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Midwifery Workforce


Midwifery is associated with a host of good outcomes for childbearing individuals, yet most people in the United States do not have access to midwives.

ACNM conducted a Midwifery Workforce Study that identified policy changes needed to expand the midwifery workforce to optimum capacity. 

Midwifery in the United States is underutilized and underfunded (Sakala et al., 2020). Increasing access and integration of midwives throughout the United States can improve equity and outcomes (Vedam et al., 2018). Currently, the United States has approximately 4 midwives employed per 1,000 live births.  With over 3.7 million live births a year, at least 22,000 midwives are needed in the midwifery workforce to meet the World Health Organization goal of at minimum 6 midwives per 1,000 live births. Currently, there are about 14,000 midwives in the US including those not in clinical practice, resulting in a gap of at least 8200 midwives. Even at 6/1000 births, we would have a smaller midwifery workforce than other high-income countries with better outcomes.

The Midwifery Workforce Study researchers analyzed publicly available data and data collected by the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB) and the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME), to provide the most accurate evaluation of the current midwifery workforce size, capacity, and growth trajectory. 

Executive Summary

The Access to Midwifery Care and National Chartbook tells the story in maps, tables, and text.

Click here to access the State-Specific Midwifery Data (ACNM State Fact Sheets). Please note access to the State-Specific Midwifery Data is a ACNM Member benefit.
ACNM has created an Advocacy Toolkit for Midwives that provides a road map for developing strategies to increase access to midwives and midwifery-led care models and to grow the midwifery workforce. The national and state data from the Workforce Study inform these initiatives.

Workforce Study Data BRIEFS

Workforce Study Data RELEASE

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