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February 2019 Newsletter

California Nurse-Midwives Association

February 2019 | Newsletter

View this newsletter as a shareable google doc HERE



There was an important webinar this week on Jan 30th by CMQCC on the topic of BIRTH CERTIFICATE DATA ENTRY. We are involved in a large project to help ensure that midwives are getting added to the birth certificates of our patients we are delivering because our numbers are being largely underreported. See our previous newsletter for more details, or visit CMQCC’s Maternal Data Center page for more information. From the webinar on Wednesday, we wanted to bring to everyone’s attention a crucial nugget from the discussion:

'Importantly, on the most recent CMQCC webinar that addressed reporting of CNM-attended births, it was clarified that if you are supervising a midwifery student or resident, the birth attendant reported on the birth certificate should be the provider supervising the resident or midwifery student. Please distribute this information to your departments, birth clerks, and CNM colleagues.'

Keep your ear to the ground, CNMA will do our best to keep you updated on how you can help. Stay tuned for more information!


Governor Newsom announces first ever California Surgeon General

Governor Gavin Newsom announced the appointment of Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, a national leader in pediatric medicine, as California’s first-ever Surgeon General, and Kris Perry, a national leader in early childhood policy, as Deputy Secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency for Early Childhood Development and Senior Advisor to the Governor on Implementation of Early Childhood Development Initiatives. There is overwhelming consensus in the scientific community around early warning signs and childhood determinants of serious health outcomes. As Surgeon General, Dr. Burke Harris will urge policymakers at every level of government and leaders across the state to consider the social determinants of health, especially for children. Her work will focus on combating the root causes of serious health conditions — like adverse childhood experiences and toxic stress — and using the platform of Surgeon General to reach young families across the state.

To read more, click here.

We’d love to hear from anyone who knows or has worked with Dr. Burke Harris. If so, please contact


CMQCC: My Birth Matters Campaign

In the last few years, healthcare providers, payers, purchasers, policymakers, and others across California have been working together to ensure that C-sections are only performed when absolutely necessary. Overuse of C-sections leads to serious risks for mothers and babies, and while the nurse midwife model inherently and historically has supported vaginal births, additional stakeholders and providers are also now working to improve clinical care to decrease unnecessary C-sections across the state.

Patient education is a critical part of this effort, and as such, the California Health Care Foundation (CHCF), California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative (CMQCC), and Consumer Reports joined forces to develop and launch My Birth Matters, an educational campaign aimed at informing expectant mothers about cesarean delivery. The goal is to support the statewide effort by educating as many first-time, low-risk pregnant women as possible in California about the overuse of C-sections and encourage meaningful conversations between them and their healthcare team.

In order to create a successful campaign, CHCF, CMQCC, and Consumer Reports needed to remain singularly focused on the issue of C-section reduction and offer clear messaging that resonated with women California-wide.

To read more, click here.

Ready to get started or have questions? You can find all the materials on our outreach page and can email with questions or to share updates.

CNMA TASK FORCE: Birth Certificate Data Reporting

As part of CNMA's push to ensure that birth certificates accurately reflect CNM birth attendants in every hospital, we are creating the CNMA Birth Certificate Accuracy Task Force.

If you would like to participate, or know of someone who would be a good fit for such a project, please let us know. We would love to have CNM leads from across the state as well as others familiar with this problem who are motivated to assist with this project.

Please contact Holly Smith at

AGAIN: On the most recent CMQCC webinar that addressed reporting of CNM-attended births, it was clarified that if you are supervising a midwifery student or resident, the birth attendant reported on the birth certificate should be the provider supervising the resident or midwifery student.

Please distribute this information to your departments, birth clerks, and CNM colleagues.


CNMA Membership Survey Results

CNMA recently circulated a survey to look at the possible reasons for a notable drop in our membership over the past five years. We wanted to take a broader look our organization, how we are serving our community, and at how the community of midwives views membership.

Here is what we learned from you!

In order to get started, we had looked at other professional organizations in California, like the California Lawyers Association, the California Medical Association, and the California Pharmacists Association to compare their membership numbers, membership fees, mission statements, and stated member benefits to compare what CNMA offers to its California midwives.

1. We found that most professional organizations had over 75% membership participation by their practicing community.

California has over 1100 practicing midwives, of which less than half are active members. 73.5% of survey participants stated they feel a professional obligation to participate in their professional organization. 58% of participants felt like they understood the benefits of belonging to a professional organization like CNMA. CNMA is hoping to increase our membership to match the levels of our sibling organizations to at least 75% of practicing midwives. We have power in numbers. CNMA wants to help give midwives a fair seat at the legislative table and a voice when laws affecting patient care are being passed.

2. Each organization’s mission statement emphasized the organization’s role in advocating for the rights of its members by advocating for the best patient outcomes.

In the past, CNMA has focused primarily on advocacy efforts for bills in California to improve practice laws and access to better maternal child health outcomes. 82.4% of our survey participants were aware that CNMA has funded lobbying efforts for recent bills like AB2682 which was an effort to remove physician supervision from the current language around midwifery practices (this unfortunately did not pass). CNMA is looking to continue our lobbying efforts to improve laws for practicing midwives in California.

3. Each organization has membership dues that seemed to scale with estimated income profiles. For example: CMA charges $1074/yr ($600 for the state fees and $400+ for chapter dues, all this on top of AMA dues), and CPhA was around $450.

CNMA charges an average of $200/year (this is in addition to your membership dues to ACNM) for an active membership. Many survey participants noted dissatisfaction with membership dues. CNMA hopes to help increase transparency with our budget and help our members feel like their money is being put to tangible use.

4. Other comments and feedback from the survey were clustered around unclear purpose statements (we called it your “elevator speech” about CNMA), and the desire for more accessible and regular chapter and state meetings.

CNMA wants you to create your own narratives for how you describe us to your patients and colleagues, but our aim is for you to see CNMA as YOUR professional organization that represents certified nurse midwives, student midwives, and our allied health partners in the state of California, that advocates for better legislation to improve maternal-child health outcomes, and that helps to increase visibility and accessibility to midwifery care to urban and rural patients across the state.

Survey Conclusions

CNMA is working on a revamping of our organization to help broaden our utility for our membership pool. We are devoted to increasing our organizational presence in the California, increasing our visibility online and in the media, and increasing our membership numbers so that we can have the power of all of YOU in order to make great and important changes in California for midwives and our patients!

Visit our new website: CNMA.ORG to learn more about how midwives are taking over the planet.


CNMA.ORG is undertaking a BIG project, and we need your help! Please send us your bio for our new page: It’s a project we’re calling MEET THE MIDWIVES, and we are trying to get every midwife in California to participate!

Imagine… one place for patients and community members to find all the midwives of CA!

As our profession gains momentum in California, we need to make it easier for our patients and colleagues to find us.

Please send us: a short bio with your credentials (CNM, LM, NP, PhD, etc), a photo or video (please label the file with your full name), and the name, address, and link to the site for where you practice. We will issue each midwife their own URL (!)

A sample bio here:

CNMA.ORG will try to have your bio up and running within 7 business days! Email your bios to:

Thank you and please share with all your midwife friends!

-Media Team at CNMA


Questions? News? Want to get involved?

Email us at


That's all for this month's issue. Don’t forget to post this in your call room at work!

Catch you next time,

CNMA Media Team

Visit us at CNMA.ORG

[This newsletter will be archived on our website at]


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