Midwifery Birth Center Regulations
As birth centers developed in various states, licensure statutes and regulations were written and approved. Some birth center laws and regulations have not been modified since they were originally written in the 1980s. At that time, states modeled regulations after ambulatory surgery centers or other medical facilities, with stringent requirements for construction, hallway width, and the size of a birth room being the same as an operating room.
Birth centers in all states must adhere to the environmental, health, safety, laboratory, sanitation, and professional licensure standards mandated by federal, state, and local authorities, as they are licensed healthcare facilities.
Birth centers in the US are regulated by the Commission for the Accreditation of Birth Centers (CABC). It is the only accrediting body whose goal is unique to birth centers. Other accrediting organizations review a variety of healthcare facilities. Presently, 80% of the states have some sort of regulation for birthing centers. States with the largest numbers of birth centers have fewer restrictive regulations in place.
Conversely, in states where regulations or licensure requirements are difficult to achieve, there are fewer birth centers. This is similar to regulations for advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) and midwives (Yang, Attanasio, & Kozhimannil, 2016), where restrictive regulations decrease access. In 2014, the American Association for Birth Centers (AABC) filed comments with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to draw attention to ways in which restrictive birth center regulations limit access to birth center care (AABC, 2014).
Following the standards for birth centers must be the topmost priority of any midwife who wants to start her own birth center. When a birth center receives accreditation, particularly from the CABC, families can have confidence that the center has shown commitment to higher quality standards than those required for basic licensure. Additionally, the center’s care aligns with the principles of the American Association of Birth Centers.
To start off your plans for establishing your own birth center practice, you should know your state regulations. It’s perplexing to examine the regulation since it differs from state to state. You might get confused because other state regulations might not work in the current state where you plan to establish your birth center. Here at Midwifery Business Consultation, we have gathered all the information you need to know about your state birth center regulations.
History – american association of birth centers. (n.d.). Retrieved July 13, 2022, from https://www.birthcenters.org/page/history
Themes, U. F. O. (2018, May 31). Birth Center Regulation in the United States. Obgyn Key. Retrieved July 13, 2022, from https://obgynkey.com/birth-center-regulation-in-the-united-states/#:~:text=As%20licensed%20health%20care%20facilities,%2C%20state%2C%20and%20local%20levels.