California College of Midwives

Legislative Fact Sheet with Citations
California Citizens for Health Freedom
 888 / 557-8092

The Midwifery Model of Care andthe Independent Practice of Midwives

The Midwifery Model provides the best care for most childbearing women:

The midwifery model of care is an essential element of comprehensive health care for women and their families and should be embraced by and incorporated into the health care system and made available to all women Recommendations, UCSF /-Pew Report, Charting a Course for the 21st Century - The Future of Midwifery, 1999

Although the US spends more per capita on heath care than any other country, 24 other countries had lower infant mortality rates in 1994 and the maternal death rate in the US has not improved in 15 years even though 50% are estimated to be preventable NCHS, 1998, Chronicle News Services, 1998

The Midwifery Model of Care differs from the obstetrical model in ways that are beneficial to mothers and babies. Midwifery care produces equally good or better maternal and infant outcomes as does obstetrical management, with much lower rates of intervention and medication. The Thinking Woman Guide to a Better Birth, Henci Goer, 1999

Midwives are the best caregivers for health mothers enjoying normal pregnancies who do not plan on using drugs or anesthesia during labor ~

The five countries with the best maternal-infant outcomes have 70% of all births attended by independent midwives. There are 3 times more midwives than obstetricians in the 33 countries of European Region of the WHO. Midwifery and Childbirth in America, p. 406, J. Rooks, 1997

Midwives attend virtually all normal births in Denmark and France, 90% of normal births in Germany, 70% or greater in Ireland and the UK. These countries all have better maternal-infant outcomes than the US. Midwifery and Childbirth in America, p. 406, J. Rooks, 1997

Midwives are the most appropriate and cost-effectiveness care provider for normal pregnancies and normal birth, including risk assessment and the recognition of complications Care in Normal Birth: A Practice Guide. Maternal & Newborn Health, World Health Organization Report 1996

Medical Board of California Task force report on the Health Policy and Resources, October 1993: "He added that the hiring of additional allied health care professionals has not really done anything to benefit patients. Although he agreed with the concept in principle that allied health professionals can provide additional access to health care, the manner in which they are being hired and used now ... are really only serving to increase the income of physicians. Although physicians are hiring more Physician Assistants and Nurse Practitioners, and often patents never see the physician, the patients are charged the same among for an office visit. This is income for the physician but there is no cost savings to the patient."

Every health care system should integrate midwifery services into the continuum of care for women by contracting with or employing midwives and informing women of their options. Recommendations - Joint Report-Pew Health Professions Commission & the UCSF Center for the Health Professions- Charting a Course for the 21st Century: The Future of Midwifery, April, 1999

Legislative Fact Sheet with Citations
California Citizens for Health Freedom 888 / 557-8092