How To Become A Nurse Midwife
As a midwife, you will be helping an expecting mother deliver her newborn child. This is a very exciting experience to be part of the birthing process. Many parents are choosing to have midwives during their delivery.
You will also help families take care of their newborn for the weeks following delivery. If you love children and are interested in medicine, you may enjoy a rewarding career as a midwife.
Why Become A Midwife
In the United States, it is most common that women see an obstetrician for their pregnancy and delivery of their babies. Recently, the use of a midwife has been increasing. In 2009, eight percent of babies were born by midwives.
A midwife is a person who helps with the delivery of a child. They assist with the pregnancy, the delivery of a baby, and helping the family several weeks after the child is born. A midwife approaches pregnancy and birth differently than an obstetrician. While a doctor often has many patients to see, a midwife takes time to know their clients, how they would like to handle their pregnancy and how they would like to deliver their child. Midwives value using more holistic, non-invasive approaches to labor and birthing, such as offering massages or exercises to feel more comfortable.
After the delivery, a midwife still helps the parents. They help parents with breastfeeding techniques and other issues related to taking care of a newborn child.
A career as a midwife is perfect for somebody who is interested in the medical field, enjoys more holistic and natural approaches to wellness and medicine, and wants to help parents with their pregnancy and delivery of their precious children.
Midwives should possess the following qualities and skills:
- Good listener
- Good judgment
- Calm in stressful situations
- Holistic practitioner
- Detail oriented
Midwife Work Environment
When people hear the term midwife, some assume that a midwife helps you give birth in your own home. This is not the case. A midwife is a medical professional who must have an agreement with a local physician in order to practice, and almost all midwives work out of hospitals. In fact, only one percent of midwives assist with births at birthing centers or home births.
Working at a hospital is fast-paced and stressful. Sometimes a birth does not go as planned. A midwife must be able to have good judgment, communicate effectively, and use their knowledge to ensure a safe labor and delivery.
The median salary for a midwife was $92,510 in 2015, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The salary of a midwife can depend on many factors. In certain states, midwives may earn more money. More experienced midwives may be able to earn a higher salary.
Average Midwife Annual Salary
The average annual salary for midwifes is $103,640 a year. Salaries start at $66,500 a year and go up to $143,650 a year.
Average Midwife Hourly Wage
The average hourly wage for a midwife is $49.83. Hourly wages are between $31.97 and $69.07 an hour.
Stats were based out of 6,530 employed midwifes in the United States.
Highest Paying States For Midwifes
- 1. California $63.69 / hr $132,480 / yr
- 2. West Virginia $60.70 / hr $126,260 / yr
- 3. Massachusetts $57.55 / hr $119,700 / yr
- 4. New Jersey $53.65 / hr $111,600 / yr
- 5. Wisconsin $52.54 / hr $109,280 / yr
Top Paying Cities For Midwifes
- 1. San Francisco, CA $71.07 / hr$147,820 / yr
- 2. Oakland, CA $68.94 / hr$143,400 / yr
- 3. Worcester, MA $65.57 / hr$136,390 / yr
- 4. Los Angeles, CA $62.17 / hr$129,300 / yr
- 5. Charlotte, NC $58.77 / hr$122,250 / yr
Data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Midwife Career Outlook
The field for midwives is expected to grow by 31 percent from 2014 to 2024. This is much faster than all other occupations within the United States.
There will always be a need for the medical field, and for professionals who will help parents with childbirth. More people are becoming interested in natural and holistic ways of caring for themselves. People are interested in alternative ways of healing. More people are becoming interested in obtaining a midwife so they can deliver their child in a peaceful, calm, natural way that is more aligned with their values.
There are many official titles for midwives. The most official category is certified nurse midwives (CNM). This is an occupation that takes many years of experience and education. Learn more on how to become a midwife below.
Step 1: Undergraduate education. You must have a bachelor’s degree to become a certified nurse midwife. A degree in nursing, biology, health sciences, pre-med, or any other number of programs can give you a firm foundation in this field. Remember to take classes such as biology, health sciences, chemistry, physiology, and math in order to better prepare you for this field
Step 2: Enroll in a midwifery program. There are many midwifery programs, accredited by the American College of Nurse-Midwives. These programs in midwifery give students the opportunity to advance their skills both academically and in a clinical setting. Most programs are two years. Complete a midwife program and pass your examinations in order to be licensed in this field. Once you complete the program, you can apply for certification.
Step 3: Make an official agreement with an obstetrician. Midwives work alongside doctors, consulting with them and for referrals. Midwives must have official agreements from doctors in order to practice.
Step 4: Continue to educate yourself. As a medical professional, there is always more to learn about the health field. There will be alternative, holistic therapies being introduced. Certified nurse midwives must participate in three self-learning modules within a five-year span to show their commitment to continued education.