Professor of Nursing Ginger Breedlove, Ph.D., FACNM, CNM, who serves as president of the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM), testified on Capitol Hill in December in favor of legislation to address the maternity care provider shortage.
The bill, Improving Access to Maternity Care Act of 2015 (H.R.1209), would establish a health professional shortage area designation for maternity care services, similar to shortage designations that exist for primary care, dental, and mental health services. This designation would help to identify areas in the United States that experience significant shortages of full-scope maternity care professionals, including certified nurse-midwives and certified midwives.
The bill would enable Congress and the administration to better assess the maternity care landscape in order to address the needs of women of childbearing age and allow appropriate resources to be focused on those needs. By expanding access to maternity care professionals in underserved areas, the United States can reduce overall maternity care costs by ensuring women have access to necessary prenatal care and delivery options.