How to Start a Career as a Midwife: What You Need to Know

A midwife is a healthcare professional who cares during pregnancy for mothers and newborns. Midwives provide women with primary health care during and after childbirth. Many women find that having a midwife is essential to their pregnancy and childbirth.

There are many different types of midwives. Some types, including certified nurse-midwives (CNMs) and certified midwives (CMs), provide women with gynecological treatment throughout their lives. Other types of midwives, like certified professional midwives (CPMs), deal with pregnancy primarily. All kinds of midwives guide women through prenatal care, work, delivery, and postpartum care.

If you are interested in caring for women, especially during pregnancy and right after childbirth, then a career as a midwife might be for you. Being a midwife requires a specific set of skills and knowledge. To learn more about making a living as a midwife, read through this article.

midwife
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Training to Become a Midwife

The type of education midwives undergo depends on what type of qualification they are looking for. Certified nurse-midwives have a master’s degree in nurse-midwifery and usually have to have a bachelor’s degree in nursing and some experience practicing as a registered nurse to enter a nurse-midwifery program.

Nevertheless, some programs accept registered nurses with degrees from associates programs. Prospective nurse-midwives should choose a program accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education. Students study health assessment, normal pregnancy care, high-risk pregnancy care, female care, complications management, nursing science, and pharmacology in these programs.

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Although nurse-midwives first need to be registered nurses, licensed midwives with a non-nursing bachelor’s degree may pursue a master’s degree in midwifery. The Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education also accredits midwifery programs and provides a curriculum comparable to a midwifery nurse curriculum, including coursework and clinical rotations. And, since students in these programs do not come from a nursing background, they may need to take additional health and medical science courses.

Job Description for a Midwife

A midwife helps women before, during, and after pregnancy. Their job may include many different tasks or goals, like the ones below.

  • Provide family planning and preconception care
  • Do prenatal exams and order tests
  • Monitor patient’s physical and psychological health
  • Help design birth plans
  • Provide advice on diet, exercise, medication, and staying healthy

Job Prospects for a Midwife

Between 2012 and 2020, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that nurse-midwives jobs in the United States will rise by 31%. For all professions, this growth is much faster than the average rate. This is attributed by the BLS, to expanded access to health care and the growing role of the registered nurse in advanced practice.

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Successful nurse-midwives can continue their education by seeking a doctoral degree and higher education, educating the next midwives generation. Usually, certified professional midwives work independently, and an accomplished CPM with a good reputation can establish a highly successful solo practice.

Nurse-midwives may be working in hospitals, doctors’ offices, or birth centers, and new graduates can look for work at these locations. Through their clinical experiences, CNMs often make valuable professional connections, possibly earning a job offer or advice on-field job openings.

Because certified professional midwives often work independently, new CPMs will start their careers by advertising their services and searching for customers. Building good customer relationships and a good community reputation could result in new referrals.

How to Start a Career as a Midwife: What You Need to Know 1
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Average Salary of a Midwife

According to Indeed, the average salary for a midwife is $103,311 per year in the United States. Salary estimates are based on 236 salaries submitted anonymously to Indeed by Midwife employees and users. They are also collected from past and present job advertisements on Indeed in the past 36 months. However, it may take a while to establish your practice enough to be paid this amount.

Conclusion

If you want to start a career in healthcare, being a nurse or midwife may be a good start. If you would like to focus exclusively on serving women, then the growing field of midwifery may be an excellent choice for you. Click here for more information.

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