As the Midwives Alliance envisions strategies for the future and creative ways to promote the midwifery model of care, we have forged relationships with partners and collaborators to enhance the work we do. Our mission is to increase access to quality health care and improve outcomes for women, babies, families, and communities. Listed below are some of our partner organizations.
Organizations & Coalitions
MANA is one of the original Allied Midwifery Organizations. They consist of the earliest direct entry midwifery organizations, plus ICTC upon its inception:
Citizens for Midwifery (CfM)
Citizens for Midwifery is a non-profit, volunteer, grassroots organization founded by several mothers in 1996. It is the only national consumer-based group promoting the Midwives Model of Care.
International Center for Traditional Childbearing (ICTC)
The International Center for Traditional Childbearing (ICTC) is a non-profit infant mortality prevention, breastfeeding promotion, and midwife and doula training organization comprised of women and men who want to improve birth outcomes and provide training opportunities in their communities. ICTC is a birth justice organization, culturally specific to the African Diaspora. The mission is to increase the number of Black midwives, doulas, and healers and to empower families in order to eliminate infant and maternal mortality. Established in 1991 by Shafia M. Monroe with the national support of educators and midwives, ICTC now has chapters and members around the globe to improve birth outcomes and build capacity.
Midwifery Education Accreditation Council (MEAC)
The Midwifery Education Accreditation Council’s mission is to promote excellence in midwifery education through accreditation. MEAC standards incorporate the nationally recognized core competencies and guiding principles set by the Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA), The International Confederation of Midwives (ICM), and the requirements for national certification of the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM). MEAC’s accreditation criteria for midwifery education programs reflect the unique components and philosophy of the Midwives Model of Care.
The purpose of MEAC is to establish standards and criteria for the education of competent midwives, and to provide a process for self-evaluation and peer evaluation for diverse educational programs. MEAC is a non-profit organization approved by the U.S. Secretary of Education as a nationally recognized accrediting agency.
National Association of Certified Professional Midwives (NACPM)
The National Association of Certified Professional Midwives (NACPM) is a membership organization specifically representing Certified Professional Midwives (CPM) in the United States. Among its goals, NACPM is committed to ensuring that midwives are the primary maternity care providers in the United States, establishing licensure and equitable reimbursement for CPMs in all 50 states, advocating for CPMs to the public, state and federal legislators and health care policy makers, and securing a place in the maternity care system for the unique and valuable services of CPMs
North American Registry of Midwives (NARM)
NARM’s mission is to provide and maintain an evaluative process for multiple routes of midwifery education and training; to develop and administer a standardized examination system leading to the credential “Certified Professional Midwife” (CPM); to identify best practices that reflect the excellence and diversity of the independent midwifery community as the basis for setting the standards for the CPM credential; to publish, distribute and/or make available materials that describe the certification and examination process and requirements for application; to maintain a registry of those individuals who have received certification and/or passed the examination; to manage the process of re-certification; and to work in multiple arenas to promote and improve the role of CPMs in the delivery of maternity care to women and their newborns
MANA has a broad committment to promoting midwifery as the gold standard of maternity care, physiologic birth, and the rights of families to birth in the setting of their choice. We are proud to partner and collaborate with other organizations working toward the same goals.
American Association of Birth Centers (AABC)
AABC is a multidisciplinary membership organization comprised of birth centers, individuals and organizations that promote and support birth centers as a means to uphold the rights of healthy women and their families, in all communities, to birth their children in an environment which is safe, sensitive and cost effective with minimal intervention. For 25 years, the American Association of Birth Centers has been the nation’s most comprehensive resource on birth centers.
American College of Nurse Midwives (ACNM)
The American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) is the professional association that represents certified nurse-midwives (CNMs) and certified midwives (CMs) in the United States. With roots dating to 1929, ACNM is the oldest women’s health care organization in the United. Representing a majority of institutionally trained and practicing midwives, ACNM reviews research, administers and promotes continuing education programs, and works with organizations, state and federal agencies, and members of Congress to advance the well-being of women and infants through the practice of midwifery. They released their first position statement on planned home birth in support of informed choice and evidence-based site selection in 2005, with the latest revision in 2011.
