Learning how to become a certified midwife begins with researching requirements and laws governing midwifery in the area a person plans to practice this skill. Next, comparing information about various training programs is required. This information includes, but is not limited to, investigating the credentials and reputation of organizations offering midwife training as well as comparing the cost of different midwife certification programs. Finally, actually investing time in studying is necessary in order to obtain a midwife license and begin practicing.
Individuals who have successfully completed midwife training and testing are qualified to become licensed to provide midwifery services to women. While a certified midwife may help a pregnant woman deliver her child, there is much more to learn before a person can begin providing midwife services. Besides learning how to deliver a baby, a midwife typically is also trained to perform physical and gynecological examinations, prescribe contraceptives and other medications, and order any necessary lab tests. During the course of learning how to become a certified midwife, individuals are also trained to provide health education to women at various life stages.
In order to earn a midwife license in the United States, a person must successfully pass an examination given by the American Midwifery Certification Board. Before taking this examination, a prospective midwife must first be educated in one of a few disciplines, depending upon the educational level or licensing achieved prior to entering midwife training. For example, nurses who are already licensed to practice nursing may advance directly to learning to become a midwife. Individuals without a nursing degree, however, must undergo and pass extensive prerequisite clinical coursework before being introduced to specialized training. Such coursework includes, but is not limited to, intensive education in human anatomy, biology, chemistry, psychology, nutrition, sociology and health care.
In the United Kingdom, a person interested in learning to become a certified midwife may complete midwife training in a degree program, which takes a total of three or four years. If the person already has a nursing degree, however, completing the program may take only a year or two. In either instance, before being able to legally work as a midwife, a person must be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council.
In addition to an education in obstetrics, individuals are also trained in laws and policies that pertain to health care and services. Training in how to use the latest medical equipment is also an important part of the training midwives receive. Ethical standards, cultural and spiritual topics relating to reproductive care, childbirth, pre and postnatal care are also important components.