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We regretfully withdraw support of AB 1306
As an organization that supports increased access to midwives, it is an incredibly difficult decision to withdraw our support from midwifery-related legislation. We strive for transparency and have made communication with all of the California Families for Access to Midwives supporters a pillar of our organization, so it is with heavy hearts, we need to tell you that we are withdrawing our support AB 1306 (the bill to remove physician supervision for Certified Nurse Midwives).
Until now, we have supported this bill, because we believe that removal of physician supervision for Certified Nurse Midwives will provide increased access to midwifery care in California.
A new amendment was added that would require a physician consult for women who are planning an out of hospital birth and have had a previous cesarean section. The amendment was quite a shock to our board. We are consulting with leaders of midwifery organizations, discussing ramifications, and developing an action plan.
We are concerned that this would place an unfair burden on women seeking VBAC and the CNMs who would support them. CNMs are capable of determining when the women in their care may benefit from a consult with an obstetrician.
While we support all measures that increase safety for women, including collaborative relationships with physicians, we oppose this amendment because:
We do not support putting into statute (law) any specific medical condition, as we want our health care providers to be able to consult the most recently available research when making health care decisions. Legislating the need for a physician consult for women with prior cesareans will not be flexible enough to respond to the growing body of evidence for the practice of Trial of Labor after Cesarean Section, including who and under what circumstances VBAC and TOLAC are safe, regardless of the setting, home, birth center or hospital.
We trust that our midwives currently do and will continue to, without further legislation, consult with a variety of health care professionals as needed.
While we agree that a collaborative relationship can enhance safety for women, in many areas of the state, there are no physicians willing or able to collaborate with midwives. In those areas, midwives and their clients may be unable to secure the consult. This serves to limit access for women to any VBAC, especially in areas of the state where hospital-based TOLAC (Trial of Labor after Cesarean) is unavailable.
In those cases where the consult is not medically necessary but simply being conducted to meet the requirements of this legislation, the high cost of a physician consult places an undue financial burden on uninsured or underinsured families in California.
By adding additional hurdles to the process of securing the care of a midwife, prenatal care may be delayed during a critical time of pregnancy. Decreased prenatal care is associated with increased prematurity, low birth weight, and other poor outcomes, all of which significantly increase costs and lower safety for women and their babies.
We regret taking this significant step of withdrawing support of the bill, but remain hopeful that, with your voices, we can help the legislators understand that this bill, as amended, restricts access to midwifery care without increasing safety or outcomes.
In a letter to Senator Morrell’s office they say “We do not believe that Licensed Midwives have the qualifications to be the lead CPSP providers…..”
We Support SB 407
Today we need you to contact your California senator and tell them “I support SB 407 and I want you to support it too” It’s imperative that they hear from YOU, because they are in office to represent you, your interests and the issues that matter to you and your families. It takes 5 minutes! Email or call today!!!! Click here to find your legislator. Click here to see the Senate Health Committee, if you legislator is on the Health Committee please call or email today.
Join Us in Sacramento
SB407 will be heard by the Senate Commission on Health on April 15th at 1:30 in John L. Burton Hearing Room in at the Capital in Sacramento. We will meet on the steps at 12:30 on the L side of the building. Plan to attend? Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org Speak directly to the Committee and say "I am a mother/father/citizen and I support SB407" " I use CPSP and I want to use a Licensed Midwife, I support SB 407"
SB 407 Comprehensive Perinatal Services Program
SB 407 was designed to add Licensed Midwives to the list of providers for the Comprehensive Perinatal Services Program that can provide, coordinate and bill for services.
As it stands now CPSP a two tier system with physicians on top, able to independently coordinate and bill medical services most often provided by other practitioners. Supporting SB 407 will add Licensed Midwives to the top tier of providers who, along with physicians, can coordinate the CPSP and bill for those services provided by the Licensed Midwife or other practitioners.
Increase Independent Licensed Birth Centers
Licensed Birth Centers in California are required to offer CPSP services. By adding Licensed Midwives it has the potential increase in the number of INDEPENDENT Birth Centers! This will eventually lead to midwifery care to thousands of families that otherwise could not afford to see a midwife. Without this bill, Licensed Birth Centers would need a physician CPSP provider in order to offer services.
SB 408 Passed to Appropriations -Hearing Date Set for AB 1306 Nurse-Midwives Remove Supervision
SB408, Midwife Assistant - has passed through the Business and Professions Committee and is on it’s way to the Appropriations Committee to be heard. This is a huge victory and step in the right direction to increasing access to midwifery care especially in rural areas of California. Let’s keep the momentum going! A hearing date was set for AB1306 -Remove Physician Supervision for Nurse-Midwives! . AB 1306 will be heard in the Assembly Business and Professions Committee onApril 28th. We will have more news on how you can support AB 1306 next week!
Help us Keep Our Midwives Free
This year is a great year for midwives! We have three bills before the California Legislature that will increase access to midwives across the state! And we support all three bills! But it is confusing too…… Which bill does what….. Did I call about that bill already…. What should I be doing… We are here to help!