Associacion Mexicana de Parteria (AMP)
Es la asociación nacional que agrupa a las parteras de todos los caminos de formación: la partería tradicional, autónoma, enfermería obstétrica y perinatal. La AMP reúne los esfuerzos de parteras y personas comprometidas en nuestro país con hacer del embarazo, el parto y el postparto una experiencia segura, gozosa y digna. Trabaja para ser el órgano a nivel nacional que promueve el bienestar perinatal y postnatal de madres y bebés a través de la confianza en el parto natural, el saber profesional de las parteras mexicanas con base en la más reciente evidencia científica. Trabajamos para fortalecernos desde la unidad, creemos en la certificación de nuestras competencias para la protección de las usuarias y para asegurar la autonomía de la práctica de la profesión.
The Mexican Association of Midwifery (AMP) is the national association uniting midwives from all educational pathways: traditional, direct-entry, and obstetric and perinatal nursing. The AMP brings together midwives and supporters in Mexico to ensure pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum is a safe, joyful and dignified experience. We work on a national level to promote perinatal and postnatal wellbeing of mothers and babies through trust in natural childbirth, the professional knowledge of Mexican midwives, and it’s foundation in the latest scientific evidence. The AMP strives for strength in unity, and believes that certification of skills protects women and babies and helps maintain midwifery as an autonomous practice.
Association of Midwifery Educators (AME)
The Association of Midwifery Educators (AME) is a non-profit organization committed to strengthening midwifery educators, schools, and administrators through connection, collaboration and coordination. It is a membership organization of midwifery schools, educators and administrators with a common goal of providing the best possible midwifery education through multiple pathways to provide a highly competent midwifery workforce to address the needs of childbearing families. AME is dedicated to the art and science of midwifery education and ensuring that educators have access to the connections, collaborations and coordinated opportunities they need to succeed in the work of teaching, nurturing and mentoring midwives for the future. All midwifery educators – preceptors, academic faculty, and school administrators – are welcome as members.
Canadian Association of Midwives (CAM)
The Canadian Association of Midwives (CAM) is the national organization representing midwives and the profession of midwifery in Canada. The mission of CAM is to provide leadership and advocacy for midwifery as a regulated, publicly funded and vital part of the primary maternity care system in all provinces and territories. CAM promotes the development of the profession in the public interest and contributes the midwifery perspective to the national health policy agenda.
L’Association canadienne des sages-femmes (ACSF) est l’organisation nationale qui représente les sages-femmes et la profession sage-femme au Canada. La mission de l’ACSF consiste à ouvrir la voie et à assurer un soutien à la profession sage-femme en tant que profession réglementée, financée par l’État, qui joue un rôle vital au sein du système de soins de maternité primaires dans l’ensemble des provinces et des territoires. L’ACSF favorise le développement de la profession dans l’intérêt public et apporte le point de vue des sages-femmes dans le contexte de la politique nationale de la santé.
Childbirth Connection, formerly known as the Maternity Center Association, is an American national nonprofit organization that works to improve the quality of maternity care through research, education, advocacy, and policy. Their mission is to improve the quality and value of maternity care through consumer engagement and health system transformation. Childbirth Connection is a voice for the needs and interests of childbearing families. They promote safe, effective and satisfying evidence-based woman- and family-centered maternity care, provided in a timely, equitable and cost-effective way by a high-quality, high-value maternity care system.
Foundation for the Advancement of Midwifery, Inc. (FAM)
The Foundation for the Advancement of Midwifery (FAM) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to increasing access to midwifery in North America through education, research, public policy and promoting health equity. The FAM board consists of eight volunteer members—five midwives and three consumers. In 2009, Robin Hutson was hired as Executive Director to continue the growth of the foundation’s program support and meet the increased funding demands for midwifery education and public policy. FAM is a member of the Women’s Funding Network , a consortium of global women’s funds, and Grantmakers in Health, a consortium of health funders. By 2011, FAM had granted over one million dollars to more than 30 midwifery projects that improve birth for mothers and babies since its first grant in 2003.
