Becoming a Midwife
How do you proceed?
- Read Paths to Becoming a Midwife: Getting an Education. Besides enhancing your understanding of midwifery, Paths will introduce you to many of the midwifery, childbirth education and doula training programs available throughout the United States. You will also discover many self-study methods to help you get started. A description of the contents of Paths is available on our Web site. Diane Barnes, past president of the Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA), said: "Paths is a definitive work covering how to become a midwife. Choices are outlined, paths identified. It is so complete, I couldn’t think of a subject not covered. As a midwife who has been through every pathway and understands the good and bad of each, I highly recommend the research already prepared for you in Paths to Becoming a Midwife."
- Look into our Beginning
Midwives Package. It includes Paths to Becoming a Midwife and a year’s subscription to our magazine, Midwifery
Today. You may add a package of four audio tapes of the "mommas" of midwifery (Mabel Dzata, who trained in Ghana, Africa, and works as an RN in labor and delivery in the US; Ina May Gaskin, author of Spiritual
Midwifery; Elizabeth Davis, author of Heart
and Hands: A Midwife’s Guide to Pregnancy and Birth; and Valerie El Halta, a homebirth midwife for 24 years who has attended over 2,500 births). They talk about the realities of midwifery and will answer MANY of your questions, as well as inspire you! You can visit our online library or call us toll free at (800) 743-0974. Buying these learning tools in a package is less expensive than buying them separately and gets you off to an excellent start.
- Read an installment of articles I wrote for Midwifery Today E-News called Passionate Midwifery Education. All installments can be viewed on our Better Birth and Babies Blog.
- Begin looking for a program or apprenticeship. If you are not sure whether you want the responsibility of being a midwife, consider becoming a childbirth educator or doula instead. Both are excellent training foundations for midwifery and are also wonderful callings.
- Find a midwife to talk to. Take advantage of social networking and other online resources to connect with the midwifery community. Talk to women about their hopes, dreams, past and upcoming birth year experiences. Consider volunteering in your local birth center. Read all you can about midwifery and birth. Absorb as much information as possible. Find us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MidwiferyEducation
- Subscribe to our e-mail newsletter, Midwifery Today E-News, which is free. Read the archived issues of E-News. Explore this site thoroughly; there are hundreds of articles online.
- We also highly recommend you subscribe to our quarterly magazine Midwifery
Today and purchase the back issues as you can afford them. Back issues of The Birthkit, our 12-page quarterly newsletter, are a valuable resource, as well.
- Come to a Midwifery Today conference. Be sure to take the "Beginning Midwifery" class if it is offered. Attending a conference will help you decide which direction to take in your midwifery education.
- Order our audio tapes and digital audio recordings—more than 700 conference classes from nearly 35 conferences are available for purchase. These recordings give you the opportunity to make mentors of some of the best midwifery teachers in the world, including Michel Odent, Marsden Wagner, Ina May Gaskin, Marshal Klaus, Elizabeth Davis, Penny Simkin and over a hundred other gifted people. You can also find video recordings on homebirth, waterbirth, comfort measures for childbirth and more.
- Learning this craft will take your whole life, because you are never done learning. The women you attend will also become your teachers. Your best learning experience comes through serving them. Always remember to listen to women.
The following articles on our Web site may be of benefit:
- Editorial: Aspiring and Student Midwives Are Our Hope for the Future—by Jan Tritten
Just as we each have a responsibility to birthing women to ensure the future of midwifery, as "mother midwives" we also have a responsibility to educate the next generation of midwives. Midwifery is fairly fragile in the US and we must acknowledge our responsibility to protect it.
- The Flowering of Midwifery Education—by Elizabeth Davis
Mostly I was taught by instructors attached to deep cover, who expected me to collude with the illusion that we were being open and wise. But we midwives know the difference between covering up and peeling off, loosening, letting go—birth language that needs to become our language of education.
- International Credentialing of Midwives—by Christine Hindle Verber, EdD, RN, SCM
When midwives move from one country to another, they should, with equivalent education and credentials, be able to practice their profession wherever they live.
The following contact information for schools and organizations could prove helpful:
United Kingdom contact information:
- Association of Radical Midwives: www.radmid.demon.co.uk
- StudentMidwife.NET—an education based community for students of Midwifery and individuals seeking to enter the profession. The site
contains forums, educational resources, list of universities offering courses, blogs by students and regional social groups.