Charleston, W.Va. (AP) -- West Virginia has just five midwives who aren't also at least nurses, and state officials say creating a licensing standard for them isn't worth the cost.
These lay midwives have asked the Legislature to create a regulatory board for certified professional midwives. Besides setting practice standards, they say licensing would help them get insurance.
But a legislative audit released Tuesday recommends against the move.
It says that the five known midwives attended just 14 births a year on average between 2002 and 2006.
Several legislators who are also physicians or nurses expressed doubts about the proposal during this week's interim session.
Lay midwives say they'll continue their efforts. They unsuccessfully pushed for state recognition in the early 1990s.
(Copyright 2008 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.)