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About Birthwise Midwifery School

Birthwise Midwifery School was started in 1994. The goal: To train skilled and compassionate direct-entry midwives who safeguard physical birth by providing care that is informed by both tradition and scientific evidence.

We are an accredited school for direct-entry midwives seeking the Certified Professional Midwife credential.

Our students come to Birthwise from all over the United States and Canada to study the art and science of midwifery.

We’re located in Bridgton, Maine, a quaint town of 5,000 people located about an hour northwest of Portland.

We train midwives who appreciate, celebrate and reflect diversity. And, our faculty and alumni represent a spectrum of approaches to midwifery care. We treat each with equal respect and attention in our curriculum.

We offer two programs

  • A three-year midwifery program that results in a Certified Professional Midwife certificate
  • A doula training workshop

Midwifery students can take classes entirely on our campus — the Campus Option — after which they begin preceptorship in a location of their choice.

Or, midwifery students can take our low-residency Community Option. This option brings students to campus for 10 two-week sessions. They complete preceptorship with a midwife at home.

Both programs offer the same curriculum.

We develop midwifery scholarship

Birthwise Midwifery School is dedicated to developing midwifery scholarship. We publish Midwifery Matters, a bi-annual academic journal that showcases exceptional, relevant midwifery research. That includes research conducted by our own students, faculty and alumni.

We’re accredited & accept financial aid and international students

The Midwifery Education Accreditation Council has accredited Birthwise Midwifery School since 2002. Our students graduated from an accredited program. This accreditation allows them to sit for the Certified Professional Midwife certification, which is required or recommended in many states.

Accreditation also allows us to accept funding from Title IV (federal financial aid), the GI bill and Americorps. We’re able to recruit a broader community of students to become direct-entry midwives by accepting these funds.

The United States Student and Exchange Visitor Program has approved Birthwise to accept international students.

Our Mission

To train skilled and compassionate direct-entry midwives who safeguard physiological birth by providing care that is informed by both tradition and scientific evidence.

Our Vision

Every person has access to safe and empowering midwifery care that is representative of them and their community.

Our Beliefs

Pregnancy and birth are natural processes that work best when undisturbed. Healthy pregnant people often do not benefit from and can be hindered by routine medical intervention.

Birth has spiritual, aesthetic and personal significance for birthing parents and their families.

Midwives should be available as primary caregivers for all pregnant people and their infants.

Giving birth at home or in a freestanding birth center are viable and safe options that should be available to people today and in the future.

A person’s right to choose and have decision-making power in their care, to receive continuous care from known providers and to share in the responsibility of their care are cornerstone concepts for midwives. This care model encourages a relationship of empowerment and collaboration between the client and the midwife.

Every person and family has diverse desires and needs when it comes to childbirth. Their midwife should appreciate, celebrate and reflect diversity.

Midwifery is a positive force in human ecology and global politics.

Midwifery preserves the primordial cultural tradition of holistic, natural childbirth. The Midwife’s respect for the natural birth process, holistic approach to care, and midwifery care’s cost effectiveness strengthen birthing parents, families, and communities. Midwives are a key ingredient in creating a sustainable world.