International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN)
The International Cesarean Awareness Network, Inc. (ICAN) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve maternal-child health by preventing unnecessary cesareans through education, providing support for cesarean recovery, and promoting Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC). At its core, ICAN is a grass-roots organization made up of local chapters all over the United States and Canada that provide mother-to-mother support and education about cesarean prevention and VBAC. All chapter leaders, Board members and officers are volunteers. As of 2014, there were close to 200 chapters. International interest in ICAN’s mission continues to grow and new chapters are being started all over the world. Multiple chapters now exist throughout Asia, Europe, Central America, and the Carribean.
International Confederation of Midwives (ICM)
The International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) supports, represents and works to strengthen professional associations of midwives throughout the world. There are currently 127 Midwives Associations, representing 111 countries across every continent. ICM is organised into four regions: Africa, the Americas, Asia Pacific and Europe. Together these associations represent more than 400,000 midwives globally. ICM works closely with Midwives and Midwives Associations to secure women’s rights and access to midwifery care before, during and after childbirth. Their goal is to improve maternal and newborn health globally, and ensure that Midwives Associations have the tools necessary to be effective.
National Aboriginal Council of Midwives (NACM)
The National Aboriginal Council of Midwives (NACM) exists to promote excellence in reproductive health care for Inuit, First Nations, and Métis women. NACM is an umbrella organization under the Canadian Association of Midwives (CAM) with a status equivalent to other provincial and territorial midwifery associations. As active members of CAM, NACM represents the professional development and practice needs of Aboriginal midwives to the responsible health authorities in Canada and the global community. They advocate for the restoration of midwifery education, provision of midwifery services, and choice of birthplace for all Aboriginal communities consistent with the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. NACM’s membership is a diverse group of Aboriginal midwives, midwife Elders, and student midwives, and includes both registered midwives, and trained midwives practicing under certain exemption clauses of provincial health legislation.
As the first national midwifery organization supporting all midwives and promoting home and community based care, and as the initiator of the CPM credential, the Midwives Alliance was a founding member of many coalitions. MANA is committed to using the collective voice and power of midwifery, educational, and consumer organizations created to influence the U.S. maternal and child health care system in ways that will improve access, quality, cost and satisfaction for American women, infants and families, and has continued to join in new coalitions as they form.
The Big Push Campaign for Midwives
(from the NARM site)The Big Push for Midwives represents tens of thousands of grassroots advocates in the United States who support expanding access to Certified Professional Midwives and out-of-hospital maternity care. The mission of The Big Push for Midwives is to educate state and national policymakers about the reduced costs and improved outcomes associated with out-of-hospital maternity care and to advocate for expanding access to the services of Certified Professional Midwives, who are specially trained to provide it.
Read about The Big Push in our Advocacy section
Coalition for Improving Maternity Services (CIMS)
The Coalition for Improving Maternity Services (CIMS) joind with the BirthNetwork National and ImprovingBirth to become the ImprovingBirth Coalition. CIMS maintains the Mother-Friendly website with information on becoming mother-friendly. MANA was one of the ratifiers of the Mother-Friendly Childbirth Initiative.
Read about the Mother-Friendly Chilbirth Initiative in our About Midwives section
Read about the ImprovingBirth Coalition below.
Coalition for Quality Maternity Care (CQMC)
CQMC is a coalition of national professional, consumer, and human rights organizations collaborating in order to champion the urgent need for national strategies to improve the quality and value of maternal and newborn health care in America. It is comprised of nine founding member organization (who form the steering committee) and a dozen partner organization. The steering committee and founding members of CQMC are: the American Association of Birth Centers, American College of Nurse-Midwives, International Center for Traditional Childbearing, Midwives Alliance of North America, and the National Association of Certified Professional Midwives, along with Amnesty International USA; Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses; Black Women’s Health Imperative; Childbirth Connection; Coalition for Quality Maternity Care
Elephant Circle brings the strength of advocacy, scientific inquiry, information, and education to issues of birth and reproductive justice, protecting mothers, their children, families, and health providers. They work on a broad range of issues related to birth and reproductive justice, with a focus on developing prototypes for service that can expand and grow through adoption by other organizations or shifts in policy. Elephant Circle is a partner in MANA’s Division of Access and Equity.
