I am a constituent writing in support of HB4655 for out-of-hospital birth access and safety. Massachusetts families urgently need access to high-quality maternity care in all birth settings. We are in a nationwide health crisis marked by the worst maternal mortality rate in the developed world and higher infant mortality than our peer nations. These burdens are inequitably borne by our black mothers and babies. Removing barriers to care and improving safety in all settings is essential to ensuring healthy and thriving moms and babies.
Each year, hundreds of families in Massachusetts make the choice give birth at home with midwives. While 33 states have licensed Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs), who specialize in home and birth center birth, Massachusetts does not license these providers. HB4655 would solve this problem, finally integrating maternity care across providers and birth settings, benefiting the health of moms and babies.
A study published in February showed that integration of midwifery in a state’s maternity care system resulted in healthier moms and babies in that state. This means: fewer infant deaths, fewer C-sections, more breastfeeding, fewer unnecessary interventions, and thriving babies (higher birth weight and fewer preemies).
Massachusetts ranks in the bottom half of states for midwifery integration due to lack of CPM licensure. We can fix this by passing HB4655 before the legislative session ends.
The bill is currently in the Health Care Financing Committee. Please urge Vice Chair Roy and members of the Committee to pass the bill out favorably as soon as possible so that we can get the bill passed this session.
Thank you for supporting the health of moms and babies in Massachusetts.