Friday, December 03, 2010

Physician/midwife recommendations in central Illinois

A blog reader recently asked me for physician/midwife recommendations for a friend in central Illinois:
A friend of mine who lives in central Illinois (Shelbyville, about an hour from Springfield and an hour from Champagne) recently learned she is pregnant, and she's hoping for a "natural" birth. I don't know that she has a really specific idea of what she wants or is necessarily interested in home birth, though I don't think she's ruled that out either. In my experience, it seems more important to get the right provider than to have the right birth plan. I was wondering if you'd happen to know a "Dr. Wonderful" or any midwives in central IL.
I gave her a few suggestions (talk with local doulas, ask around at birth/mothering forums, etc). I'd also recommend visiting The Birth Survey.

Can anyone recommend specific providers in the Shelbyville IL area? If so, leave it in a comment or send me an email. Thanks!


  1. I live in Urbana/Champaign and have really enjoyed the midwives at the Carle Foundation Hospital. I switched to them at about 24 weeks after being unhappy with my first provider. Illinois doesn't allow for midwives to attend homebirths and birthing centers don't seem to exist except for maybe one or two outside the Chicago area.

    This is our first baby and I hadn't wanted to have him in a hospital, but like i said, the midwives at Carle have been really great. They are completely supportive of my hopes for a natural birth with no interventions. And with baby due in less than a week--I feel really good about labor and delivery.

    Here's a website where you can read more about midwifery in Illinois:

  2. A small correction, while Mandy is correct that CPMs are not legal in Illinois (though that may be changing), certified nurse midwives (CNMs) are legally allowed to attend home births. In fact, I'm currently pregnant and seeing a CNM home birth provider who practices in the Chicago area. Sadly, I don't see anyone practicing outside of the Chicagoland or Rockford areas.
    I wish the Shelbyville reader luck in finding a great practitioner!

  3. I used to work at Carle and the midwives there are awesome. However, that's a REALLY long drive from Shelbyville. I know that Springfield does have some good midwives and there's even a CPM who does homebirths I have heard about over that way but with the tricky legal issues, it's hard to find out contact info. I would ask on the Mothering local tribe forum for more input. :) As it is, unfortunately legislation has not passed yet for homebirth in this state. But many people do still do it if you want it. I know up in Peoria there is a legal CNM who does it, but that's still likely way too far.

  4. I just want to clarify that Illinois DOES allow for homebirth with CNMs, but that CPMs or direct entry midwives are alegal (meaning they're not illegal but there is no law regulating them). There are 4 or 5 wonderful CNMs practicing in the Chicago area and surrounding suburbs. You can find a list of Illinois midwives that serve the Shelbyville area at

    Also, you can check my blog about midwifery, childbirth, and natural parenting in Illinois at my blog

    Good Luck!

  5. Thanks for the suggestions. I'll send her a link to this post.

    Since I wrote Rixa, I've been talking with my friend and learned that she has a heart condition that, while unlikely to present serious problems, would likely risk her out of a home birth, even if the environment for home births were better in Illinois. (Also, her partner is not supportive of a home birth.) It did sound like she was willing to drive if that's what it takes to get good care.

  6. I grew up in that area and worked at one of the hospitals for a few years and just pretty much wanted to echo what everyone else was saying that there isn't much there. With two major hospitals and SIU Med School there they pretty much ran the midwives out.

    However, I do know two of the lactation consultants at the hospital I used to work at who are really great people, great LCs and doulas that might have some info for your friend.
    Sheila or Janet is who you would want to talk to. Even being in the Chicago area now the LCs I had at my hospital totally sucked....I went to visit my Mom and these ladies got things working for me. I cannot express the thanks and regard I hold for them.

  7. There are several homebirth CNMs practicing in the Peoria area. Here's the contact info for one of them

  8. Found your blog through a google search (I'm currently 27 weeks pregnant with #2 and searching for a midwife in Springfield, IL since I am relocating from Chicago next month). Curious what your friend from Shelbyville eventually decided on for care?

    1. I'm not sure who she ended up choosing, as it's a friend of a blog reader, not my friend personally. Good luck finding a midwife!


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