Read about Elephant Circle in the Division of Access & Equity
The Home Birth Summits brought a cross-section of the maternity care system into one room to discuss improved integration of services for all women and families in the United States. In 2011, 2013, and 2014 the Home Birth Summits convened a multidisciplinary group of leaders, representing consumers, physicians, midwives, hospital administrators, legislators, and public health, research, ethics, payor, and liability specialists, to address their shared responsibility for care of women who plan home births in the United States. Through a shared vision of improving equitable access to safe, high quality maternity care across all settings, 9 task forces have created a set of strategic initiatives to increase access to safe, respectful, affordable maternity care; improve inter-professional education; and enable patient-responsive and population-specific research on maternal choice, experience and outcomes related to birth place.
Read more about the Homebirth Summits in our Advocacy section
ImprovingBirth is the result of the merger between the Coalition for Improving Maternity Services (CIMS), BirthNetwork National and ImprovingBirth.
CIMS was first founded in 1996 when a group of stakeholders came together to create the Mother-Friendly Childbirth Initiative (MFCI) as the vehicle to support and promote mother-friendly maternity care. BirthNetwork National was created in 1999, shortly after CIMS began, as a grassroots organization dedicated to bringing the MFCI to life. ImprovingBirth began in 2012 as a grassroots consumer organization and is best known for their annual “Rally to Improve Birth” events, done as an awareness campaign to bring consumers and birth professionals together on Labor Day
The three organizations began discussions in 2015, and announced their merger on November 2016 with these words: We strongly feel that our organizations can do more together than we have apart. To that end, we have created a vision of what that work together will include. We are no longer just a social movement; we are laying the groundwork to become a powerful, change-making national organization that is rooted in local communities. We are going to train birth advocates to engage deeply with the families, providers and hospitals in their areas through our Community Advocate Training Program. We will bring the principles of the MFCI to life with our Mother-Friendly Provider Designation and the Mother-Friendly Hospital Certification Program nationwide.
Integrative Health Policy Consortium (IHPC)
The Integrative Health Policy Consortium’s Partners for Health program is composed of non-profit educational and advocacy organizations from across the complementary and integrative health and medicine spectrum, working together toward our shared goals. IHPC advocates for an integrative healthcare system with equal access to the full range of health-oriented, person-centered, regulated healthcare professionals. For patient-centered, prevention-oriented health care to flourish, many core public policies that govern today’s healthcare system must be fundamentally redesigned. IHPC’s public policy agenda focuses on creating an integrated healthcare system nationwide. Their legislative agenda includes seeing that Congress provides support for both the infrastructure and the research needed to create and sustain a patient-centered, cost-effective integrated healthcare system.
The MAMA Campaign
The Midwives and Mothers in Action (MAMA) Campaign was originally launched in 2009 as a coalition of MANA, The National Association of Certified Professional Midwives (NACPM), Citizens for Midwifery (CfM), the International Center for Traditional Childbearing (ICTC), the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM) and the Midwifery Education Accreditation Council (MEAC). The MAMA Campaign is a national effort to gain federal recognition of Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs) focused primarily on securing recognition of CPMs in federal legislation that would mandate reimbursement for CPM services by Medicaid so that women and families will have increased access to quality, affordable maternity care in the settings of their choice. In recent years, NACPM has taken on the lead position within the MAMA Campaign and is supported by an advisory board composed of the original coalition members.
US MERA is comprised of the seven organizations responsible for midwifery education, regulation, and association in the United States – the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM), Midwifery Education Accreditation Council (MEAC), Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA), National Association of Certified Professional Midwives (NACPM), Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME), American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB), and the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM).
US MERA has worked collaboratively with a common purpose of expanding access to high-quality maternity care and normal physiologic birth in all birth settings. The work has been shaped by the International Confederation of Midwives’ (ICM) Global Standards for Education, Regulation, and Association, and the ICM’s Definition of a Midwife.
Read more about USMERA in our Advocacy section