Together, this team of women is so empowering and confident that birth, while unpredictable, is not scary and (is) completely natural.
- Kelly D, Yelp Review
(about Heather Le Master and Gerri Ryan of San Diego County Midwives)
Community midwives work in teams to ensure high levels of safety. Typically a midwifery team is comprised of 2 to 3 qualified and trained people, including midwives, student midwives and birth assistants. Each person attending births is required to complete up to date training in Neonatal Resuscitation and Basic Life Support. Because each team is assembled by the primary midwife, it is a good idea to ask your provider who makes up their team.
There are two types of midwives in the state of California: licensed and nurse midwives.
Licensed Midwives (LMs) are licensed by the Medical Board of California and certified by the North American Registry of Midwives.
LMs go through a direct entry program with a didactic education. The requirements include completing an education portion at an accredited school and a clinical portion with approved preceptors at midwifery practices and birth centers. The clinical portion requires LMs to observe, assist and work as a primary midwife under supervision for a minimum of 60 births. After completing these, LMs must pass a national licensing exam. Once licensed, LMs are required to complete continuing education courses yearly to maintain their license.
Certified Nurse Midwives
Certified Nurse Midwives (CNMs) are licensed as Advanced Practice Nurses through the California Board of Registered Nursing.
CNMS initially go to school to become a registered nurse, and then return to school to get at least a Master’s in Midwifery.
Both types of midwives are qualified and capable of providing safe, thorough and individualized care in all birth settings: home, birth center and hospital.