Brown Introduces Legislation to Improve Maternal Health Access in Pennsylvania

HARRISBURG ­– Sen. Rosemary Brown (R-40) introduced legislation today to update and modernize midwife requirements.

“The declining number of physicians opting for obstetrics and gynecology specialization is noteworthy, and young families are worried about accessing maternal care. Both rural and urban regions in our state lack obstetricians or licensed midwives and face challenges in doctor recruitment and retention,” Brown said. “Following extensive discussions with stakeholders and residents, I have proposed legislation aimed at enhancing maternal care standards for Pennsylvanians by integrating midwives more effectively into our health care system.”

Board-certified midwives are trained to work with families through the entire pregnancy process, including childbirth, postpartum care and the first 28 days of a newborn’s life. Midwives may provide other routine women’s reproductive care, along with full prenatal care, clinical examinations and screening. Brown’s legislation – known as the Midwifery Modernization Act – would expand access to maternal health care by amending the Medical Practice Act of 1985 to include the licensure of certified midwives in Pennsylvania and updates to the regulatory restrictions.

“Midwives play a crucial role in promoting maternal health and well-being. Their expertise in providing holistic, personalized care throughout the reproductive journey is invaluable. By working alongside medical doctors, midwives and physicians collaborate to enhance the overall quality of care,” Brown said. “Collaboration between midwives and doctors allows for a comprehensive approach to maternal healthcare, combining medical interventions with the compassionate, woman-centered care that midwives provide. By recognizing and integrating the unique contributions of midwives within the health care system, Pennsylvania can further improve maternal outcomes and promote the well-being of families across the state.”

Board-certified midwives in Pennsylvania must possess a bachelor’s degree in nursing, complete a midwifery education program accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education, pass the national certification examination administered by the American Midwifery Certification Board, apply for licensure as a certified nurse-midwife or certified midwife through the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing and maintain certification and licensure by fulfilling continuing education requirements.

Brown’s legislation will be considered by a Senate committee.


Christine Zubeck

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