State outreach

Legislative work is an important component of my work as a practicing midwife  

We want laws that benefit midwives and families, as well as provide safety and assurance to consumers.

Each year we contact our legislators in person and in Olympia for our Lobby Day to regarding current issues in midwifery and maternity care.  Kristin even plans ahead and visits them in their local offices to make sure they are familiar with the profession of midwifery and our upcoming agenda.

In 2016 we were successful in getting the HCA to review their birth center reimbursement rates, supported the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, and asked the DOH to add a Licensed Midwife to the maternal mortality review board.  These were important steps for midwives and families.

In 2015 we successfully lobbied for a change to the licensing laws that both permitted more midwives to be licensed and increased our licensing requirements.  Almost sounds bad, doesn’t it?  In fact, we now have more statistics on WA midwifery outcomes, more CEUs for midwives, and clear passage for well-trained midwives to become licensed.

Over 75 midwives, students, and consumers from around the state gather on the steps of the Rotunda after a full day of talking with legislators.

In 2016, we were so happy to thank them for their support of our bill in 2015 and to keep them apprised of what’s happening in licensed midwifery in Washington.

Your help in advancing the cause of midwifery is always welcome.  Clients ARE constituents and legislators want to hear from YOU.

Find your legislative District below

District 8: part of Kennewick, Richland, West Richland, up through Hanford Reach

District 9: part of Pasco, from 395 up to I-90, East to Pullman, Clarkston, Grant and Asotin counties

District 13: from Cle Elum, through Ellensburg, north of Yakima, I-90 corridor through Moses Lake

District 15: Yakima, Yakima county, east to Mattawa, Grandview, Selah, Toppenish

District 16: part of Kennewick, part of Pasco, Walla Walla, to Prosser, Dayton, part of Benton and Franklin counties

Midwifery laws and education in WA

Licensed Midwifery is regulated by RCW 18.50 and WAC 246-834.  These statutes require and allow, among other things:

–a written plan for consultation, emergency transfer and transport
–administration of drugs and medications (limited to specific uses)
–carrying oxygen, resuscitation equipment, and anti-hemorrhagic medications
–comprehensive state and national midwifery exam
–a 3 year accredited course of study which includes instruction in basic sciences, normal and abnormal obstetrics and gynecology, nutrition, breastfeeding, basic nursing and clinical skills
clinical practice totaling hundreds of hours
–attendance and management of 100 births

NEW since HB 1773 in 2015:

–statistics on every birth attended by LMs
–increased CEU requirements

Notably, LMs must attend 100 births before being able to even take their final exams.  These births are mostly natural, out-of-hospital births.  This means midwives see at least 10 times the normal, natural births during their training than do newly licensed OB residents.