The statistics for Certified Professional Midwives, CPMs, are excellent in comparison to Certified Nurse Midwives, CNMs, who also have superior statistics. And all midwives have excellent statistics compared to physicians when each profession helps low risk women.
Direct entry midwives prepare for a test by either apprenticeship or by a nationally recognized college. Before qualifying for the CPM test, aspiring midwives attend births learning hands on skills and then, when they have attained the necessary skills, give continuous care to ten families through pregnancy, labor, birth and the full postpartum period.
The outcomes of CPMs are so impressive that Canada has revamped its maternity services to include CPMs not only for increasing the numbers of homebirths but also giving CPMs hospital privileges. Britain has increased midwife births also following the British Medical Journal’s CPM2000 report. The American Medical Association may have missed the news. They have a paper which purposely attacks midwifery as a celebrity fad. Medical advocates, in our country, on the other hand, address the growing interest in CPMs by suggesting CPMs be brought into the current system with university training, licensing, and oversite by nurses or physicians.
If CPMs are already achieving excellence with the inexpensive training they currently receive, why increase their training? Why fix what is not broken?
Rather, our maternity system overall seems to be broken. Induction rates, cesarean rates and prematurity rates are increasing, and relatedly. Nurse Midwife practices are too often closed by hospital administrators urging high volume, low touch prenatal care. Physicians hands are tied by the profit margin.
So, why bring in the midwives who are already giving the best of care into a system that isn’t working for the health professions that are held in it? Let them break free.
Let our nurses and doctors discover the joy of walking beside a woman who is making life style choices that will improve her and her baby’s health in pregnancy, birth and for weeks afterwards, even years, as she is more likely to have prolonged breastfeeding. We aren’t getting better birth outcomes in the insurance driven system. We get better health when health providers are autonomous.