By Melissa Garvey, ACNM Communications Manager
A study published in the September 2012 issue of ACNM’s peer-reviewed journal, the Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health (JMWH), shows that more US women are seeing midwives, nurse practitioners (NPs), and physician assistants (PAs) for maternity care.
Analyzing data from the National Health Interview Surveys (NHIS), lead study author Katy Bates Kozhimannil, PhD, MPA, along with coauthors Melissa Avery, CNM, PhD, and Carrie Ann Terrell, MD, found that the percentage of pregnant women receiving care from midwives, NPs, and PAs has increased by 48% over the past decade. Researchers also found a 30% increase in the percentage of pregnant women receiving care from both an obstetrician-gynecologist and a midwife, NP, or PA.
These new findings come on the heels of a previous study JMWH released in June 2012 showing that the percentage of midwife-attended births reached an all-time high in 2009. Since June, the CDC released final birth data for 2010 showing yet another high for midwife-attended births!
“These findings are especially positive as we continue our work with the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, encouraging collaborative maternity care models that integrate services by different types of clinicians,” said Avery, coauthor and immediate past president of ACNM. “Collaborative practices in existence today are experiencing better outcomes for mothers and infants and increased work satisfaction for OB-GYNs and midwives.”
“Our findings show a shift in the maternity care workforce,” added Terrell. “We are going to need midwives, NPs, and PAs to meet the projected OB-GYN workforce shortage and increased demand for high-quality care that is likely to result from the Affordable Care Act.”
ACNM members can view the full text version of this new JMWH study by logging in here.