Welcome to Illinois Friends of Midwives!
Are you curious about the state of midwifery in Illinois?
Are you interested in having a homebirth in Illinois?
Are you looking for a homebirth midwife?
Are you searching for natural birth friendly providers in Illinois hospitals?
ILFOM is here to help!
Illinois Friends of Midwives (ILFOM):
We are a consumer-run group that seeks to serve Illinois homebirth families by organizing our community and working to license Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs). Here you can find local homebirth support groups and events, find out what’s going on in Illinois homebirth, and learn how to use the political process to improve the lives of birthing families.
ILFOM is part of the Coalition for Illinois Midwifery.
Why does Illinois need CPMs?
Homebirth is on the rise nationally and in Illinois. Yet over the past 15 years, over 50 legal home birth practitioners have stopped practicing in Illinois. Currently, there are fewer than ten Illinois counties in which licensed home birth practices are based. With only 7 licensed practices, there is a shocking shortage of legal homebirth providers in Illinois. Every year, hundreds of Illinois families choose to give birth at home for deeply held religious, philosophical, or cultural beliefs. Because of these compelling reasons, these families are unlikely to choose hospital birth even if access to home birth care is scarce.
Illinois families need access to Certified Professional Midwives!
The CPM credential is the only healthcare credential that validates home birth expertise. 30 states rely on this credential as the standard for regulating home birth providers. We don’t see home birth maternity care shortages in these states. In these 30 states, women can look online or in an old fashioned phone book to find home birth midwives.
Black Market Maternity Care
The vast majority of families choosing homebirth in Illinois are forced to leave the state or hire unlicensed, and thus unregulated, midwives.
Also, Illinois prosecutes more midwives than any other state. Due to Illinois’ aggressive and punitive approach to midwifery, mothers who plan home births are finding providers through a black market. Most often, their choices, if any, are extremely limited. Their midwife of choice, the one everyone talks about, may have stopped practicing or moved out of state. They may be only able to find a midwife who is just learning or is not nationally certified. They may not be able to find any home birth midwife at all and birth with an untrained friend or plan to birth unassisted.
ILFOM believes this situation is unconscionable and we seek to convince the Illinois Legislature that they have a duty to ensure a minimum level of safety for all birthing moms in Illinois. Black market health care is a really bad idea. It offers zero collaboration and zero standards.
Unfortunately, for decades, Illinois State legislators have refused to license Certified Professional Midwives. ILFOM wants Illinois to fix this problem. We want women throughout our beautiful state to have access to safe, licensed home birth care.