What Training is Required to be a Midwife?

An internship with a practicing midwife teaches the skills needed to monitor the development of a pregnancy and prepare a mother for delivery.
Midwifes need to know how to check the vitals of an expectant mother.
Some midwives obtain a registered nursing certificate or degree.
Midwives employ a holistic approach to pregnancy, childbirth and the postnatal care of women and infants.
Many women decide to become midwives following their own childbirth experience.
Most midwives who work in hospitals have a nursing background.
Midwifery was once a skill passed from one generation to the next.
Article Details
  • Written By: Harriette Halepis
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 30 July 2015
  • Copyright Protected:
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article
Free Widgets for your Site/Blog
Since 1991, sales of vinyl albums hit a record high in 2014, with sales numbers reaching 9.2 million for the year.  more...

September 5 ,  1972 :  The Israeli Olympic team was attacked by terrorists in Munich.  more...

Midwives, also known as doulas or childbirth educators, are typically trained registered nurses that specialize in midwifery. That is, the intricacies and technicalities involved in delivering babies. Thus, the first step towards learning to be a midwife is to obtain a registered nursing certificate or degree. Some nursing programs are four year programs at the college or university level, while other programs may not be quite as long.

After completing the necessary schooling to become a registered nurse, graduates in most countries must pass a registered nursing exam. Successful completion of this examination will allow a person to become a practicing nurse. Since a lot of experience is needed in order to be a midwife, new registered nurses should attempt to secure a job within the obstetrics floor of a hospital.

Most registered nurses must work inside of a hospital setting for at least two years prior to applying for an advanced nursing course. To be a midwife in most countries, a specialized course in midwifery is required. Almost all midwifery advanced courses are two years long, though this length of time can vary from place to place. Following completion of this course, registered nurses will have obtained the equivalent of a master's degree in nursing with a specialization in midwifery.


Once a master's degree has been acquired, all graduates will then be ready to practice as midwives. Some midwives work within a hospital's obstetrics floor, while others work for private clinics. On occasion, a midwife may decide to open a private practice, though this is only possible within certain countries. While all of the information listed above is true for North American countries, midwives may not have to complete extensive schooling in other parts of the world.

In fact, midwifery used to be a skill that was passed down from generation to generation. In some countries, this skill is still taught rather than learned in a classroom setting. Regardless, to be a midwife one must have a passion for delivering babies, working with pregnant mothers, and ensuring a safe childbirth for both mother and child.

Many women decide to become midwives following their own childbirth experience, though this is not an occupation that's reserved exclusively for women. While rare, men may also become midwives. Male or female, anyone with the right experience, background, and drive may learn to be a midwife. As midwifery becomes more popular, many more men are expected to specialize in this type of nursing.


You might also Like


Discuss this Article

Post 1

A midwife, doula and childbirth educator are *not* the same thing. A doula assists a woman through her pregnancy, labor, birth and postpartum period. She is not trained to perform any medical tasks, unlike a midwife.

Also, there are thousands of direct-entry midwives practicing in the US and throughout the world. These midwives learn through apprenticeships and may choose to attend a formal midwifery program at a college or midwifery school.

Direct-entry midwives and certified nurse-midwives are very different. Most CNMs attend birth in a hospital setting and have been trained to treat birth in a medical way. Direct-entry midwives attend births in a home or freestanding birth center and treat birth as a natural, physiological process rather than an illness in need of medical intervention.

Post your comments

Post Anonymously


forgot password?