Posted: January 16, 2021
By: Baraka Birth
Protect NJ Homebirth
Is homebirth safe and legal in New Jersey?
Yes! Out of hospital births (including home and birth center births) are safe and legal and thriving! In NJ, homebirth is available with Certified Professional Midwives, Certified Midwives, and Certified Nurse Midwives whose licensure and scope of practice fall within New Jersey Board of Medical Examiners Law & Public Safety NJ Administrative Code Title 13 Chapter 35.
I have heard that homebirth in New Jersey may not be accessible with licensed providers due to lack of “backup” physicians. Is this true?
NJ state regulations require that licensed midwives have what’s called a “consulting agreement” with an obstetrician in order to practice. Over the past decade, fewer and fewer doctors are willing to serve officially in this role (however, many of us have unofficial relationships with many doctors, including OBs, Maternal-Fetal Medicine doctors, and pediatricians). Recently, we learned that one of the doctors who was in an official consulting role for several midwifery practices in the state is selling his practice and will no longer be able to officially consult with midwives. The NJ licensed midwives are requesting that Governor Murphy issue an Emergency Waiver that would suspend this portion of our regulations for the course of the pandemic. This would allow us to continue to serve families outside of hospitals at a time when many are concerned about the risk of COVID-19.
My midwife would like to be able to practice at a freestanding birth center in New Jersey, but as a Certified Profession State, our state, unlike most others, allows CPM practice home but not birth centers. Is this true?
Yes, in NJ, CPMs cannot work at freestanding birth centers. Most other states that license birth centers permit Certified Professional Midwives, Certified Nurse Midwives, and Certified Midwives to staff them. Why not ours? We are requesting a waiver pursuant to the provisions of the New Jersey Administrative Code Title 8 Chapter 43A “STANDARDS FOR LICENSURE OF AMBULATORY CARE FACILITIES” Please ask NJDOH Office of Legal and Regulatory Compliance to ADD Certified Professional Midwife to N.J.A.C. 8:43G-2.8 and N.J.A.C. 8:43A-2.9.
Is there anything I can do to help?
Yes! Please take the following steps to help us keep homebirth with a licensed midwife legal and safe in New Jersey:
Please contact your representatives, the office of Governor Murphy, and send them this letter and a copy of the Midwifery Waiver. Even if you have not had a homebirth, or would prefer to birth in the hospital, it is important that we preserve homebirth as an option for healthy families.
Share this request on social media.
Documents & Links:
Consumer Letter to send to representatives in government (.doc) – the text of the letter is included below
Dear Elected Officials and interested stakeholders,
I am writing in support of home birth midwives in NJ and to protect my right to have a safe birth where and with whom I desire. Home birth midwives have provided safe, compassionate and empowering maternity care for decades. The midwifery model of care at home birth supports normal physiologic birth for essentially healthy birthing people and their babies. Respecting the critical role of maternal health in NJ as a priority, we are asking for your immediate assistance for an NJDOH Midwifery Waiver (see attached) to ensure maternal health and safety.
During a pandemic, out of hospital birth (in homes and birth centers) is essential to minimizing transmission, maintaining health, and efficiently utilizing medical resources. NJ families have safely had births during the pandemic. In NJ, home birth is available with Certified Professional Midwives, Certified Midwives, and Certified Nurse Midwives whose licensure and scope of practice fall within NJ Board of Medical Examiners Law & Public Safety NJ Administrative Code Title 13 chapter 35.
As your administration has mobilized to make NJ the safest place to give birth and raise a child, through the Nurture NJ and First Lady Tammy Murphy’s Strategic Plan soon to be released, we need your immediate help in making a Midwifery Waiver under Covid-19 Temporary Operational Waivers and Guidelines. Without such a waiver we risk a continued increase in unassisted births and very poor outcomes.
X – your name here
Posted: January 9, 2021
By: Janet Jarman
Midwifery in Mexico
About 96 percent of births in Mexico take place in hospitals that are often overcrowded and ill-equipped, where many women describe receiving poor or disrespectful treatment.
A national movement has made determined but uneven progress toward integrating midwifery into Mexico’s public health system. Some authorities argue that well-trained midwives would be of great value, especially in rural areas but also in small nonsurgical clinics throughout the country.
The government encouraged state authorities to set up alternative health centers that could exclusively focus on births and be staffed by nurses and midwives.
Maternal health advocates have long said that Mexico’s obstetric model must change to center on women. If ever there were a moment for health authorities to fully embrace midwifery, now is the time.
Posted: January 2, 2021
By: Wellspan Health
Looking Back on The Year of the Nurse & Midwife
Designated by the World Health Organization, 2020 was named the Year of the Nurse and Midwife in honor of the 200th Birthday of Florence Nightingale. Watch our nursing executives across the system share their most memorable moment of the Year of the Nurse and Midwife.