Home-births happen; planned, unplanned, assisted, and unassisted. Home-births are legal in Maryland. However, not all trained midwives can legally attend births at home. Certified Professional Midwives, CPMs, while legal in half of the states, are not yet legal in Maryland. The grassroots organization Maryland Families for Safe Birth coordinated an amazing campaign to legalize CPMs in Maryland. Unfortunately, the push to bring the bill through the Maryland House of Delegates was not entirely successful.
The organization is now focusing their efforts on reintroducing the bill for the January 2013 session. The intervening months will be spent exploring, researching, and reviewing the possibility of legalizing CPMs in a Health and Government Operations (HGO) subcommittee. Here vested parties will discuss the benefits, feasibility, safety, and logistics of legalizing CPMs in Maryland.
Why do we need to legalize CPMs in Maryland? Certified Nurse Midwives are already legally attending home-births. Maryland Families for Safe Birth and home-birth supporters argue we need more qualified midwives to attend the ever growing numbers of Maryland women. With home-births on the rise, Maryland mothers and partners may benefit from allowing experienced CPMs to practice legally. Many countries have already started moving “direct-entry” midwifery programs to the forefront of midwife education and many states have made similar changes. Where will Maryland fall on this issue?