Legislation and Policy Webinar Series

This ongoing series, cosponsored by NACPM, Citizens for Midwifery (CfM), and the Association of Midwifery Educators (AME), provides key information to CPMs, advocates, and policy makers as we work together to secure licensing for CPMs in all 50 states. The series includes an Overview of Licensure for CPMs, two webinars on US MERA and one on the MAMA Campaign.


Participation in the webinar series, as well as access to recordings, is free. CEUs, when available, are $15 per webinar.

Engaging Consumers: Powering Improvements in Public Health Policy Co-Hosted by NACPM and the Big Push
for Midwives

Thursday, March 25th from 1:00 to 2:30

Register Now

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If you are looking for solid practical support from on-the-ground, in-the-trenches advocates and tools to use in your state to advance CPM policy, this webinar is for you! Seasoned state advocates of NACPM and the Big Push for Midwives will share grassroots organizing strategies and user-friendly tools and technologies to enlist the power of consumers to effect legislation and policy to increase access to community midwives for families around the country.




Debbie Pease, a homebirth mother, past president of South Dakota Birth Matters and current president and public member of the South Dakota Board of CPMs, will share the many-years story of organizing a non-profit with other mothers to pass legislation to license CPMs in a state historically radically hostile to homebirth midwives.

Nasima Pfaffl, MA, is a second- generation homebirth mother, medical sociologist and president of Citizens for Midwifery. She has been a board director of Birth Network, the Coalition for Improving Maternity Services, and served as co-chair and survey team lead for The Birth Survey. Nasima focuses on coalition building and will present capacity-building technologies and tools to strengthen midwifery advocacy organizations.

Lisa Clark, BS in Education, a public member of the NARM board and a founding member and legislative affairs director of the Alabama Birth Coalition, drafted her first legislation to license CPMs in her state in 1996 and helped Alabama over the finish line to license CPMs in 2019. She will share strategies for engaging consumers, working within the political context in your state, cultivating key relationships, and when to strategically stand your ground and when to give way.

Mary Kathryn DeLodder, a homebirth mother, consumer advocate and leader of the Kentucky Birth Coalition that succeeded after eight years of effort in licensing CPMs in 2019, has now gone on to work on legislation to increase access to birth centers in Kentucky. She will share ins and outs and practical information about organizing successful lobby days.

Please join NACPM and the Big Push for Midwives – register now!

Midwives and the U.S. Census: Making Sure Every Child Counts

Thursday, April 23, 2020 1:00-3:00 ET


shutterstock_1510688600small-2Very young children, from infants to four years old, are historically the population at greatest risk of being undercounted in the U.S. Census, with an estimated one million uncounted in the 2010 Census. Many federal programs, that support young children, families and communities, such as nutritional assistance, Head Start and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, rely on accurate data about where young children live to provide foundational services for children. The 2020 Census will dictate the distribution of more than $675 billion dollars of federal programs, and the Bureau is making a concerted effort to address this issue by creating community partnerships.

NACPM is partnering with the U.S. Census Bureau to provide information and support to midwives across the country so they can help ensure an accurate count of newborns and young children. Claire Ross, Account Manager of the National Partnership Program at the U.S. Census Bureau and this webinar’s keynote presenter, believes that midwives can play an essential role as trusted voices in reaching out to parents and caregivers to remind and encourage them to include babies and children in the 2020 Census.

We are most pleased that Micaela Cadena of New Mexico and Rhonda Lee Grantham of Washington State, both long time advocates for birthing people, babies and families, will join the webinar to present about their communities’ context and challenges with counting young children in the Census. Micaela Cadena is the Research Director of Bold Futures (formerly Young Women United) and a member of the New Mexico House of Representatives. Rhonda Lee Grantham, a cultural anthropologist, is an Indigenous Midwife from the Cowlitz Nation and the founder of the Center for Indigenous Midwifery.

Please join us for this important webinar so you can do your part to ensure inclusion of babies and children in the federal programs that matter so much to families and communities.


Engaging Consumers: Powering Improvements in Public Health Policy

1.5 MEAC CEUs applied for

Thursday, March 26, 2020 at 3pm 

Register Now

if you are looking for solid practical support and tools to use in your state to advance CPM policy, this webinar is for you! Seasoned state advocates – members of NACPM Chapters and of the Big Push for Midwives – will share grassroots organizing strategies to enlist the power of consumers to effect legislation and policy to increase access to midwives for families around the country. In addition to these lessons learned in the advocate trenches, Nasima Pfaffl, President of Citizens for Midwifery, will provide participants with accessible and user-friendly tools and technology to assist in organizing and galvanizing grassroots advocates. Presenters include: Debbie Pease from South Dakota Lisa Clark from Alabama Mary Kathryn DeLodder from Kentucky  and Nasima Pfaffl,  NACPM Technical Support Consultant. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

These presentations will be followed by the opportunity for discussion and your questions.  Please join us on March 26th!

