CALM accomplishments and ongoing work

CALM Accomplishments and Ongoing Work

During these turbulent times, CALM has been a steady presence on the front lines, holding fast against the medical lobby’s ongoing campaign to limit access to licensed midwife care, impose physician permission requirements on clients, and ban VBACs with LMs.

While we don’t have the special interest money that buys the kinds of back-door access to legislators that the medical lobby enjoys, we do have the power of our membership, the people we serve, and the broader midwifery community.

Since its founding in 2017, CALM has been quietly but steadily growing our collective power to defend and advance the midwifery profession in the state of California.

This work is not always easy or comfortable.

But if we don’t do it together, it won’t get done.

A strong, committed membership of midwives is vital to CALM’s ability to continue holding the line on push-back from organized medicine while also building a sustainable future founded on access to midwifery care, without barriers, for generations to come.

Please take a few minutes to renew your annual CALM membership today.

How has CALM been standing up for California’s midwifery community?

Please consider just a few of the critical facts below, which our working board, members, advocates, allies, and small staff have diligently researched, uncovered, analyzed, and brought to the attention of key policy-makers and legislators in recent years:

The Medical Board’s continued failure to fulfill its most fundamental regulatory functions, leaving both licensed midwives and the public we serve without legal standards of care or practice guidelines.

The regulatory capture of the midwifery profession by the medical profession via the Medical Board which, coupled with inherent conflicts of interest, has led directly to the current regulatory stalemate.

LM disciplinary cases that have been decided through the use of underground regulations, with midwifery practice being judged according to the medical model of maternity care, not the midwives model of care.

A study commissioned by the MBC showing that complaints filed against LMs are referred to the state Health Quality Investigative Unit for full investigation at a rate of 100%, vs. a rate of between 4%-7% for physicians.

Recent budget authorizations allowing MBC to begin to draw down the Licensed Midwifery Fund to the tune of $120k annually. These expenditures, which are funded by LM licensing fees, are not earmarked for developing or promulgating LM regulations.

After many years of resistance, and in no small part due to CALM’s advocacy efforts, this year the MBC endorsed the formation of a Licensed Midwife Board. A major milestone is behind us as we continue to look ahead.

In the meantime, CALM continues to work towards the long-term growth and sustainability of the midwifery profession in California.


Recent CALM initiatives include:

Gathering input, developing, and drafting VBAC guidelines, which may also serve as defensible community guidelines for midwives practicing in out-of-hospital settings, and which will soon be ready for review by CALM members.

Working with midwives from around the state to create a supportive, midwife-centered quality improvement program empowering them to provide the best care possible and to demonstrate the benefits of midwifery care to the larger maternal healthcare system statewide.

Developing a roster of professional CEU webinars that address both longstanding and emerging legal, ethical, and clinical issues facing California’s licensed midwives.

Honoring the critical role of midwives of color, providing honorary memberships and free continuing education to midwives of color and student midwives of color, in partnership with Californians for the Advancement of Midwifery.

Putting COVID-19 response resources in place as the pandemic unfolded.

Piloting Case Review under Protected Peer Review for CALM members.

Developing CALM Transitions, a multi-stakeholder initiative to improve interprofessional education and communication among community midwives, emergency medical personnel, and hospital providers.