly licensed.
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