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Home News National Midwifery Week: Department of Health Maternal Health Program honors unsung heroes of maternal care
David Morgan
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National Midwifery Week: Department of Health Maternal Health Program honors unsung heroes of maternal care

October 4, 2023 - Family Health - Information

SANTA FE – The New Mexico Department of Health’s (DOH) Maternal Health Program joins midwives state and nationwide in celebrating and recognizing National Midwifery Week October 1-7, 2023.

“Midwives are trained healthcare practitioners who provide compassionate, culturally respectful care throughout the reproductive life journey, with a special focus on pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum year.” said DOH Maternal Health Program Manager Abigail Reese, PhD, CNM. “Their service of the diverse needs of New Mexico’s birthing families are proof everyday how essential midwives are in the healthcare workforce.” 

This year's theme for National Midwifery Week is "Midwives - Strengthening Communities." for their commitment to equitable, ethical, accessible, and quality healthcare for all.

The Maternal Health Program at DOH is responsible for the licensure and regulation of midwifery practice.

Two types of midwives are licensed by New Mexico:

  • Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNMs) are independent practitioners educated in the disciplines of Midwifery and Nursing. CNMs maintain national certification through the American Midwifery Certification Board and licensure as a Registered Nurse through the New Mexico Board of Nursing or another Nursing Compact State. CNMs practice in all settings, including hospitals, clinics, and community settings.
  • Licensed Midwives (LMs) are independent practitioners educated in Midwifery either through an accredited education program or a traditional apprenticeship model. Licensed Midwives obtain national certification as a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) through the North American Registry of Midwives. LMs practice in community settings, including homes and birth centers. 

Midwifery in New Mexico, deeply rooted in its culture and history, is a proven evidence-based approach to reducing pregnancy-related death. The state has long been recognized as a national leader in promoting access to midwifery care through its support and regulation of diverse practice models, leading to improved outcomes for birthing people and newborns.

The University of New Mexico College of Nursing recently has been awarded a grant of $1 million per year over four years by the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration to expand and diversify the CNM workforce serving rural and underserved communities in the state.

Recognizing the critical role of CNMs in serving underserved communities the state of New Mexico also offers grants through the Birthing Workforce Retention Fund to help cover insurance premiums costs for CNMs and physicians who provide full scope birthing services with a priority on awards for those who serve rural communities, the uninsured and those who have Medicaid coverage.

More information about midwives and National Midwifery Week can be found online at

Media Contact

We would be happy to provide additional information about this press release. Simply contact David Morgan at 575-528-5197 (Office) or 575-649-0754 (Mobile) with your questions.

Versión en Español

En un esfuerzo para hacer que nuestros comunicados de prensa sean más accesibles, también tenemos disponibles una versión en español. Por favor presione el enlace de abajo para acceder a la traducción.

Semana Nacional de la Partería: El Programa de Salud Materna del Departamento de Salud rinde homenaje a las heroínas anónimas de la atención materna