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Inclusion of Direct Entry Midwives into Tricare Insurance coverage

This petition had 842 supporters

I am petitioning for Tricare (medical insurance provider for the U.S. Military) to include the use of Direct Entry Midwives as a covered birth option. The use of Midwives in low-risk pregnancies has statistically proven to decrease C-section rates, post-partum depression, and nursing problems. How a mother chooses to labor is a personal decision and not a decision that should be forced upon a mother by Tricare. Additionally, Midwife-attended births typically cost 1/3 as much as a hospital birth.

Currently, Tricare (the US military's medical insurance) only covers Hospital birth or Out Of Hospital (Home, Birth Center) with a Certified Nurse Midwife or Obstetrician. There are many other professional, fully trained Midwives who are very skilled in childbirth and caring for women during pregnancy. Direct Entry Midwives (DEMs), Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs) and Licensed Midwives (LMs) are highly trained medical professionals who are certified and/or licensed to care for the pregnant woman.

When a pregnant woman is comfortable with her care provider and surroundings, her labor tends to progress more smoothly and quickly. For some women, a hospital environment is an unacceptable place in which to labor and deliver a baby. While many would only trust an Obstetrician or Certified Nurse Midwife with her care, there are some women who would do better with options of a Direct Entry Midwife.

Comfort is not the only reason to put this movement through to completion: Out Of Hospital Births cost less than even the cheapest Hospital Births. In some areas, a standard Out Of Hospital Birth costs approximately $5,000, while a Hospital Birth costs no less than $10,000, and if any interventions are performed during the labor the cost goes up significantly. The U.S. Government pays for the costs of Tricare. So by cutting the costs of childbirth, our government stands to save money.

The limitation of coverage by Tricare puts further boundaries on families who are already bound by their military commitments to serve in all parts of the globe, away from family and close friends. If more options were available to Tricare Beneficiaries, it is certain that more Tricare Beneficiaries would take advantage of them and be happier with their circumstances.

Tricare Beneficiaries need to have Direct Entry Midwives as a covered birth option for low-risk pregnancies. By making this an option, mothers and babies will have better outcomes, mothers will have more satisfying births and the government will save money.


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