Petition statement to be delivered to The Maryland State House, The Maryland State Senate, and Governor Martin O'Malley

License Certified Professional Midwives in Maryland

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License Certified Professional Midwives in Maryland

To be delivered to The Maryland State House, The Maryland State Senate, and Governor Martin O'Malley

Petition Statement

License Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs) in Maryland so that families have the right to choose how they give birth. Licensure of CPMs will support an integrated maternity care system.
There are currently 5,988 signatures. NEW goal - We need 7,500 signatures!

Petition Background

Access to midwives in Maryland is limited. Maternity care is in crisis. Maternal mortality and infant mortality rates are unacceptably high. Nations with better maternal and infant mortality rates employ midwives as their primary maternity care providers. Maryland Families for Safe Birth (www.marylandfamiliesforsafebirth.org), a nonprofit, grassroots organization whose mission is to increase access to midwives in Maryland, is leading the effort to license Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs) in Maryland as 26 other states already do. Licensing CPMs will increase access to midwives.

Certified Professional Midwives are trained and credentialed to offer expert care to women for pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum period. They provide affordable care that is prevention oriented with particular attention to education and support for the mother. CPM care is proven to be safe and improve breastfeeding success rates. CPMs earn the only nationally recognized midwife certification that requires out-of-hospital birth training. They practice autonomously and consult with other health care providers as needed.

In Maryland, Certified Nurse Midwives (CNMs) are the only midwives currently licensed to attend women in their homes or birth centers. CNMs routinely turn clients away due to full practices. Maryland has only one freestanding birth center.

Licensing CPMs will increase access to midwives for families who choose homebirth and birth center births. It is expected that immediately after licensure legislation is passed 30-40 CPMs will seek licensing in Maryland. Over half of the birth centers in the United States are owned and operated by CPMs. It stands to reason that CPMs will open birth centers in Maryland as well.

We therefore ask that the Maryland legislators vote YES to license CPMs in Maryland and vote YES to improve maternity care in Maryland.

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