Today we need to act to #KeepOurMidwivesFree As the bills move through the legislature, there will be calls for them to be amended by medical special interests. We need to make sure that any amendments to the bills do not limit access to midwifery care! When we went to Sacramento to the Interested Party meeting to support HBAC (homebirth after cesarean) we saw some doctors try to ban VBACS at home. Now we need to be present at the hearings for these new bills to stand up for ourselves as mothers and protect our rights! Remember ANY bill can be amended to remove or restrict VBACs or limit midwifery care in other ways.
We support an increased access to midwifery care for families across California.
We support mothers and their families in selecting their maternity care provider and place of birth.
We support Midwives as independent practitioners, experts in the field of physiologic birth.
We need you to STAND UP! for your right to give birth where and with whom you want by attending the hearing for SB 408 Midwife Assistant Bill - April 6, 2015 - Business, Professions and Economic Development committee at the State Capitol, Room 3191 at 1 pm.
Please RSVP that you will be attending the meeting by clicking here and following the instructions. We will then text or email you if there are any changes to the hearing place or time, as happened during AB 1308.
If you cannot attend the hearing we still need your voice! Please contact your legislator and let them know that you support midwifery legislation this year. Tell them to help us pass SB 408 out of the Business and Professions Committee.
There will be hearings for the two other bills, SB 407 (the first step in covering Licensed Midwives under Medi-Cal) on April 15th and we are awaiting a hearing date for AB 1306 (removal of physician supervision for Nurse-Midwives).
We will be updating our Facebook page with new information as it becomes available. Please continue to follow us and support midwifery legislation!
Financial contributions to CFAM are needed! We need to pay for our website, for CFAM officers to travel to Sacramento to lobby and to create written materials to be given to the public.Please if you can, Donate Now! Every bit helps!
California Families for Access to Midwives
CFAM supports legislation that increases options for maternity care in California. We know that the Midwifery Model of Care provides comprehensive prenatal, birth and postpartum care safely, with fewer interventions and at a lower cost than a traditional medical model. We believe that increasing the options of Californians in maternity care will benefit our entire state.
California Families For Access to Midwives- Fact Sheet on SB 407
SB 407 will add Licensed Midwives to the list of qualified Comprehensive Perinatal Service Program providers under Medi-Cal, further expanding access to community-based midwifery care in all settings for all women and families in California. The Comprehensive Perinatal Services Program (CPSP) provides educational, nutritional, and psychosocial support to pregnant women, as well as childbirth and breastfeeding education.
SB 407 will increase the number of maternity care providers who accept Medi-Cal. This is especially important in rural communities where families on Medi-Cal do not have local options for maternity care.
Licensed Midwives already provide high-quality prenatal care consistent with CPSP, yet are currently not recognized by CPSP, severely limiting options for low-income families.
Women who receive quality prenatal care early in their pregnancy have better health outcomes for themselves and their babies, at a lower cost to the taxpayers.
We want to thank the bill’s author Senator Mike Morrell R- Rancho Cucamonga and Senator Lois Wolk D - of the 3rd District which encompasses numerous North/East Bay
California Families for Access to Midwives -Fact Sheet on SB 408
SB 408, will expand midwifery care – particularly in rural and other underserved areas – by allowing ‘Midwife Assistant’ to legally assist Licensed Midwives in their practices. Typically, two providers attend each birth, but Licensed Midwives are scarce in some areas of the state. This bill would allow a specially trained ‘Midwife Assistant’ to legally assist a Licensed Midwife, expanding the reach of existing providers.
SB 408 increases access to out-of-hospital birth options for the growing number of Californians who desire alternatives to hospital delivery.
Provides on-the-job training and an entry point into the skilled healthcare workforce, especially for members of medically underserved communities.
Supports the national priority to bend the healthcare cost curve while giving patients choice and expanding the availability of healthcare providers. The cost of a out of hospital delivery with a Licensed Midwife is significantly less than the cost of a hospital delivery with an OB.
California Families for Access to Midwives Fact Sheet on AB 1306
CFAM supports the Removal of Physician Supervision for Nurse Midwives because:
Nurse Midwives are experts in their field of practice, are educated and trained to be independent providers of midwifery care.
California is one of only six states that mandate that nurse midwives work under the supervision of a physician.
Optimal care of women and babies during pregnancy, birth, and postpartum with a Nurse Midwife takes place within a network of consulting relationships between other providers such as; OB/GYNs, licensed midwives, and pediatricians as well as other practitioners.
Nurse midwives are trained to recognize abnormal or emergency conditions needing expert help outside their scope.
Nurse Midwives and their clients have a plan for emergency consultations should complications arise.
As the law stands now Nurse Midwives working outside of the hospital at home or in birth centers are limited in their use of life saving medical interventions in emergency situations for fear of prosecution! These medical interventions are within the midwife's scope of practice, and should be available to all families who choose midwifery care.
Removal of Physician Supervision from the Nurse Midwifery Law in California will increase the number of Maternity Care Providers across our state. It will allow Nurse Midwives to work in all settings private offices, hospital, home and birth center legally, without unsafe restrictions to their scope of practice!
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California Families for Access to Midwives includes mothers, fathers, families and their communities who advocate safe, affordable and healthy birth options. CFAM is working to improve the health of mothers and babies by increasing access to midwifery care.