Jill (Duggar) Dillard confused fans on Thursday when she shared a photo revealing that she helped deliver a baby this week. While many longtime Counting On fans know Dillard has worked under a midwife in the past — but many wondered Thursday whether or not she’s properly licensed.
The controversy unfolded in the comments section of her Instagram post, with both doubters and defenders coming out of the woodwork to get in on the conversation.
“She’s not licensed. Where you read that you have been misinformed,” one person wrote.
But others argued that she is indeed licensed, with one person saying, “She is licensed. They even posted a picture of it on their blog when she passed her exam to become a [certified professional midwife]. She went to school for it. They talked about it on the old TV show.”
Dillard did, indeed, show off her certifications from the North American Registry of Midwives on Instagram back in 2015 and linked to an update about her certification on the Dillard family blog.
According to the North American Registry of Midwives, “a Certified Professional Midwife’s (CPM) competency is established through training, education, and supervised clinical experience, followed by successful completion of a written examination.”
PEOPLE reports that a 2013 clip from the Duggar family’s since-canceled TLC show, 19 Kids and Counting, said Dillard spent two years training as a midwife and gathering over 3,000 hours under her belt.
“This is hands-on apprenticeship style,” she said in the clip. “So we are really getting in there and getting to experience what the midwifery and doula roles look like, hands-on.”
While Dillard is certified under the NARM, being a CPM is different than a certified nurse midwife (CNM), which requires a Bachelor’s degree, one year of nursing experience and three years in a nurse-midwifery program — something Dillard does not have.
In the 19 Kids and Counting clip, the midwife Jill was training under raved about the TLC star, calling her “amazing.”
“From the very first time that I had [Jill] in a birth room, she just soaked everything up,” she said. “I told her at that point that I wasn’t going to let her go — she had to be a midwife!”
But the woman Dillard practices under, Venessa Rose Giron, has her own share of controversy. Redbook reported that a woman whose birth was attended by Giron claims Giron’s negligence resulted in her child being born with cerebral palsy.
The mother, Arkansas woman Tiffany Nance, said she repeatedly begged Giron to call 911 during the birth, but Giron refused.
Some fans see Dillard’s training under Giron as controversial, as neither woman is listed as a licensed midwife with the state of Arkansas. (Giron’s was reportedly revoked after the state found her negligent in Jozzie’s birth.)
But not everyone is mistrusting in Dillard’s skills; her sister Joy-Anna (Duggar) Forsyth trusted her enough to have her assist in the birth of her son, Gideon, in February.
However, Forsyth’s labor had its complications, with her plans for a home birth derailing after she was rushed to the hospital for an emergency C-section.
Hours after going into labor, things weren’t progressing very quickly and Forsyth was quickly growing tired, moaning and whimpering to husband Austin, who was trying to keep her calm and breathing.
After 20 hours in labor, the midwife determined the baby was in the breech position, which can be dangerous for both the mother and the child. It was decided that the 20-year-old would have to be rushed into surgery for an emergency C-section.