Mary Carol Akers looks in the trunk of her car before she leaves for work to make sure she has all the necessary tools for her job.
"You can see the oxygen tank, medications. I've got catheter kits and IVs, anything mother and baby might need," she says.
Akers makes a lot of house calls. She is a certified midwife serving Hardin and surrounding counties in central Kentucky. The retired Army lieutenant colonel has delivered babies at military hospitals throughout the world, and over the course of her career, she estimates she has delivered six thousand babies.
In the car with Akers on her way to a house call, she explains why some women choose not to give birth at a hospital.
"I think that one of the things about birth centers and midwifery is high touch and low tech, and high touch and low tech require a lot more work than putting them on the monitor and going to the desk to watch it from there," explains Akers. "I've also seen women go to the hospital with a birth plan in mind and be bullied out of it."
A certified nurse midwife in central Kentucky has applied to open the first alternative birthing center in the state.
Mary Carol Akers told The News Enterprise that she thinks women in Kentucky should have more birthing options and has applied to the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family for a certificate of need in order to build and operate the Visitation Birth and Family Wellness Center in Elizabethtown.
The certificate is required to safeguard against having too many health care facilities.
Cabinet spokeswoman Beth Fisher says there are no other alternative birthing centers licensed in the state.
"I want you to know that women deserve another option," Akers said.