Illinois midwives could be licensed under Villa, Senate measure

SPRINGFIELD – The General Assembly has been working for decades to pass legislation co-sponsored by State Senator Karina Villa (D-West Chicago) to create licensure requirements for midwives in an effort to protect pregnant women.

“The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have forced many women to explore birthing styles outside of a hospital setting,” Villa said. “Expecting mothers should be able to have full confidence in their home birth with the knowledge that their midwife is a certified professional.”

Under current law, certified professional midwives without nursing degrees are not recognized as health care professionals who can assist with home births. More than 30 states recognize CPMs without additional degrees, but Illinois only recognizes the professionals who are advanced-practice registered nurses.

This landmark legislation would create the Licensed Certified Professional Midwife Practice Act, which contains education, training and experience requirements for midwives.

“Midwives have been helping bring babies into this world from a safe home setting for centuries,” Villa said. “This legislation has been in the works since 1979, and I’m pleased to see our state taking action to move one step closer to certifying professional midwives.”

House Bill 3401 passed the Senate Wednesday with bipartisan support and now goes to the House of Representatives for further consideration.