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10% of U.S. births involve the use of midwives, a rate far lower than other industrialized countries.

However, there is a lack of training for midwives due to a lack of funding for midwifery education.

Yet, not enough is being done to build the Midwifery workforce. There are not enough affordable schools or training program for aspiring midwifery students. California only has two schools that train midwives for the entire state. It is imperative that more midwifery programs are developed.


Years of








Accessing Midwifery Care

Reducing repeat cesareans: Nine out of 10 births following a cesarean are repeat cesareans, so avoiding the primary cesarean prevents future surgeries. The cost of a cesarean is approximately one and a half times that of a vaginal birth, for both public and private payers. Average payments by private insurance in 2010 were approximately $27,866 for a cesarean and $18,329 for a vaginal birth – a difference of $9,537 per birth.

Where to Find Midwives

Where to Find Midwives

Midwives practice throughout the healthcare system. They provide care for families in birthing centers, hospitals, or homes. You may find midwives through organizations like the California Association of Licensed Midwives (CALM) or at the Sista Midwife Directory. Additionally, check with your insurance plan and local hospital.
Who Can Have A Midwife

Who Can Have A Midwife

In general, women who are low-risk and healthy, desire minimal birth interventions, and wish to participate in shared decision-making for their health are able to receive midwifery care. You should make an appointment with a midwife to see if you would fit the qualifications for care.
Insurance Savings

Insurance Savings

Midwifery care is affordable. Midwives significantly reduce medical procedures such as cesareans. Cesarean births cost 50% more than vaginal births for both those who have public and private health insurance.
Midwifery Programs

Midwifery Programs

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Check Out These Resources to Become A Midwife

Midwifery Programs

Public Schools

Visit the California State University Fullerton and the University of California, San Francisco’s sites for more options.

Get Certification

Obtain the proper certification for the type of midwife you would like to become. Find more on Midwifery 101.

Get Training

Find training by shadowing a professional midwife or physician to get hands-on experience.
Midwifery Challenges

Barriers to Midwifery Care

Access to Midwifery Care

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends midwifery care for 87% of women with healthy, low-risk pregnancies. However, research shows that many women are not informed about midwifery care as an option. Additionally, not every hospital or community have enough midwives available who represent the race/culture being served to provide maternity care.

Lack of Training Programs for Midwives

The U.S. is the only developed country where the maternal mortality rate increased between 1990 and 2015. Studies show that if midwifery care were more widely accessible within the health care system birth outcomes would improve. There are few midwifery training programs at universities and colleges which contributes to the lack of access. In the State of California only two colleges offer a midwifery degree. If midwifery training programs were available at the community colleges that would help increase the workforce.