New Mexico Midwives Association




New Mexico has a rich history of community midwifery. Midwives have always been an integral part of New Mexico’s health care system. The New Mexico Midwives Association (NMMA) incorporated in 1977 to ensure women’s access to safe and personalized care throughout all the cycles of their lives. The NMMA has worked consistently to ensure that Licensed Midwives/Certified Professional Midwives continue to attend Home Births of thousands of New Mexican babies with excellent outcomes.



The New Mexico Midwives Association


  • Works cooperatively with midwives throughout the state of New Mexico to establish a strong network for upholding the Midwifery Model of Care.

  • Develops and carries out continuing educational forums to promote excellence in midwifery.

  • Promotes the training of professional midwives and birth attendants.

  • Works with citizens groups to advocate for midwifery care.

  • Advocates for access to midwifery care through the legislative process.

  • Educates the public on the safety and importance of midwifery care, home birth, and birth center birth.
















A Brief History of Midwifery in New Mexico


Midwives have been attending New Mexican Women during pregnancy, birth and postpartum for all of time. We have a strong history of Curanderas, Parteras and Midwives.  However, a reliable written record of Midwives attending births in New Mexico has only been kept since the late 1920s.  Some amazing accomplishments have been recorded in that time. 



  • 1936: In San Miguel County (Las Vegas area), Parteras attended 701 of the 972 births (72%). 

  • 1944: The Department of Health first regulated the practice of midwifery and midwifery has remained within the public health domain since that time.  In that same year, the Catholic Maternity Institute opened in Santa Fe, providing prenatal care, birth center and home birth services to women. 

  • 1975: Midwives became licensed to practice in the state of New Mexico. 

  • 1989: The National College of Midwifery was founded as a collaboration between the NM Midwives Association and the Northern NM Midwifery Center.  


New Mexico is a model state for midwifery, currently licensing approximately 300 midwives. Some of these midwives hold NM licenses and work in states that have no licensure or work abroad. We are a steadfast presence in New Mexico, serving mothers and babies with our hearts and hands.








To women, the bearers and guardians of life. 

We thank and praise those who love, inspire, teach, and bless while walking this earth

and also our dear foremothers

who did the same before us

and without whom we would not exist.

May we continue out great journey

in peace and prosperity together. 








Spidel, J., (1986), Doctors of medicine in New Mexico; a history of health and medical practice 1886-1986, University of New Mexico Press. 

Ortiz, F., (2005), History of midwifery in New Mexico; Partnership between Curandera-parteras and the New Mexico Department of Health, Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health, 50(3), 411-417. 

Introduction to the National College of Midwifery, retrieved 9/2/2010 from

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