CHICAGO (WMBD) — Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed legislation that would allow for licensure and certification of midwives in the state.
The law will allow Illinois mothers to give birth outside of hospitals.
“With the legislation I sign today, the lifesaving and lifegiving work midwives perform will be legally recognized here in Illinois. It’s a victory decades in the making and one that recognizes the full worth and value of midwives in reproductive care,” said Pritzker. “Most importantly, it ensures safe home births for every mother who chooses to deliver out-of-hospital – another step toward advancing health equity in communities across our state.”
The legislation establishes standards for the qualifications, education, training and experience of people who seek to be licensed as certified professional midwives. The licensure and certification of midwives will be administered by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR).
Due to the pandemic, more soon-to-be mothers have turned to home births, in which midwives provide guidance before and during delivery, as well as vital postpartum care. Furthermore, data indicates that women of color in Illinois are more likely to experience complications from a pregnancy-related condition. By providing more comprehensive options for women during pregnancy, HB 3401 helps advance health equity across Illinois.