Beginning your path into midwifery
Once you've done all of your research and have made the decision that midwifery is a path you'd like to pursue, we'd encourage you to do a few things;
Decide which midwifery college you would like to enroll in and find out everything you need to do in preparation. Midwifery colleges vary in the structure and timeline as well as cost. Will you need to work and save for this expense or can you apply for student loans? If you are enrolling at the National College, you will need to take courses at your local community college (see below) before beginning your midwifery courses at APM. Nizhoni Institute asks students to take college level Anatomy, Physiology and Microbiology as part of their admissions process and students cannot begin a their clinical training until they've completed their first year of academic training.
Typical Prerequisites for Midwifery Colleges:
- Basic Anatomy and Physiology
- Child growth and development
- Fundamental Math
- Analytical Writing (may require additional English prerequisites)
- Statistics and Microbiology
Get involved in the birthing community to see first-hand the demands of birth work and make sure it's the right fit for you. Midwifery can seem 'exciting' but the reality is that the 24/7 on-call lifestyle isn't for everyone. Births can be swift or they can be pain-stakingly long. You can work a super busy 10-hour clinic day followed by an 'all-nighter' and then have to clean, chart and debrief before going home. Becoming a doula will give you a taste of what being involved in birth work will be like, and it will also prepare you for what women go through and need during labor and birth. DONA is one of the doula organizations that offers training and certification. Join the doula groups and volunteer at birth centers, in hospitals and as part of Operation Special Delivery providing doula services to those serving in the military, injured vets and spouses.
Read everything you can about birth, attend a Bradley childbirth series, a Hypnobirthing course, go to La Leche League meetings, attend ICAN, research at VBACfacts.com, go to a Midwifery Today conference, get involved and take the initiative on your learning!