Chelsea Jahn-2

2019 State and Federal Legislative Updates!

1.5 MEAC CEUs applied for

Thursday, October 17th, 2019

Among the most frequent requests NACPM receives from our members are:

“What is happening with CPM legislation in the states (jurisdictions)?”

“Is there anything the federal government can do to make the CPM profession viable and sustainable?”

“Enough with talk – we need more people of color in the midwifery profession now!”

This webinar is designed to provide some answers to these important questions.

View Recording


We begin with updates from two states – Kentucky and Hawaii – that became the 6th and 7th states to enact laws to license CPMs since the US MERA agreements were reached in 2015.  Because of the tireless advocacy of midwives and consumers in the states, along with the momentum generated by the US MERA accords – there are now a total of 33 states that license CPMs.  We will hear about two of these legislative journeys from Mary Kathryn DeLodder, MA, leader of the Kentucky Home Birth Coalition, and Sky Connelly, CPM, former Board Secretary of the Midwives Alliance of Hawaii.  Several other jurisdictions are in various stages of legislation to license CPMs: Aza Nedhari, CPM, MA, will share the path towards licensing CPMs in Washington, D.C., and the role that CPMs are positioning themselves to play in alleviating the birth care crisis in the nation’s capital.

On the federal front, a vibrant new energy is palpable in the halls of this 116th Congress, the most racially, ethnically and socially diverse in history, and exciting new federal opportunities for CPMs are on the horizon.  Two bills to support the education of midwives are on the docket this session, supporting the growth and urgently needed racial diversity in the midwifery profession. Mary Lawlor, CPM, MA, executive director of NACPM, will share details about two new bills that authorize the first-ever federal funding programs that will support the education of all midwives, including CPMs, and how you can help to secure their passage.  Along with urgently needed support for our CPM schools and programs, these bills prioritize support for training midwives to work in birth care provider shortage areas and increasing critical racial representation in the midwifery workforce.

  • H. R. 2740:  Funding for Midwifery Education Included in the House 2020 Appropriations Bill 
  • H.R. 3849:  Midwives for Maximizing Optimal Maternity Services (Midwives for MOMS) Act of 2019

These presentations will be followed by the opportunity for discussion and your questions.  Please join us on October 17th!

Bigger Table Fund Award Winners





Midwives in Action: Legislation Update

1.5 MEAC CEUs available

Thursday, April 6, 2017


While the US MERA principles and agreements are generating significant momentum for advocates pursuing legislation to license CPMs in new states, midwives are wading into regulatory waters in other states to address threats and rise to challenges.  Sharon Hamilton and Barbara Blot will talk with us about how action to require mandatory incident reporting for midwives is bringing midwives together in Florida, Audrey Levine will share exciting news about a bold effort to significantly increase Medicaid reimbursement for birth centers in Washington State, and Susan Smartt Cook will update us on how the Oklahoma midwives are rallying in response to a recent unexpected introduction of hostile legislation.  As we share our experiences with legislation and regulation, state to state, we build a common body of expertise to promote and protect the practice of certified professional midwifery.
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Audrey Levine’s presentation slides
Sharon Hamilton’s presentation slides

Midwifery Advocacy – Tools You Can Use

1.5 MEAC CEUs available

Thursday, March 23, 2017 

Mary CropWhether you’re brand new to midwifery advocacy or a seasoned activist, this webinar will introduce new tools and resources that you can put to use in your work now!

Please join the NACPM Tools and Resource Team, consisting of Mary Lawlor, Executive Director, Jo Anne Myers-Ciecko, Consultant, and Susan Smartt Cook, Chapter Program Manager for this webinar.

Jo Anne Oct 15 smallWe will explore resources to help you build the case for increasing access to midwifery care, licensing and reimbursement, including NACPM Fact Sheets and the latest Position Statements from other organizations.

