Montana’s midwifery licensing program has a reputation for producing great midwives. But it is undoubtedly one of the harder states to get licensed in. Those that have been through the process, and are now practicing, can attest that the extra experience gained was not a bad thing for their career, just challenging sometimes.
When the Montana Midwifery law was passed in 1990, the original board members and consulting members strove to create a safe place for midwives to practice and to giveMontanawomen the right to give birth where they wanted to, and to have the freedom to choose a midwife caregiver. During a time when most states did not have a licensing mechanism for midwives,Montanawas among the few leading the way. Montanahas chosen to provide a structure for its midwives to practice lawfully, within its guidelines.
One area that has become a point of confusion is the variance of interpretation in applying law and interpreting the rules. Different lawyers have worked on answering questions and finding ways to make the training process work for different women. In an effort to being fair and consistent, the board has made a greater effort to clear confusion in the last few years. In spite of the challenges that are present in working towards a Montana Direct-Entry Midwife status, there definitely are some great midwives that have come out of Montana’s learning process, and some terrific ones in the making too!
When in doubt or if you have a question, call or email the board office. If the office managers do not know the answer to a question or it brings up a complex issue, it will go to the entire board for discussion and clarification. Changes or updates are made by the board, and related agencies such as the Department of Health. You can check the board website for meeting minutes and everyone is encouraged to look at the rule book online and to check it for updates every couple months. The Board is open to reading / discussing your suggestions. Suggestions should be in letter format, and submitted 3 weeks before the next board meeting.
A goal of the MMA is to help apprentices understand the common rules interpreted from the Montana Midwifery law. The MMA cannot interpret the law and application of rules for you specifically, but we can share some general knowledge and how we have used the rules and interpretation to our advantage, to become better midwives. You are also welcome to call the MT Board of Alternative Health Care to have your specific questions answered.