There are a few different issues to consider when choosing the best midwife training. First and foremost, it may be important to have certain qualifications in order to legally practice midwifery in the area one desires to work. For instance, many countries have midwifery degrees that constitute a necessary form of training. Other areas may have culturally recognized paths that must be followed in order to become a midwife, such as apprenticeship with an appropriate party. Even if certification is not required but merely available, having certification can be key in getting clients and gaining an expectant mother's trust.
Beyond programs that merely meet certification requirement, choosing the best midwife training program is also about keeping pregnant women safe. The best training programs will be comprehensive, involving extensive medical study through reading. A good midwife training program will make sure that new midwives know all relevant medical information, including how to tell when the birthing situation is beyond his or her control. This may require knowledge of rare and infrequent problems that occur during pregnancy and birth.
An excellent training program will also take into consideration the kind of relationship that a midwife is expected to have with his or her clients. This is usually a deeply personal relationship, and learning to build a connection with another woman who is trusting and professional can take practice. Some midwife training programs include discussion groups and psychological study of this relationship, particularly as related to stress during birth.
Every midwife program should include significant hours spent working with a trained midwife. Shadowing a midwife is possibly the only way to achieve knowledge of what happens during a birth from the midwife’s perspective. There are many different ways in which a midwife-in-training may be brought into the birthing situation, such as being identified as an assistant or an apprentice. Some programs consist entirely of apprenticeship, which can last for years. Without real world experience, a new midwife may not be prepared for the challenges of helping a woman through birth.
A good midwife training program will also help new midwives get into business themselves. It can be difficult to get first clients without assistance from trusted and trained midwives. When choosing a midwife training program, it is important to look into the ways in which the program will provide ongoing support both in business and continuing education. Truly great training programs aim to include the trainee in a community of midwives that values support, friendship, and commitment to women.