Susan websiteWe will introduce you to the excellent guide published by the International Confederation of Midwives which addresses the various phases of advocacy work, such as building consensus, cultivating allies, creating marketing plans, staging demonstrations, and evaluating your progress. And we will share examples of how advocates in several states are using the “Principles for Model U.S. Midwifery Legislation and Regulation” endorsed by the US MERA member organizations.
Download webinar presentation slides


Inside Look at the 2016 Election Results and What it Could Mean for CPMs and Maternity Care

Thursday, December 14, 2016


What do the national election results, the new make-up of key Congressional committees, new cabinet and federal agency appointments, and the agenda priorities of the new administration mean for health policy in the U.S. over the next four years?  Of the priorities of the new administration, which are most likely to be achieved and which will face obstacles to implementation?  How will proposed changes to the Affordable Care Act and other federal programs impact maternity care?  How will CPM priorities for federal recognition be affected as the political landscape changes?  Are you feeling lost and eager for answers to your questions about what all of these changes will mean for you and what you care most about?

Billy Wynne


Billy Wynne of Thorn Run Partners, NACPM health policy consultant and federal lobbyist, presented an analysis of  information from a myriad of sources in Washington, DC and elsewhere, and shone a light on what we can expect after the presidential inauguration in January 2017.

Download Billy Wynne’s presentation slides

Download Thorn Run Partner’s Health Policy Issue Brief on ACA Repeal


Payment Reform: What lies ahead? What are CPMs doing now?

1.5 MEAC CEs (0.15 CEUs) Available

October 27, 2:00 – 3:30pm, ET


“Too often the resources spent on maternity care services are not leading to the highest value birth care…The good news is that evidence-based care practices can deliver higher quality care at a lower cost. For the majority of low-risk births, lower resource-intensive births correlate with positive outcomes.” Accelerating and Aligning Clinical Episode Payment Models, A White Paper published by the Health Care Payment Learning and Payment Action Network


Find out what leading stakeholders in in our health care system, including health plans, employers, state and federal agencies are saying about the need to reform our payment system and what it could mean in maternity care. Learn more about emerging payment models and what impact they could have on access to and payment for CPM services. Get a bird’s eye view of the payment landscape for CPMs today, including where Medicaid programs, the largest single payor of maternity care, are covering CPM care. Discover how CPMs are taking action at the state level to improve reimbursement for birth centers and expand employment opportunities for CPMs. Learn how NACPM, in collaboration with ACNM and the American Association of Birth Centers, are advocating for implementation of federal law that affects coverage of CPM services and birth center reimbursement.

Mary Lawlor, LM, CPMMary Lawlor, LM, CPM, and Executive Director of NACPM provided a national perspective on some of the opportunities and challenges for midwives in the context of both current and projected payment models. She described states where Medicaid covers CPM services, where there are barriers to public and private insurer coverage, and she listed steps NACPM is taking to address these issues.  She also described meetings at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid where NACPM, in collaboration with the ACNM and the American Association of Birth Centers, are making the case for the added value that CPMs can bring to maternity care and exploring ways in which the agency can improve implementation of ACA provisions related to birth center reimbursement. Download Mary Lawlor’s presentation slides

Karen Milgate

Karen Milgate, MPP, Health Policy Consultant presented how key elements of the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid initiatives call for significant changes in the way that health care will be organized and purchased in the coming years.  Karen has worked closely with the Health Care Learning and Payment Action Network as they have developed recommendations for payment reforms, including new models for payment of maternity care.  She described these models and explained where there may be opportunities for innovation that include midwives and birth centers. Download Karen Milgate’s presentation slides


valerie-sassonValerie Sasson, CPM – President, Midwives Association of Washington State. Licensed Midwives and birth centers in Washington State have been Medicaid providers since the 1980s, but the Midwives Association of Washington State has recently taken up the cause of adequate reimbursement for birth centers.  Val described the problem and the midwives’ efforts to secure better reimbursement.

jayvon-muhammad-cropJayVon Muhammad, CPM,  CEO of the Marin City Health and Wellness Center in California. Licensed Midwives in California have only recently achieved changes to their state laws that make it feasible for them to participate in Medicaid, including a provision for enhanced reimbursement.  As Director of a health center, JayVon explained how this has made it possible for her to employ Licensed Midwives.

Jennie Joseph higher res.

Jennie Joseph, LM, CPM – a British-trained midwife, a women’s health advocate, the founder and executive director of Commonsense Childbirth Inc. and the creator of The JJ Way®. Licensed Midwives in Florida have encountered significant challenges in receiving adequate Medicaid reimbursement.  Jenny described her experiences and how she’s fought back. Download Jennie Joseph’s presentation slides

CPMs and State Licensure: Finding New Ways Forward in Today’s Environment

October 6, 2016 


The webinar covered how Certified Professional Midwives are discovering new opportunities for state licensure and building interesting new relationships with professional colleagues and policymakers. Find out where they are in the legislative process and what they are learning. There are numerous challenges encountered in any legislative effort but new allies and better relationships are making a difference! This is an opportunity to think about what the implications might be for midwives in your state.


