Private practice New Jersey Licensed Midwives (CNMs/CMs and CPMs) provide the option of homebirth services to many New Jersey families. People have many reasons for choosing to give birth at home. Whether you agree or disagree, you must acknowledge that they HAVE THAT CHOICE! The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists agree in their 2017 position statement re: Homebirth
Although the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists believes that hospitals and accredited birth centers are the safest settings for birth, each woman has the right to make a medically informed decision about delivery. Importantly, women should be informed that several factors are critical to reducing perinatal mortality rates and achieving favorable home birth outcomes. These factors include the appropriate selection of candidates for home birth; the availability of a certified nurse–midwife, certified midwife or midwife whose education and licensure meet International Confederation of Midwives’ Global Standards for Midwifery Education, or physician practicing obstetrics within an integrated and regulated health system; ready access to consultation; and access to safe and timely transport to nearby hospitals.
Making the decision to deliver at home should not deprive families of the medical and psychological support that a Midwife offers.
Homebirth is safe and legal in New Jersey. Homebirth is most safe when offered within a healthcare system that provides for consultation, collaboration, transfer of care, and efficient, non-judgmental emergency care. Currently, Midwives need to have a written “consulting agreement” with an OB/GYN to practice in New Jersey according to Section 13:35-2A.6 of the NJ Admin. Code. This means that if physicians, at any time, decide to not include homebirth in this agreement, access to homebirth disappears. In addition, if a Midwife cannot garner medical support for herself, she cannot practice at all. This is a restriction of trade.
The Midwives of New Jersey, along with several other area Midwives, have provided homebirth in northern New Jersey for many years. Two physicians who have been very supportive of Midwifery and birth choice recently stopped consulting with us because of liability concerns. They believe the act of signing the agreement makes them liable if there is a bad outcome at a homebirth even when they have no involvement in the birth circumstances whatsoever. So homebirth availability remains precarious, out of the Midwives’ control and in the control of certain groups that believe people should give birth in the hospital.
We are requesting an emergency waiver for every Midwife at the Midwives of New Jersey that will allow us to practice without a written physician agreement. We will be able to continue offering homebirth with this waiver. This is true independent practice for Midwives which works quite well in more than half the states in our country. Attached is the letter we would like you to personalize and send back to us to assemble. We will send your collective letters to the New Jersey Board of Medical examiners. Your voice WILL make change. Please speak up for the Midwives and birthing families of New Jersey!
Midwives of New Jersey
Please download the sample letter below. Personalize it and send to
Your voice WILL make change.