In California, licensed midwives are licensed and regulated by the Medical Board of California. While the California legislature sets laws that impact licensed midwives in the form of broad guidelines, it is the Medical Board that oversees the regulations, such as the standard of care.
The Medical Board oversees a number of professions and looks to the Midwifery Advisory Council (MAC) for recommendations and insights on any issues related specifically to midwifery.
The MAC was established by SB1638 (sponsored by then Senator Liz Figueroa) in 2006 and includes: “licensees of the board in good standing, who need not be members of the board, and members of the public who have an interest in midwifery practice, including, but not limited to, home births. At least one-half of the council members shall be California licensed midwives.”
The MAC created the reporting tool licensed midwives to use when reporting their annual statistics, The Licensed Midwife Annual Report (LMAR).
The MAC also sets task forces to work on different challenges faced by Licensed Midwives, such as midwife assistants, midwifery students, educating Medical Board members as to the nature and scope of Licensed Midwives and a variety of other issues affecting Licensed Midwives and the families they serve.
The MAC usually meets three times a year in Sacramento. Meetings are always open to any interested licensed midwives and members of the public.
Midwifery Advisory Council Members
The Midwifery Advisory Council shall meet in public not less than four times a year to discuss topics of importance related to the practice of midwifery in order to make recommendations to and advise the Division of Licensing.
The Midwifery Advisory Council shall provide ongoing sound and reliable expert advice to the Division of Licensing to facilitate the safe and sound practice of midwifery including the development and ongoing maintenance of a coding system for gathering annual practice data of licensed midwives in California.
To protect the healthcare consumer by assisting the Division of Licensing in developing appropriate standards for licensing, standards of care, and regulation of the practice of midwifery.
In promoting the Medical Board of California's consumer protection interests, the Midwifery Advisory Council will provide ongoing sound and reliable expert advice in serving as a vehicle for further positive discussion on the practice of midwifery and homebirths in the state of California.
Photo Credit: Kaleem Joy Photography