Legalize Maryland CPMs Now
We, the undersigned, call upon the Maryland General Assembly to pass legislation that will legalize the practice of Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs) in the State of Maryland. CPMs are educated and trained professionals who provide quality and cost effective midwifery care to women in out-of- hospital settings whether it be in the home or in a birth center.
Forty other states do not outright prohibit CPMs and 26 of those states license CPMs. Private insurers and the Federal Government pay for the services of the CPM. CPMs have a proven history of keeping costs down by minimizing unnecessary interventions and increasing the quality of care to women. In a time where our nation is concerned about the deliverance of healthcare and healthcare costs, giving Maryland women access to CPMs makes sense.
Pregnant Women in Maryland face a Maternity Crisis:
• Lack of access to CPMs: There are hundreds of women in Maryland choosing home delivery for religious, cultural, personal and increasingly, for financial reasons each year. Because CPMs are not legal in Maryland, women are delivering their babies across state borders or they are delivering at home unassisted without any provider at all.
• Lack of access to care in a timely manner: Only 79.5% of women will receive prenatal care in their first trimester.
• Racial disparity: African American infants continue to be at greater risk, with a disparity of nearly 2:1 in prematurity rates, and over 2:1 in infant death rates.
• Rise in cesarean birth and maternal mortality: Today 1 in 3 women in Maryland will have surgery to birth their babies. In some Maryland hospitals the rate of cesareans is as high as 45% and some Maryland obstetricians have a cesarean rate of more than 50%. The Baltimore Sun recently reported that the maternal mortality rate is rising and has continued to report on the rising cesarean rate in Maryland over the years.
• Prematurity: Preterm births have increased by 6 % since 2000, with the greatest disparity among African American babies. Preterm birth is responsible for 2 out of 3 infant deaths each year.
The Solution: Increase Maryland women’s access to midwifery care by supporting a nationally recognized credential, the CPM, with a proven track record of providing cost-effective care that is associated with a dramatic reduction in preterm birth, maternal mortality and has a very low, 3.7%, cesarean section rate.
(Homebirth Certified Professional Midwife weighing a baby girl born just hours earlier in a cloth scale.)