We need midwives…

The percentage of homebirths in the United States has nearly doubled since 2004*. This upwards trend has steadily increased the demand for qualified and competent midwives.

Although the birth culture in the United States is still dominated by hospital care, more and more women are choosing to have their babies safely and naturally at home or in birth centers staffed by midwives.

At Birthwise, we believe that competent and compassionate midwives are the answer to a maternity care system characterized by poor outcomes for moms and babies, high cesarean rates, and high medical costs relative to other developed countries.

*Center for Disease Control and Prevention data

Why choose Birthwise?

  • At Birthwise, students learn from qualified and engaging teachers who are also practicing midwives, nurse midwives, therapists, and naturopathic doctors. While the curriculum covers a complete theory of midwifery practice, the instructors’ ongoing professional experience keeps the material grounded and up-to-date.

  • Many Birthwise teachers are also Birthwise alumni. These instructors know first-hand what it’s like to be a student midwife at Birthwise and understand the program from both sides of the classroom.

  • At Birthwise, the faculty to student ratio is 6:1. This means students get the attention from instructors, during and after class, they need to succeed.
  • Birthwise operates a freestanding birth center and low-cost community clinic, The Birth House, on campus. Campus students have the opportunity to do clinic work (including attending births, conducting prenatal and postnatal exams, and providing Well Body care) in the Birth House while completing their academic studies.

  • The clinical portion of study places the student with a qualified preceptor of the student’s choosing. The clinical allows students to put their Birthwise education to work and gain the experience they need to be effective, independent midwives after graduation.

  • Students can move to Maine or stay in their home communities, as best fits their lives. Our Community Program gives students the choice to work in their home communities and commute to Maine to complete short intensives. By choosing their own preceptor, students tailor their education to the community they wish to serve as a midwife.

  • It’s accredited. Birthwise Midwifery School is accredited by the Midwifery Education Accreditation Council (MEAC) and licensed by the Maine Department of Education.

The Campus Program

The Birthwise Campus Program consists of two years of rigorous academic study in Bridgton, Maine, followed by a year long clinical with an off-site preceptor of the student’s choosing.

The Community Program

The Birthwise Community Program consists of three years of clinical work in the student’s home community, supplemented with ten two-week academic intensives.

The Community Program serves the needs of a student body with diverse external responsibilities. It offers all the academic benefits of a Birthwise education, without requiring that students leave their families, careers, or communities.


Birthwise employs a talented and diverse academic faculty. Meet them.


  • high school diploma or equivalent
  • Completion of a doula training workshop (with or without certification). Birthwise offers doula workshops for accepted students prior to beginning courses.
  • Prior experience in birth work, perhaps as a doula, is a plus, but not a prerequisite.
  • A college level Anatomy and Physiology course is a plus, but not a prerequisite.

Advanced Status for Prior Education and Experience

Birthwise recognizes prior learning and experience as legitimate paths to graduation. Learn more about advanced status.

Graduation Requirements

View a comprehensive list of all Birthwise graduation requirements.