Alabama’s Old Guard Pressed to Provide More (Sweet Home) Birth Options in “The Heart of Dixie”


Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs) ARE Legally Authorized to Practice in Alabama

Mothers, Families, and Midwives are Actively Working on Creating CPM Rules and Regulations

Alabama Midwives Association

This organization is working to develop rules and regulations that govern the licensure of CPMs in Alabama.

378237_10152037864840164_1718171801_n.jpgIn 1975, the Alabama Legislature granted licensure to only Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNMs). Independent midwives could continue to practice with a valid permit issued by the Department of Public Health. Over the next few years, the Department ceased to renew permits and informed midwives that they would have to stop practicing. Various midwives have continued to practice since that time; some serve their communities at home births, while others travel across state lines to provide care in a safer legal setting.

Some Alabama midwives have met the standards of certification set by the North American Registry of Midwives to receive the national Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) credential. There are other skilled and experienced midwives in Alabama who choose not to become certified. ALMA recognizes that ultimately it is the right and the responsibility of parents to educate themselves, to interview prospective maternity providers, to choose their birth setting, and to hire the provider whom they feel is most appropriate for their individual circumstances.

In 2017, HB315 was passed by the Alabama Legislature demonstrating the intent to legalize the practice of Certified Professional Midwives. On the final day of the legislative session, HB315 was amended to include the licensure language originally placed in HB316. In the final bill, Section 34-19-17 of the licensure language appears to supersede Section 34-19-3 of the decriminalization language. Without additional legal clarification, it is unclear if CPMs may legally practice for economic remuneration before midwifery licenses are available.

The new law will establish a State Midwifery Board to govern the practice of community midwives who hold the CPM credential. Board members must be appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate, which will occur by mid-2018. After the Board establishes rules and regulations, a midwife will be able to obtain a license to practice in out-of-hospital settings.



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