A bill creating a license for midwives without nursing degrees is making good progress this week.
On the 20th of October, State senators in Illinois worked through the second day of veto sessions with the subject of licensed midwifery as part of the agenda.
After the day’s session, State Sen. Cristina Castro, (D-Elgin), stated that the moves were a “historic measure”.
They are, in fact, reaching the end of a path towards state licensing that first started in 1986.
Castro also said in the statement that:
“When we talk about maternal health for women, especially Black and Brown women, now we give folks options and choices to help advocate for them and draw down the horrible maternal morbidity we’re seeing across the nation. Illinois is at the forefront of that.”
What the legislation means
The new legislation means that certified midwives will have to go through a licensing process. In practice, this will lead to a more standardized approach to midwifery education, training, and qualifications.
Essentially, it creates a direct path for those looking be become, certified professional midwives.
The current situation under state law is a much more convoluted process. Midwifery requires a nursing degree, with RN’s undergoing advanced studies and/or certain practice requirements before they are recognized nurse-midwives.
Castro’s legislation is very beneficial to all individuals looking to become midwives without going down the path of being a registered nurse first.
This does not mean to say that the standard of care will drop of course.
The standardizing of the education and training required will still be overseen by the American College of Nurse-Midwives.
Certified midwives will be trained specifically in the areas of gynecological exams, delivering babies, and prenatal and postnatal care.
In essence, their specific qualifications should lead to greater levels of care in this area.