WA Midwife Elias Kass providing prenatal care


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Midwifery in Washington State

Midwives attend births in a variety of settings, including homes, freestanding birth centers, and hospitals in accordance with the standards of practice of the State of Washington.

Washington State recognizes two separate paths for professional midwives:

Licensed Midwives (LMs) complete a state-accredited midwifery program and are licensed by the State of Washington. Washington state law requires licensed midwives to complete 3 years in a state-approved midwifery educational program, which includes participation in 100 or more births and verification of clinical skills and didactic course work. To attain licensure, all LMs must pass an examination provided to the state by the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM). Currently, the following school offers a state-approved midwifery educational program:
A challenge process also enables other midwives to seek licensure in WA state if they graduate from an equivalent program from another state or country or if they present documentation of completion of “equivalent subject matter…and number of clinical managements under a (qualified) preceptor." For more information about becoming an LM in WA, download the Washington State Orientation Manual of Licensing and Professional Practice Issues for Midwives (Download PDF) and (if applicable to you) please click here to read the new updated Information for Aspiring Midwives and CPMs who Didn't Attend or Don't Intend to Attend a State-approved Midwifery School.
Licensed midwives are covered by all Washington-based insurance companies. Many out-of-state policies also provide coverage for midwifery services. However, your actual coverage may depend on the terms of the plan to which you subscribe. It's always best to contact your insurance to check if you are covered. If your insurance company does not list any local in-network midwife providers, you may still want to contact a midwife in your area to ask if other clients with your insurance have successfully appealed for coverage.
For historical information about midwifery in WA state, click here.
Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNMs) are educated in the two disciplines of nursing and midwifery, are certified by the American College of Nurse-Midwives, and are licensed by the State of Washington.