Ellie Daniels, CPM, NACPM Board President, addressed how CPMs in Maine participated in a broad-based consensus-building process to achieve state licensure in 2016 and how their creative problem-solving has set the stage for future collaboration among maternity care providers.


Aundria Radmacher, CPM, talked about building a coalition of stakeholders from broad political backgrounds in Kentucky, how to engage supporters and the difference between a professional led organization and a consumer led organization.


Barbara Belcore-Walkden, CD, CPM, LM is the President of the Illinois Council of Certified Professional Midwives. She shared from her experience working on state legislation in Illinois and how CPMs are incorporating the language agreed upon by the US MERA collaboration

MAMA Campaign Virtual Meeting

All stakeholders were invited to participate in a discussion of the current initiative to secure Medicaid reimbursement for all licensed CPMs.  A brief update on the direction and current status of the initiative was followed by an open discussion of questions and concerns raised by stakeholders.

The Midwives and Mothers in Action (MAMA) Campaign’s initiative to secure federal recognition for CPMs and to mandate federal Medicaid coverage for CPM services was launched in 2009.  This past year, building on the encouraging new momentum for state licensure for CPMs as a result of the recent US MERA collaborative agreements, a new strategy aligning the federal bill with the US MERA agreements has brought new life, new allies and new bipartisan Congressional interest to this initiative.  However, this strategy has also raised questions and concerns about how a bill that includes language regarding completion of accredited programs or NARM’s Bridge Certificate will impact CPMs. 

An Overview of State Licensure for CPMs
April 9, 2015

Which states have licensing for CPMs? What variations exist from state to state?
This webinar addressed questions about CPM licensing, including the complexities of various state statutes and the implications for states looking to gain or amend existing legislation.

View Recording

Ida Darragh, LM, CPM Presenter: Ida Darragh, LM, CPM, and chairperson of NARM
Content: An overview of state licensure in the U.S., including: the number of and which states are currently licensed, important characteristics of these statutes (VBAC, well-woman care, twins/breeches, oversight entities, formularies, accredited education requirement, supervision requirement, etc.), a brief overview of states with current active legislation, and what services/support NARM provides to the states. Download Ida Darragh’s presentation slides

Mary Lawlor, LM, CPM
Presenter: Mary Lawlor, LM, CPM, and Executive Director of NACPM
Content: A discussion of the kinds of queries we receive from states seeking assistance, what support NACPM has been able to provide to states, and the role of State Chapters, going forward. Download Mary Lawlor’s presentation slides

Deborah Lewis, CNM, MSc

Debrah Lewis, CNM, MSc, and former Vice President of ICM
Content: A review of the ICM regulation standards, which provide  an important context for licensing and regulation in the the United States. Download Debrah Lewis’s presentation slides

US MERA: What it Could Mean for CPMs 

September 15, 2015

NACPM has been working with other national midwifery organizations in the US MERA collaboration to find a way forward through the many obstacles midwives encounter. This webinar provides an overview of the purpose, history, accomplishments, and next steps for US MERA.

View Recording

Mary Lawlor, LM, CPM
Presenter: Mary Lawlor, LM, CPM, Executive Director of NACPM, US MERA Direct Assessment Task Force co-chair, US MERA Steering Committee, US MERA Legislative Committee, US MERA Communications Committee

Kaye Kanne headshotPresenter:Kaye Kanne, CDM, CPM, NACPM Treasurer, US MERA Infrastructure Committee


Jamie EidsathPresenter:Jamie Eidsath, CPM, NACPM Board member, US MERA Equity Task Force


Jo-Anne Myers CieckoPresenter:Jo Anne Myers Ciecko, MPH, NACPM Consultant, MEAC representative to US MERA Legislative Committee


Sandra StewartPresenter:Sandra Stewart, Executive Director of MEAC, US MERA Education Committee


MAMA Campaign: A New Foundation for Federal Recognition of CPMs
November 17, 2015

View Recording

This webinar from explains how NACPM has stepped up to lead the campaign for federal recognition of CPMs.  After two years of quiet but persistent relationship-building in Washington, DC, beginning in the summer of 2015, NACPM has re-engaged our original MAMA Campaign partner organizations as campaign advisors: North American Registry of Midwives, Midwifery Education Accreditation Council, Citizens for Midwifery, International Center for Traditional Childbearing, and Midwives Alliance of North America.  With renewed spirit and focus, we are also pleased to announce that the National Association of Birth Centers and Clinics of Color (NABCCC) has joined the MAMA Campaign advisory committee.  Furthermore, we are working closely with other important allies, particularly the ACNM which is now actively supporting our efforts for federal recognition of CPMs.

