Improving Our Maternity Care Now Through Midwifery

October 2021
Maternal Health


Research shows that midwifery care provides equal or better care and outcomes compared to physician care

on many key indicators, including higher rates of spontaneous vaginal birth, higher rates of breastfeeding, higher birthing person satisfaction with care, and lower overall costs. Community-based and -led midwifery services are especially powerful.

Expanding the availability of midwifery care and diversifying the midwifery workforce are cost-effective solutions to providing higher quality care and better birth outcomes.

This report outlines the evidence that supports midwifery’s unique value across different communities, the safety and effectiveness of midwifery care in improving maternal and infant outcomes, the interest of birthing people in midwifery care, and the current availability of, and access to, midwifery services in the United States.


We are honored to collaborate with the following partners on this report:


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Editor’s note: We recognize and respect that pregnant, birthing, postpartum, and parenting people have a range of gender identities, and do not always identify as “women” or “mothers.” In recognition of the diversity of identities, this report gives preference to gender-neutral terms such as “people,” “pregnant people,” and “birthing persons.” In references to studies, we use the typically gendered language of the authors.