A midwife is a licensed individual who assists a woman during her pregnancy and childbirth. Midwives work with obstetricians and physicians throughout a normal pregnancy to ensure that the mother and child are healthy. Typically, a woman consults a midwife when she is interested in delivering her child at home or in a birthing center instead of a hospital setting. A mother may also choose to consult a midwife because she is interested in a natural childbirth or alternatives to potentially harmful medications during the delivery. The midwife manages the care of mother and child throughout the childbirth process and is responsible for maintaining accurate records of the care provided. If any risk to mother or child presents, the midwife is also responsible for referring the mother and child for additional care if needed. Midwives also perform wellness checkups for the mother and the newborn after delivery. In the state of California, there are some simple steps to obtain your license as a midwife.
Choose a school of midwifery. It is recommended you attend a California State Medical Board-approved school; however, you can attend another school if you choose. If your school is not on the California State Medical Board’s approved list, you can opt to take a midwifery challenge exam before taking your licensing exam. Midwifery classes are typically a three-year program of study.
Complete the clinical portion of your education. Some schools will set up your apprenticeship for you; others will expect you to set up your own apprenticeship. Be sure you check with your school to see what they require. During your apprenticeship, you will work closely with a licensed midwife as she sees patients and attends births. This is the portion of your study that gives you hands-on experience with midwifery and what the position will entail.
Apply for your midwifery license through the Medical Board of California. You will need to take and pass a licensing test as a part of the actual application process. Once you have successfully become licensed, you will need to renew your license every other year. Throughout that two-year period, you will need to collect 36 hours of continuing education credits; half of those hours must be achieved through in-person training.
“Become a Midwife.” California Association of Midwives
“Licensed Midwives.” The Medical Board of California