Midwifery isn’t a profession for the faint of heart
It takes hours, sometimes days to bring life into this world the natural way. Furthermore, in some states, midwives are still fighting to gain the legal rights of other medical professionals and the collaborative relationships with doctors and hospitals that they need to practice safely.
For those with a passion for midwifery, these barriers are overshadowed by the honor of working with mothers and babies before, during, and right after birth. Midwives have a unique opportunity to form trusting relationships with the women they work with, lending them confidence, wisdom, and the space to give birth in their own way surrounded by the people they love.
Who are Certified Professional Midwives?
Certified Professional Midwives are national credentialed autonomous healthcare professionals who care for pregnant people through the pregnancy, the birth and up to 6 weeks post partum. CPMs attend births in the home setting or in freestanding birth centers. The profession is growing significantly and each year more states pass licensing laws to regulate their practice—currently there are 29 states that license CPMs and many more that allow practice without regulation.
As the evidence showing the safety of birth outside the hospital setting mounts, more and more families are choosing this option and we need midwives to serve them in every community.
What is Birthwise looking for in an applicant?
Our students come in a variety of shapes and sizes and we like it that way. Applicants should understand the demands of the profession and feel a strong calling to this work. The ability to learn at a fast pace, work well with people, articulate as well as listen, and have the ability to provide compassionate hands-on care will serve you well at Birthwise.
Past academic performance is not always a reliable indicator of who will make an excellent midwife but can be helpful to show us you will be able to handle our rigorous class load. Ultimately however, experience and commitment will determine your success at Birthwise. We look for strong (in whatever way you manifest it) individuals with the determination, resilience and work ethic to become excellent midwives.
Are there any prerequisites to enrollment at Birthwise?
We require applicants to have a high school diploma or equivalent and have taken a Doula Training workshop. We also require a CPR course.
Prior experience in birth work, perhaps as a doula, is a plus when looking at applications but is not a prerequisite. We strongly encourage applicants to take a college level Anatomy and Physiology course prior to applying to Birthwise but do not require it.
Can prior learning be applied towards graduation from Birthwise?
In certain circumstances Birthwise grants credit for previous education and experience in midwifery or birth. See our Advanced Status page for more information.
What are the Graduation Requirements for Birthwise?
Birthwise holds all its students to a high academic and practical standard. All graduates must complete these eight requirements before they receive a diploma.
ADA – Students with Disabilities
Birthwise welcomes students with disabilities. We work with Applicants to discuss the impact that their limitations might have on their education here at Birthwise and their ability to practice midwifery after graduation. It is Birthwise’ s policy to provide students who have disabilities with reasonable educational accommodation based upon relevant law, the school’s educational standards, and sound ethical practice in disability services.
Students who attend Birthwise need to be aware of the “basic functions” necessary for school and for the midwifery workplace. These basic functions range from reading and understanding scientific and technical material, performing motor skills such as suturing, doing examinations, driving vehicles, working long shifts without breaks, acting as a supervisor, lifting and repositioning clients, administering medications, communicating with clients, laboratories, and many other functions.
Educational accommodations are defined as any reasonable adjustment required for a student to participate fully in the school community, inside or outside the classroom. Students entering the school for the first time should submit information related to disability prior to enrollment. The Executive Director is responsible for deciding whether a disability has been adequately documented and they will identify a list of potential accommodations in accordance with the manifestations of the disability, a copy of which will be shared with the student.