Big Push for Midwives Kicks Off a National Campaign

January 31, 2008

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.

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