Student midwife Cindy Jaswal doing a prenatal exam


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Becoming a Midwife in WA State

The Washington State Orientation Manual of Licensing and Professional Practice Issues for Midwives was created to help prospective and new midwives understand the laws and access resources that pertain to licensed midwifery in our state including information about how to obtain a license.

In addition to an overview of the history of midwifery in WA State and an outline of networking opportunities, you will find links to resources and information for licensing and practicing midwifery in Washington State.

Licensing is required in Washington State in order to practice midwifery, advertise midwifery services, or receive compensation for delivery of such services.

The goal of this document is to provide those applying for direct-entry midwifery licensure with an awareness of the various organizations that provide services for midwives and their practices, as well as an overview of many important aspects needed to obtain your license and open your practice.

The trending increase in home births nationally noted by the CDC in 2010 can also be seen in WA State. Statewide, there has been a 30.7% increase in births attended by licensed midwives from 2003–2008! Other notable increases seen during that time frame include the following:

  • 6% increase in births attended by Certified Nurse Midwives (CNMs);
  • 9.9% increase in all midwife-attended births;
  • 17.4% increase in birth center births;
  • 11.5% increase in home births; and
  • 14.1% collective increase in at-home and birth-center births.

The following counties had increases in home and birth-center births during that time: Asotin, Chelan, Clallam, Clark, Ferry, Franklin, Island, King, Klickitat, Lewis, Mason, Okanogan, Pacific, Pend Oreille, Skagit, Snohomish, Spokane, and Whatcom.

MAWS welcomes new Licensed Midwives to our Washington community! Because the first year of practice—whether a new grad or new to Washington—can be a difficult time financially, MAWS provides all new Washington LMs with their first year of membership for free. Contact Us for more information or with questions.