Support the Massachusetts Midwifery Bill
  • Petitioned Massachusetts State House

This petition was delivered to:

Massachusetts State House
Massachusetts State Senate

Support the Massachusetts Midwifery Bill

    1. Petition by

      Mass Midwives Alliance

This petition is sponsored by the Massachusetts Midwives Alliance and the Massachusetts Friends of Midwives.

Home births are growing in popularity and are on the rise in Massachusetts, and yet there are no state licensing requirements nor is there regulatory oversight for midwives practicing in out-of-hospital settings. This bill, "An Act Relative to Certified Professional Midwives," HB 2008 and SB 1081, co-sponsored by Representative Kay Khan and Senator Richard Moore, will create state oversight of Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs), experts in out-of-hospital care.

According to the CDC, home births in Massachusetts grew by 34% between 2004 and 2009. This bill helps ensure accountability and a consistent high standard of practice for all midwives in Massachusetts. The bill will help make available the full range of midwifery care and access as defined by the World Health Organization by improving the ability of families across the Commonwealth to safely take advantage of their right to choose the type and location of their maternity care.  

At present, the Commonwealth regulates only Certified Nurse Midwives (CNMs). There is no state oversight of Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs), who provide out-of-hospital care to approximately 500 women and their families across the state each calendar year, a number that is growing annually. CPMs are authorized to practice in 27 states, with legislation currently pending in 10 more. 

A 2005 study in the British Medical Journal shows that low-risk women who gave birth under the care of Certified Professional Midwives had outcomes equal to those of low-risk women who gave birth in the hospital, but with far fewer costly interventions, including a rate of cesarean surgeries one-fifth that of comparable women. In addition, babies born to women under the care of CPMs experience significantly lower rates of preterm birth and low birth weight, two of the primary contributing factors to the high costs associated with long-term care.

Certified Professional Midwives CPMs are the only midwives in the United States required to undergo specialized clinical training in the provision of out-of-hospital maternity care. The CPM credential is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), the same agency that accredits the certification for nurse practitioners and nurse midwives. There are approximately 2,000 CPMs in the United States, with a growth trend of 10% per annum.

This bill would not give CPMs prescriptive authority, nor would it mandate insurance reimbursement.

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Reached 500 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

      • 7 months ago

      I believe parents should have the right to decide where to give birth to their children knowing that the person who is assisting the birth is certified and meets state licensing requirements. I believe that all people should have the option of homebirth, if it is right for their family, and that by choosing a homebirth they are protected by the knowledge that it will be safe and monitored through a state sanctioned credentialing process.

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    • Devon Salvin MEDIA, PA
      • 7 months ago

      Midwives are extremely important. I am a future midwife and we need to stand together!!!

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    • Colleen Arria QUINCY, MA
      • 8 months ago

      I believe families have a right to choose what prenatal, birth and postpartum care is best for them. Midwifery care provides proven quality care and an option to families who are interested in options outside of the medical industry.

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    • Margaret Nokes HYDE PARK, MA
      • 8 months ago

      My son was born in a birthing center under the care of CNMs, and the center was closed. My daughter was born at home. My options for pregnancy care and for the birth of my daughter were limited - I was forced to choose between two extremes. I clearly made the right choice for myself and my children, but I needed and deserved more options, as do all women. The true health (not just "mortality rate") of women and babies depends on this bill.

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    • Makeda Wallace BOSTON, MA
      • 8 months ago

      It's important to me because the health of our future babies is critical and something extremely important to care about. Midwives provide support and care that not all hospitals can provide.

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