Midwife Bills for 2016 Legislative Session

South Dakota Birth Matters is working on two bills for the 2016 legislative session to give South Dakota families access to Certified Professional Midwives

Licensure Bill
This bill sets up an advisory committee under the Board of Nursing to license and regulate Certified Professional Midwives. It is modeled after the statute that regulates Certified Nurse Midwives (SDCL 36-9A) and contains the language regarding educational requirements from the historic US MERA agreement.

What is US MERA?
Last year, all of the major US midwifery education and credentialing bodies got together and agreed upon language for Certified Professional Midwife licensure. This language sets standards for education that meet the criteria set by the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM).

Why does that matter?
It matters because the national office of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists now officially support the ICM education and training standards. The language in our new bill meets those standards.

“The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) endorses the ICM education and training standards and strongly advocates the ICM criteria as a baseline for midwife licensure in the United States, through legislation and regulation.  Women in every state should be guaranteed care that meets these      important minimum standards…All midwives – whatever their title or professional designation and             regardless of where they practice – should meet the ICM standards, to ensure access to safe, qualified,   highly skilled midwives in all settings including birth centers.”

Companion document to the ACOG Policy Statement on Midwifery Education and Certification and the Obstetric Care Consensus document, Levels of Maternal Care, developed jointly by ACOG and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, April 20, 2015  Link to ACOG Statement

Decriminalization Bill
Some may argue that we do not have enough Certified Professional Midwives currently practicing or willing to practice in our state to warrant passing a licensure bill. This decriminalization bill would create a bridge to licensure by doing 3 things:

Section 1 allows Certified Professional Midwives who are licensed in other states, and student midwives under the direct supervision of an approved preceptor to practice in South Dakota. This is accomplished by adding them to the exemptions listed in the nurse midwife practice act (36-9A-3).

Section 2 of the bill calls for the repeal of Section 1 on July 1, 2020.

Section 3 establishes the Midwife Regulation Fund where voluntary contributions can be collected and used for initial costs of setting up a regulatory board or advisory committee to regulate Certified Professional Midwives.

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2016 Legislative Session

We will updating here during the 2016 SD Legislative Session. To ensure you never miss an update, please fill out our Contact Form to get on our email list!

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Birth Matters

Why does birth matter?

Birth matters because the way a child comes into the world, sets the stage for their entire life.  Optimizing the birth experience gives babies and their parents the best opportunity to thrive as families.  Birth challenges can effect breastfeeding and bonding and have long term physical, financial and emotional effects.
Does birth matter to you?
Do you believe in putting as much time into researching your birth options as you would put into a consumer purchase such as buying a house or a car?  We all want babies and mothers to get the best care possible, which means different things to different families.
What is most important to YOUR family?  Is it available in South Dakota?
Are you looking for evidence-based care or are you satisfied with care based on medical precedence?  Are you aware that many procedures commonly used in US births have been proven harmful by the scientific research?
Do you know the c-section rate at your hospital…..of your care provider?  Is your hospital designated as Baby-Friendly?  Have you put your preferences into a birth plan and discussed it with your care provider?  Are you willing to change care-providers, if your first choice isn’t a good fit for your needs?
Until consumers start demanding more scientific birth choices, the system will continue to put procedures benefiting hospitals ahead of the needs of families.
South Dakota Birth Matters believes families should have the same birth options that are working well in other states and countries and true informed consent.    We encourage all families to know their options and demand evidence-based care…because in the “heart” ofSouth Dakota …Birth Matters.
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Video Contest Winners


Grand Prize – Abbie Paulson, Aberdeen, SD

Youth Award – Emma Pease, Centerville, SD

You Tube Award – Brayla Miller, Chadron, NE

Audience Favorite Award- George Dennert, Columbia, SD

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