Who we are…
Georgia Friends of Midwives is a consumer group concerned with issues surrounding the problem of very limited birthing choices in our state.
GFOM was formed in 1990 in response to legal and political challenges to Georgia’s midwifery community. We advocate the preservation of safe, accessible and affordable childbirth alternatives as exemplified by the Midwives Model of Care™, including midwife-attended birth at home and in birth centers.
Research shows conclusively that for most women a planned, midwife-attended birth at home or in a birth center is at least as safe as birth in a hospital.
The Midwifery Model of Care results in excellent birth outcomes as well as deeply meaningful and satisfying family birth experiences.
Fair regulation of direct-entry midwifery benefits both consumers and midwives.
Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs), credentialed by the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM), should be able to legally practice in Georgia as they can in 33 other states.
Midwife-attended home birth should be a real and accessible choice for Georgia families who, for any of a variety of reasons, prefer the home birth alternative.
To promote awareness and public education regarding direct entry midwifery and the Certified Professional Midwife credential, and to ensure that the Midwifery Model of Care is available to all.
The Midwives Model of Care is based on the fact that pregnancy and birth are normal life processes.
The Midwives Model of Care includes:
Monitoring the physical, psychological, and social well-being of the mother throughout the childbearing cycle
Providing the mother with individualized education, counseling, and prenatal care, continuous hands-on assistance during labor and delivery, and postpartum support
Minimizing technological interventions
Identifying and referring women who require obstetrical attention
The application of this woman-centered model of care has been proven to reduce the incidence of birth injury, trauma, and cesarean section.
There are two main categories of midwives in the U.S., nurse-midwives, who are trained in both nursing and midwifery, and direct entry midwives, who trained as midwives without being nurses first. Within the category of direct entry midwives are several subcategories reflecting the varying legal status of these midwives in different states and the fact that until recently there was no nationally recognized credential available for direct entry midwives. Direct entry midwives include highly trained and very competent midwives; however, anyone may call herself a midwife at this time, and if you are looking for a midwife, it is up to you to find out if the midwife is qualified and experienced to your satisfaction. If a midwife is a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM), you are at least assured that she has met specific requirements for certification (and re-certification every three years).
Direct-Entry Midwives (including Licensed Midwives):
-Not required to be nurses.
-Multiple routes of education (apprenticeship, -workshops, formal classes or programs, etc., usually a combination).
-May or may not have a college degree.
-May or may not be certified by a state or national organization.
-Legal status varies according to state.
-Licensed or regulated in 26 states.
-In most states licensed midwives are not required to have any practice agreement with a doctor.
-Educational background requirements and licensing requirements vary by state.
-By and large maintain autonomous practices outside of institutions.
-Train and practice most often in