"New law allows Delaware non-nurse midwives to be licensed." This was the headline on June 9, 2015 on the front page of state-wide newspapers when Gov. Jack Markell signed House Bill 70 into law. Prior to this law, families wanting to birth at home and most midwives who wanted to serve them were unable to do so based on a statute that made it a felony for midwives to serve families without a collaborative agreement with an OB. OBs were not willing to sign these agreements with midwives based on concerns of liability. Families were left with less choices for maternity care. With the new law, CPM midwives are independent maternity care practitioners who can serve families in out-of-hospital birth settings.
We are grateful for the advocacy work of Yvonne Steele whose support helped to make midwifery legal in Delaware. Since House Bill 70 went into effect, Delaware has licensed 9 CPMs.