Senator Berglin’s Birth Center Bill if passed, would provide the most amazing opportunity to promote midwifery that this nation has ever experienced.

While physicians can certainly establish and/or work at birth centers, the birth center is commonly associated with midwifery care. We have about 300 midwives of both CNM and CPM credentials. About 50 of these midwives attend now, or have attended, homebirths in Minnesota.

Should the bill pass, the appearance of many birth centers in our state would make many midwives needed here.
The first birth center, Morning Star Womens’ Health and Birth Center, opens June of 2009 in St. Louis Park, MN. The new birth center is independent of the bill and opens coincidentally. Several midwives are needed now. Paula is looking for midwives with out-of-hospital birth experience.

Out-of-hospital birth experience will not be required at most of the birth centers that would arise with the passage of the bill. Midwives could come out of a school setting and begin working in a birth center. Midwives could also choose to leave hospital practice and work in a birth center.

There will be a wide variety of midwifery philosophy and so therefore, styles of care. Parents will choose birth centers, either because their insurance covers that birth center, or because they sought a center that matches their vision of birth. Expectant parents might also attend parent meetings, such as the Parent Topic Nights of the Childbirth Collective or Northland Birth Network, to hear other parents and doulas speak about their birth center experiences just as they do now to hear of both hospital and homebirth practices.

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