Issue Brief on Certified Professional Midwives, and Nationwide Launch of the Birth Survey

By Rachel Walden — August 18, 2008

Four organizations, the Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA), North American Registry of Midwives (NARM), the Midwifery Education Accreditation Council (MEAC), and the National Association of Certified Professional Midwives (NACPM), have collaborated to produce an “Issue Brief: Certified Professional Midwives in the United States” which was released earlier this month.

CPMs are midwives without a nursing background who primarily practice outside of hospitals. They are typically subject to a different set of educational, certification, and legal requirements than Certified Nurse Midwives (CNMs). This document [PDF] provides a succinct comparison of these differences.

The brief, available as a PDF, has a stated purpose to “to provide information about Certified Professional Midwives: their qualifications, philosophy and scope of practice; the best available evidence regarding the safety and quality of their care; and a brief exploration of how increased utilization of their services will address America’s health care needs.” It provides information about the current status of Certified Professional Midwives in the United States, CPM credentialing through NARM, and additional details about “direct entry” midwifery and education.

In other birth news, the Coalition for Improving Maternity Services (CIMS) has announced the nationwide launch of The Birth Survey, and online consumer survey in which women can provide reviews of their maternity care providers. The website allows users to view the consumer reviews of doctors, midwives, hospitals, and birth centers, and to search for providers and facilities by location. Information about intervention rates is also available, but is currently limited to New York where the survey was initially launched.

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