Midwives will need a license to practice in Michigan, starting in August. It's the first time midwives will need a license to practice in the state.
The Michigan Board of Licensed Midwifery was formed in 2017 to set new rules for midwives. It recently issued the new rules, which go into effect on August 1st. There will also be clearer guidelines for determining when births need additional medical care.
Kate Mazzara is a member of the board. She says before the regulations, anyone could claim to be a midwife.
"In the state of Michigan, prior to the statute being passed, there were no rules or laws governing the practice of midwifery." Mazzara says.
In a press release, the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs says:
"The practice of midwifery – defined as providing maternity care that is consistent with a midwife’s training, education, and experience, to women and neonates during the antepartum, intrapartum, and postpartum periods – was required to be licensed under Public Act 417, which established Part 171 in the Public Health Code. The Department in partnership with the Board of Midwifery has been actively communicating with the midwifery associations to keep them apprised of the rule promulgation process."
The rules define the practice more clearly, Mazzara says.
"We do know what we are doing. It is a safe practice when there are good rules and good regulations in place." Mazzara says.
Under the rules, people looking for a midwife will have access to more information. If they are unhappy with their midwife, they can file a formal complaint.
If you are looking to get a license for midwifery, you can apply online at the state's website.