Midwife qualifications depend on the type of midwife you're looking to become. To become a certified nurse-midwife or certified midwife, you will need to complete an accredited midwifery masters degree program. The difference between the two certifications is that nurse-midwives earn a bachelors degree in nursing before attending graduate school; whereas, certified midwives can have a bachelors degree in any discipline. After earning your midwife masters degree, you will need to pass a written national exam for certification. The other path is to become a certified professional midwife, which is overseen by the North American Registry of Midwives. There is no minimum college qualification for certified professional midwives, but you will need to have fulfilled certain educational requirements which may necessitate the completion of an accredited midwife training program or apprenticeship. Regardless of the path you choose, your training will focus on a variety of health-related topics including the dangers and risks of childbirth, response to emergency situations, advantages and disadvantage of different birth settings, proper use of birth equipment and supplies, and basic care for newborns.
A midwife needs to be extremely responsible and able to calmly deal with the emotional demands of caring for a mother and her new child during birth. You will need to work well with others and be able to react quickly and efficiently in an emergency. Successful midwives have strong communication skills and a helpful and caring nature that can set a new mother's mind at ease.
Any prior experience in health care or a related professional care position can be a great asset to those looking to become a midwife. Those who have practical experience in nursing will have a distinct advantage when it comes to entering the midwife profession and may be able to earn a masters in midwifery through an accelerated program.
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