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Should Michigan Begin Licensing Certified Professional Midwives?

By Carly Van Thomme

Michigan legislators are considering House Bill 4598 and Senate Bill 383, both of which would enact licensing and regulation of midwives under the Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) credential set by the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM). If enacted, Michigan will join 26 other states that already are licensing and regulating midwives under this credential. CPMs are different from Certified Nurse Midwives (CNMs) in that CPMs enter the field of midwifery through a different path that does not necessarily include a traditional nursing education. Rather, the CPM credential requires three to five years of intensive education and training entirely focused on the evidence-based midwifery model of care.

Proponents of licensing and regulating CPMs argue that this change in law will protect mothers’ freedom to choose how and where they give birth. Very few CNMs are willing to attend home births, for example—but CPMs routinely do. Regulating CPMs would assist mothers in selecting qualified midwives for home birth. Right now, midwives who practice their profession in the absence of licensing and regulation risk felony prosecution for practicing medicine without a license in violation of MCL § 333.16294. Though Michigan prosecutors thus far have chosen not to charge midwives under this statute, there have been incidents in other states where prosecutors suddenly changed course and began pursuing criminal charges against midwives.

If you have questions or concerns about how this new requirement affects your practice, contact Chapman Law Group today to retain attorneys with the up-to-date knowledge and experience necessary to provide you with an accurate legal opinion and reliable legal advice.