Jill Duggar Dillard and the Duggar family say she is a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM), but a prominent obstetrician gynecologist calls her a counterfeit. Dr. Amy Tuteur, a former clinical instructor at Harvard Medical School, published a scathing critique of Jill’s claims to be a midwife on Tuesday.
“Jill Duggar Dillard did not become a midwife. She became a counterfeit midwife. She was awarded an ersatz credential (CPM, Certified Professional Midwife) designed to fool the public into believing that lay people who can’t be bothered (or can’t hack) the education and training needed to become a real midwife are ‘midwives’ nonetheless. The CPM really means ‘counterfeit professional midwife.’ “
Jill Duggar’s husband, Derick Dillard, revealed that his wife received her CPM on September 16 after taking an exam. A congratulatory banner was hung on the front door of the Duggar family home of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar.
Previously, Jill had disclosed that her courses for the certificate were all taken online through a “distance-learning midwifery training program in Texas.” Unlike her sister Jessa, Jill received a GED after years of homeschooling, but she has never attended college. The online coursework she took for her certification was not from an accredited college or university.
As Dr. Tuteur describes, the lack of proper medical training can lead to fatalities of both mothers and babies during childbirth. Jill Duggar ran into severe complications herself during the attempted home birth of her first child on April 6. She didn’t realize, after 70 hours of labor, that her baby was in the wrong position for a normal birth. She finally presented at a hospital, where doctors discovered signs of fetal distress. They performed an emergency Cesarean section and saved the life of Jill and her baby, Israel David Dillard.
Jill has previously displayed an aversion to even simple medical procedures. During an episode of the defunct Duggar reality TV show 19 Kids and Counting, titled “Duggars Dig In,” Jill cried while making a blood donation. When the Duggar family was donating blood to assist Jill’s sister, Josie, who was born prematurely in 2009, sister Jana was concerned that the 18-year-old Jill might not be able to do that.
“I thought Jill was going to have the hardest time because she’s always been afraid of needles. Jill was terrified and asked to hold on to someone’s hand.”
Jill Duggar’s husband, Derick, claims that her midwife certificate “will be especially helpful on the mission field,” but offers no further explanation about Jill’s intent. The couple has come under fire for solicitation of funds and lack of disclosure for their personal non-profit’s missionary work in Central America. Since the two set up their organization, Dillard Family Ministries, three months ago, they have spent more time in the U.S. than in Central America.
When last in Central America, Jill and Derick were studying Spanish for two weeks in Guatemala, a country where professional missionaries and healthcare providers also converse in one of several Mayan languages. The Dillards also took Jill’s sister, Joy-Anna, and her friend, Carlin Bates, on that trip to Antigua, a popular tourist city.
Though Derick has not disclosed how Jill will use her midwife certificate in Central America, it is of note that Honduras and Guatemala provide free prenatal care and childbirth assistance to women in those countries. In Honduras, the free public hospitals only allow their staffs of medical professionals to be present during delivery; they do not allow midwives, family members, labor coaches, or anyone else to attend births.
Dr. Tuteur states that Jill Duggar’s CPM designation is “not a medical credential.” She also states that it is confusing to the public and is a “ploy.” If that credential dupes Americans, how much more so will it deceive people in Central America? Time will tell, but risking the lives of women and children in foreign countries may not be viewed as “missionary work” by people sending money to the Dillard’s non-profit ministry. Perhaps Jill Dillard, her husband, and the Duggar family should raise funds to build hospitals instead.
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[Intro photo from TLC]