Professional Midwives and their Regulatory Framework in Mexico

Liliana López Arellano, Georgina Sánchez Ramírez, Héctor Augusto Mendoza Cárdenas


The objective of this article is to show the legal situation of professional midwives in Mexico with respect to their work. The implications of the human rights framework as established in Article 1 of the Mexican Constitution are explored as a basis to regulate professional midwifery. Using comparative analysis methodology, the contents of different regulatory frame works for sexual and reproductive health in Mexico are studied, including those backed by international treaties and agreements. The results show that Mexican legislation includes midwifery to a certain extent, but fails to define concepts like the professionalization of midwifery, when midwives can work other than in hospitals, and they can be officially trained. Additionally, there is no legal recognition of this profession in educational and work standards. In conclusion, this research shows that there are enough international documents (agreements, conferences and recommendations) to serve as a frame of reference for redrafting Mexican standards, regulations and public policies on birth care provided by professional midwives. This would guarantee the safety of mothers who use midwifery services and give suitable professional training (with the respective creation of schools for this purpose) to the midwives who provide these services. Midwives would then be able to practice legally and help to improve maternal and reproductive health outcomes in the country.


Midwife; Professional Midwives; Birth Care; Regulation; Certification

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