Become a MidwifeAs more people express interest in giving birth at home and using more natural remedies for their healthcare problems, more people look at how to become a midwife. Midwives work on a solo basis and with small groups. They ensure that women remain healthy throughout their pregnancies and that the delivery goes as smoothly as possible. While midwives once received all the training they needed from experienced midwives, working in the field today requires a degree and certification. You should look at the different types of midwives before deciding which type appeals to you.

Certified Midwife

According to the American College of Nurse-Midwives, there are nearly 40 schools in the country that offer midwifery programs. One of the more common programs is the Certified Midwife program. You can complete the program in as little as two years, but before you can accept a position, you must take the test administered by the American College of Nurse-Midwives. Successful passing of that exam with give you your midwife certificate, which you can use when applying for jobs.

Certified Nurse-Midwife

Though some women want a midwife to deliver their children, other women want someone with more medical training by their side. Completing a Certified Nurse-Midwife program lets you work as both a nurse and a midwife. You will attend a two-year or four-year college and complete your Associate or Bachelor in Nursing before taking courses relating to midwifery. During your studies, you’ll spend some time working in the field, helping pregnant women and dealing with patients of different ages and backgrounds. After finishing your studies, you can apply to take the Certified Nurse-Midwife test from the American College of Nurse-Midwives.

Certified Professional Midwife

Before you become a midwife, you might consider becoming a Certified Professional Midwife. Many people assume that a midwife only delivers children in rural settings or areas without a strong healthcare system, but many hospitals across the country work with midwives every day. In Britain and other parts of Europe, midwives are just as common in delivery rooms as doctors. The Certified Professional Midwife program is one of the only programs that teaches students what to do outside of a hospital setting. With the other certifications, you’ll know that a doctor is always right around the corner. A Certified Professional Midwife program teaches students how to take care of emergencies on their own and what to do when a doctor isn’t nearby. Certified Professional Midwives often work in rural communities and with patients who cannot afford to see a doctor. The North American Registry of Midwives offers certification for Certified Professional Midwives.

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Direct-Entry Midwife

Direct-entry midwives also work with patients outside of a hospital setting. The men and women working in this field agree to follow the standards in the Midwives Model of Care, and they spend more time working in the field and less time studying. To become a midwife of this type, you’ll need to complete an apprenticeship program with a licensed midwife, medical doctor, hospital or medical office. Some students later earn a license or certification and work as a licensed or registered midwife.

Midwives offer a more natural method of childbirth than doctors do. They can work in hospitals, for private offices and for their communities. You need to look at the different types of midwife positions now available and decide which one interests you before you become a midwife.