Midwives are certified to help women both during and after pregnancy. Midwives not only help to bring life into the world; they also provide advice and one-on-one care. So what steps should you take to become a midwife?
When you start out on your path, you need to think about where you want to work because different states are going to have different requirements. The two main certifications for midwives are certified nurse-midwives and certified midwives. Some states may require you to have both, and other states may have additional requirements. Remember, if you go to school in one state and practice in another, you could have to obtain additional certifications when you transfer to the new state.
You will want to look for a program that specializes in midwife training. Generally, these programs are going to fall under nursing. You may want to select a program that trains you to be both a nurse and a midwife so that you have a couple of options open. Speak with the program director to find out if the courses will lead you to the proper certification for the state where you want to work.
You generally do not need to go to graduate school in order to become a midwife. However, as with many professions, the trends are beginning to change. Obtaining a graduate degree is becoming more popular, and you might find that it is even required for some positions.
Seek out Practical Opportunities
As you are evaluating the different programs available, look for ones that have internship opportunities or hands-on experience to build from. Put yourself in the place of a mother who is going to work with a midwife for the delivery of her child: choosing an inexperienced midwife is rather frightening, especially for a mother who is having her first child. Maintaining professional contacts and obtaining experience, as well as finding out if you can shadow professionals, will help you to build up the credibility and experience that you need.