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Legal status in MA

Legal status in MA

Currently on file in Massachusetts is An Act Relative to Certified Professional Midwives, known in the House as HB 2368 (sponsored by Representative Kahn), and in the Senate as SB 1133 (sponsored by Senator Richard Moore). The Bill met the deadline for the new legislative session and was submitted in January of 2011.

The purpose of this Bill is to create a Committee of Midwifery under the Board of Registration in Medicine that will set standards for the practice of out-of-hospital midwifery care in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Midwives practicing in such settings will be required to become licensed and regulated as Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs).

CPMs are the experts in out-of-hospital maternity care, as they are the only midwives in the United States required to undergo such specialized clinical training. The CPM credential is accredited by the National Commission of Certifying Agencies (ACCA) and is the same agency that accredits nurse practitioners and nurse-midwives. CPMs are authorized to practice in 27 States, with legislation currently pending in an additional 10 other States.

Currently, there is no oversight for the increasing number of out-of-hospital births occurring in our State. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts only regulates Certified Nurse Midwives (CNMs), who are trained to provide hospital based maternity care, as well as primary and well-woman care.

The passage of this Bill will ensure that all midwives practicing in out-of-hospital settings in Massachusetts be regulated, while also adopting the definition of midwifery as was created by the World Health Organization (WHO), setting standards of care, and improving access to maternity care for underserved populations. It is not in the scope of this Bill to provide CPMs with prescriptive authority, nor does it mandate insurance reimbursement for care given by a CPM.

Research has proven that low-risk women who give birth under the care of Certified Professional Midwives have outcomes equal to those of low-risk women giving birth in the hospital, but with far fewer costly interventions. This includes a five-fold decrease in cesarean deliveries! Babies born to women under the care of CPMs also experience significantly reduced rates of preterm birth and low birth weight - two of the primary contributing factors to infant mortality, racial and ethnic disparities in birth outcomes, and the high costs associated with long-term care.

Thank you for your interest! Please support us in our efforts to bring the Midwifery Model of Care to Massachusetts by calling your State Representatives and encouraging them to support our Bill, and continue checking this page for legislative updates as they occur!

For more information and links to other organizations please see the resources page on this web site.

Nisa on Martha's Vineyard

Nisa with son Theo after the birth