Big Push for Midwives Kicks Off a National Campaign

By Christine |

A national campaign to increase access to legal midwifery care launched last week with the hope of introducing and passing legislation to license certified professional midwives in all 50 states and D.C.

The Big Push for Midwives is a project of the National Birth Policy Coalition (NBPC), which has coalesced around the following organizing statement:

Increasing access to the Midwives Model of Care in all settings is essential to the health and well-being of childbearing women and their babies. The National Birth Policy Coalition supports legislative initiatives that promote the autonomous practice of Certified Professional Midwives and Certified Nurse-Midwives, and that ensure the availability of safe, evidence-based care during pregnancy, labor, birth and postpartum.

The campaign’s website identifies 20 states that are either introducing legislation or have legislation in the planning stages. Links to organizations working in each state are featured.

In addition to serving as a clearinghouse for legal information, the website also addresses basic questions, such as defining what a certified professional midwife is and explaining the midwives model of care.

Our Bodies Ourselves is a supporter of The Big Push. “This is the perfect time to insist that women in all communities have access to the option of midwifery care,” said Executive Director Judy Norsigian. “This would lower the number of unnecessary cesareans and enable many more women to enjoy the benefits of active support during labor and birth.”

Plus: “Our Bodies, Ourselves: Pregnancy and Birth,” due out in February, includes great information on the benefits of midwifery. Also, the OBOS website has posted a new article that examines how the type of care typically provided by midwives differs from that provided by obstetricians.

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2 Comments

  1. Emily says:

    Thanks, Christine, for this information about “The Big Push.” I only just learned about the campaign and it’s great to see more information about it — and to realize that there are actually a lot of states with midwifery-related legislation on the horizon. On RH Reality Check there is a post on this very subject (more broadly connecting birth options to reproductive justice), which is where I first heard about “The Big Push” — you might be interested in it too: http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/blog/2008/01/31/comprehensive-birth-options-essential-to-reproductive-justice

    Thanks again for your work and this consistently informative and useful blog!

  2. Lauren says:

    Thank you so much for featuring the Big Push and for supporting this outstanding cause! So much can change for the better in maternal health care with homebirth midwives licensed and accessible to women in all 50 states. Most state groups are still seeking help, supporters, etc, so if you are interested in this issue and want to do something about it, look up your state’s consumer group and join!