In June 2015, with new opportunities on the horizon, NACPM re-engaged our lobbyist Billy Wynne and his colleagues at Thorne Run Partners.  With a wealth of experience and a commitment to our cause, these experts are able to inform our overall strategy and gain access to key Congressional offices for support.  We have drafted new bill language that would amend federal Medicare/Medicaid statutes to mandate coverage of CPM services and define CPMs in statute for the purposes of reimbursement by Medicaid.  New provisions in the draft bill also include Certified Midwives (CM) in federal Medicare and Medicaid, a long-held priority of the ACNM.

Mary Lawlor, LM, CPM
Mary Lawlor, Executive Director of NACPM, discussed the new strategy for the MAMA Campaign that incorporates US MERA agreements into the federal bill, opening up exciting and entirely new opportunities for federal recognition for CPMs.
Download Mary Lawlor’s presentation slides

Jesse Bushman, Director of Advocacy and Government Affairs at ACNM, presented an overview of the provisions in the federal draft bill to include Certified Midwives in the federal Medicaid program, opportunities for new joint CPM/CM/CNM advocacy, and securing ACOG support.


Billy Wynne photo - small

Billy Wynne of Thorn Run Partners, NACPM health policy consultant and federal lobbyist, discussed the Campaign’s strategy for success with Congress and federal agencies, and opportunities during the current Congress for moving this important legislation forward. Download Billy Wynne’s presentation slides

Jennie Joseph higher res.

Jennie Joseph, CPM, a British-trained midwife, women’s health advocate, the founder and executive director of Commonsense Childbirth Inc. and the creator of The JJ Way®, shared how critical nationwide Medicaid reimbursement for CPMs is to improving the health and saving the lives of childbearing women in the U.S., especially the most vulnerable.
Download Jennie Joseph’s presentation slides

US MERA: How to Put it to Use for CPMs

November 19, 2015

View Recording

The US MERA collaboration agreements (2015 Report) have generated much energy and excitement, along with the promise of new opportunities and new allies, in the effort to license CPMs in all 50 states.  At the same time, CPMs and state advocates have many questions about how to bring alive the projects and tools emerging from US MERA in their state initiatives, and about how the US MERA project to increase access to and affordability of midwifery education will be of support to advocates on the ground.

In a previous webinar, US MERA:  What It Could Mean for CPMs, we discussed with you the purpose, history, accomplishments and agreements of US MERA.  This additional webinar explained more about the new Consensus Principles for Model Regulation, the NARM Midwifery Bridge Certificate, Innovations in Midwifery Education, and about one state’s coalition and consensus-building efforts to license CPMs in their state.

Jo Anne Myers-Ciecko

Jo Anne Myers-Ciecko, MPH, NACPM strategic consultant and MEAC representative to US MERA, described the US MERA Principles of Model Midwifery Legislation & Regulation:  how they were developed, what they are, and how they can be of use to state advocates. Download Jo Anne Myers-Ciecko’s presentation slides

Ida Darragh, LM, CPM
Ida Darragh, CPM, Chair of NARM, presented the Midwifery Bridge Certificate and the role it is playing in new state CPM licensure bills. Download Ida Darragh’s presentation slides

Kristi Ridd-Young


Kristi Ridd-Young, President of the Midwives College of Utah and MEAC representative to US MERA, described the current range of MEAC-accredited schools available to students today. Download Kristi Ridd-Young’s presentation slides

Mary Lawlor, LM, CPM


Mary Lawlor, CPM, Executive Director of NACPM, shared exciting new developments for applying innovations in higher education to increasing access to and affordability of training of midwives. Download Mary Lawlor’s presentation slides

Ellie Daniels

Ellie Daniels, CPM of Maine and President of NACPM, discussed Maine’s groundbreaking multi-stakeholder collaboration to develop legislation to license CPMs in her state, based on US MERA agreements. Download Ellie Daniels’ presentation slides


Please register here if you wish to receive CEUs for webinars.

Please contact us if you have questions or suggestions for future webinars.