Midwife training works to prepare both men and women for the care that they will need to be able to provide in their professional careers. This care spans further than many realize, as midwifery goes far beyond the usual acts of pregnancy care in today's world.
Midwives are expected to help with pre-pregnancy care, helping women to plan for having a child and helping women who are with child to care for the child properly. This generally includes nutritional and dietary support. During the pregnancy, midwives help with everything from emotional and physical support to actually supporting the birth of the child. Midwives work towards a safe pregnancy, and work to support the woman as, among other things, a breathing coach. Post pregnancy, midwives provide emotional support as well as any medication that may be needed due to complications from the pregnancy.
Midwife training also helps midwives to understand their general practice, as today's midwives provide primary care, gynecological care, and menopaal care. Midwives are expected to provide examinations that include pelvic examinations. They may make primary care calls and will help women with menopausal symptoms. While midwives can advise medication, most work to provide emotional and physical support that does not require the use of drugs.
The training for becoming a midwife starts in high school, as specific classes are recommended. Individuals in high school should take general health and science classes as well as courses in sociology and psychology. Courses in college build on this information, diving deeper into health and science courses like physiology and anatomy. The specific training that is provided for those who are looking to become a certified nurse-midwife can take up to two years, and includes courses specifically to midwifery. Courses will teach midwives how to handle issues like pregnancy, gynecological examinations, and menopause in a way that those looking for a midwife prefer.
It is possible to go through training to be a certified midwife and to be a certified nurse-midwife. Regular certified midwives must go through certification tests and receive some form of higher education. Those who wish to be certified nurse midwives must go through the training and examination to be a nurse. They must then go through an accredited nurse-midwife program as accredited by the American College Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) association. They will need to go through a certification exam to actually be certified as a nurse-midwife. Beyond this, there are additional state requirements that will vary, but generally include clinical hours and practice experience.
Midwife training is available to those who do not want to go through a nursing program. With that being said, there are more job opportunities available to those who have a nurse-midwife certification. The nursing job market is expected to expand by approximately 30 percent over the next ten years, and some of those jobs will be for nurse-midwives. This is the perfect career move for those who have had an interest in nursing but have wanted to work exclusively with women to provide both physical and emotional support through all stages of life.