State House Passes Maternal Health Care Bill Expanding Non-Hospital Childbirth Options

Massachusetts State House.

BOSTON – The Massachusetts State House recently passed a maternal health care bill expanding access to non-hospital childbirth options.

House Bill 4773, or An Act promoting access to midwifery care and out-of-hospital birth options, would establish a formal licensing process for certifying professional midwives and lactation consultants, provide for postpartum depression screenings, and establish programs to conduct fetal and infant mortality reviews.

Under the legislation, the state would expand the Board of Allied Health Professionals from 11 to 15 members, with the governor appointing 3 licensed lactation consultants and 1 additional licensed physician to the board.

The Bill incorporates recommendations made by the Special Commission on Racial Inequities in Maternal Health to reduce or eliminate inequalities in maternal mortality, which have risen in recent years.

Additional measures in the Bill would include adding Duchenne muscular dystrophy to the list of diseases which newborn children would be screened for, amending the definition of low-risk pregnancy to specify that it involves no maternal or fetal factors that place the pregnancy at risk of complications, and to require employers to provide earned sick time for employees or their spouses in the event of pregnancy loss or failed assisted reproduction.

The Bill passed unanimously in the State House and will now head to the State Senate for further review.

About Matthew Tomlinson

Matt Tomlinson is a Cape Cod native studying to be a documentarian. He has been with the NewsCenter since 2021.
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