California Midwifery licensure? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 3 Old 01-29-2011, 06:14 PM - Thread Starter
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We are currently in the process of looking at possible places to move in the next few years if DH can't find work here in Washington State after he graduates his woodworking school.  So I'm looking at a few places in CA among other places (Grass Valley, Chico, Santa Cruz, maybe others?)


My question is about CA midwifery licensure.  I'm a midwife here in WA (currently not practicing, being a SAHM but will start up a practice in the next few years.)  It seems that WA and CA have reciprocity of licensure which is good.  However I read that CA requires a midwife to have an OB who "oversees" her and needs to sign something to that measure before she can be licensed?  How in the world does that work if I was to move to a new place without knowing any OBs there...Not to mention I am sure that many OBs flat out will not support homebirth MWs (that is the case here so I am sure it is similar there.)


CA MWs, how does this work?

Midwife mama bellycast.gif to DD1 bouncy.gif (4.5) and DD2 h20homebirth.gif (1.5)
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#2 of 3 Old 01-30-2011, 01:50 PM
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I'm an apprenticing student in CA so I hope I qualify as acceptable to answer :) My understanding of the situation is that while the law states we must have a physician overseeing us in reality very few if any actually have a physician. It's written into law but in practice it is known that we don't and can't get an overseeing physician. In short, they would have to prosecute the majority of the midwives in the state if they wanted to carry that out. I hear that there is current works in the process to try to change the law to having a physician for a second opinion. The dream of course would be to allow us to be fully independent practitioners. In my opinion (for what it's worth) it's not extremely hostile at this point. It's a part of the law that they can add to a prosecution for other things, but they don't actively hunt down mw's with the intent of prosecuting them solely for not having a supervising physician.   


You can get a little insight as to how it's been played out on both ends by reading through the Brazen Women on California Association of Midwives site. I recently had to study these women for more's a link: 


One quote I like from that page:

"Deva believes that we should sue the state of California for restraint of trade. She says that you can’t charge someone money to license them and then not allow them to practice once they are licensed! They need to either remove physician supervision or actually make it workable. She has a couple of doctor she consults with, but none will officially back her up."


Hope that helps a little :) I'd be glad to chat more if you want to PM me!

Midwife. Mama to five. Love is still the greatest.
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#3 of 3 Old 02-27-2011, 02:18 PM
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I am a Licensed midwife in CA, and a regional rep for our state organization California Association of Midwives. We are required by law to have physician supervision but no one is being prosecuted or investigated by the state for lack of supervision alone. Midwives are part of the Midwives Advisory Committee that is part of the State Medical Board. 


I am in the Bay Area, let me know if I can help in any way


Treesa Mcleam, LM, CPM

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