How do I Become a Midwife Assistant?

A midwife assistant is a person who helps midwives with the services they provide to expectant mothers. A person in this field may help a midwife with administrative tasks, such as keeping track of appointments as well as hands-on birthing duties, such as monitoring a woman’s vital signs during labor and assisting in the actual delivery. The requirements you’ll have to meet to become a midwife assistant may vary from place to place and employer to employer. In many cases, however, you’ll need to complete a midwife assistant training program or obtain on-the-job training in order to pursue a career in this field.

Depending on where you live, you may find that there are no set educational requirements for becoming a midwife assistant. You may, however, be looked on more favorably if you’ve earned a high school or general educational development (GED) diploma. Some schools that offer midwife assistant training programs may even make having a high school diploma or its equivalent a condition of enrollment. Additionally, if you’ve completed any previous health-care-related courses or worked as a nurse or nursing assistant, the knowledge and skills you gained may prove helpful as you pursue this new career.

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You will likely need to obtain training to become a midwife assistant. Training programs may vary in terms of length and contents, but there are many midwife assistant training programs that can be completed in a matter of days. Usually, these courses cover such topics as taking vital signs and drawing blood; performing vaginal and breast exams; handling emergencies; giving injections; and suturing wounds. Often midwife assistant training will also cover the equipment and supplies midwives use and record keeping procedures. This type of midwife training may also provide an introduction to medical terminology.

During your training to become a midwife assistant, you will likely learn about the birthing process and female reproduction in detail. You may also learn about dilation and how it is measured as well as pelvis anatomy. Likewise, your training may cover procedures for providing postpartum care and helping mothers who are new to breastfeeding.

In some cases, midwives offer aspiring midwife assistants on-the-job-training. A midwife may train new assistants herself or have an experienced midwife assistant provide the training. In fact, an employer may provide at least some on-the-job training, even if you’ve received training elsewhere. In such a case, the midwife may focus training on the procedures she follows and the methods she uses as opposed to teaching you the general skills you need to become a midwife assistant.

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Discuss this Article

jennythelib
Post 2

@ElizaBennett - Those are good suggestions. I think a lot of midwife assistants are also apprentice midwives - that was the case for my sister's home birth with a Certified Professional Midwife (not a nurse, but trained directly in midwifery).

You definitely need to be cool under pressure to become a midwife assistant. What happened at my sister's birth, which I attended, was that the assistant arrived before the midwife. She lived closer and was there for perhaps half an hour or forty-five minutes before the actual midwife got there.

Well, it was a precipitous labor! By the time the midwife arrived, the baby was crowning. The assistant had to be calm and fly solo until then.

ElizaBennett
Post 1

In my experience, midwife assistants, at least in the US, do mostly out-of-hospital births, especially home births. Which makes sense; nurse midwives who deliver in hospitals are assisted by nurses and CNAs (certified nursing assistants).

So if you're interested in this field, you need to be aware that it's a small one! Your town might not have any home birth midwives, or those that work in your town might well not need any assistants. Something else do consider is that many home birth midwives work outside the law (that is, they are not licensed for the work they do) -- would you be willing to work under those circumstances?

I would suggest getting involved in the natural childbirth community in your area. By making connections with local midwives, you'll be able to gauge whether there is a demand for your services or not.

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