Stay informed about critical legislative developments! We will update you with details about how you can take action for Licensed Midwives California.
Who We Are
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.
California Families for Access to Midwives Board meeting!
We are so excited to tell you about what is happening in the midwifery community in California. The CFAM Board: Tanya, Alex, Julia and Treesa, met at the California Association of Midwives/California Association of Licensed Midwives’ Annual Conference in Tahoe!
While there we had the opportunity to attend seminars about the latest research regarding the safety of midwifery care, and how lack of access to midwifery care negatively impacts the health of mothers and babies.
Tanya presented a dynamic seminar on the tragically high rates of neonatal and maternal mortality in black communities and how racism in maternity care is one of the issues culpable for these outcomes. She highlighted the lack of black midwives as a major problem in California and gave action points for how we can work towards increasing the number of black midwives.
At the conference we met with board members of the California Association of Midwives (CAM) and members of the Midwifery Advisory Committee (MAC) of the Medical Board of California. Every CFAM board member was approached and encouraged to continue to engage the consumers; leadership from CAM and the MAC told us how important YOU are to the conversations pertaining to midwifery and to increasing the availability of midwives to everyone!
Licensed Midwifery Regulations
CFAM board member Julia attended the August Midwifery Advisory Council (MAC) meeting in Sacramento. The MAC is comprised of midwives, physicians and public members, it is a committee of the the Medical Board of California (MBC). The MAC’s role is to make recommendations on regulations concerning midwifery licensing to the MBC. The MBC may take the recommendations of the MAC, and adopt the regulations or they have the power to write and adopt the regulations on their own.
At the MAC meeting there was a heated discussion regarding the proposed new regulations governing Midwives. American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) is demanding a regulation that requires a women seeking a midwife attended VBAC to receive a physician consultation and approval before a midwife can be their provider. The MAC, CFAM and CAM are all opposed to this regulation. We oppose this as it is clearly a barrier to care without an increase in safety for families in California.
We are concerned that requiring a physician consultation would essentially make a midwife attended VBAC unattainable. There are wide geographical areas without any VBAC supportive obstetricians, and certainly those doctors are not going to be available for VBAC consult, if they won’t even attend those births in the hospital. And as usual this would disproportionately affect women who lack the means to pay for private consults.
CFAM is strategically waiting to take action until after the October meeting of the MBC. Please remain vigilant and patient as we wait for the right time to make our move.
Licensed Midwives have been added to the list of providers that can bill Medi-Cal! However, there are still administrative issues plaguing the application process. California Association of Midwives, and California Association of Licensed Midwives are working to resolve these issues.
We plan to continue to fight for midwife attended VBAC at the Medical Board of California. We are also excited on our work growing a coalition of organizations that support women’s and pregnant people’s autonomy in decision making concerning their births!
Traveling to MAC, MBC, and CAM meetings is expensive! Please consider making a donation to support CFAM so that we can continue to have the voice of midwifery consumers heard!
Tanya Smith-Johnson, Treesa McLean, Alexandra Rounds and Julia Goldin