This weekend, our sister organization, NCFOM, is holding a two-day fundraiser at Soil to Soul Yoga Studio. As part of the fundraiser, WMM? Is hosting a screening of “Babies” on Saturday at noon. We are hoping to help our fellow Friends of Midwives in their efforts to raise the money they need to pay their lobbyist. You see, NCFOM has been working tirelessly for over 10 years to get licenses for Certified Professional Midwives in our state. A bill was introduced this session, and NCFOM finds themselves closer to accomplishing their goal than ever before.
“Why has it taken so long?” you ask. The General Assembly of NC (G.A.) studied home birth in 1981, and found it to be a safe option for the citizens of our fine state. Therefore, it is perfectly legal for us to choose to have a baby at home. At the time, there were plenty of apprentice-trained (direct-entry) midwives attending women at home. However, instead of offering these skilled women a route to licensure, the G.A. only licensed Certified Nurse Midwives (who primarily attend women in hospital) and required them to find a physician to sign off on their license effectively making it impossible to hire a professional to attend you if you decide you want a home birth. In 1995, the North American Registry of Midwives began offering a path to a new credential for midwives who want to attend women at home – the Certified Professional Midwife (CPM). Since that time, 27 states have developed a path to licensure for CPMs. However, our legislature has still failed to recognize and license them.
Even if you don’t want to have your baby at home, your friend, sister, cousin, daughter might and she ought to have the right to have a trained professional attend her. A recent CDC study showed a 30% increase in home births in N.C., so the need for CPMs to be licensed is growing. Come on out this weekend and get a massage, take a yoga class, watch a movie and know that it’s helping our friends.