Global Midwife Training Program
Bridging the Maternal Healthcare Gap
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “Investing in health systems—especially in midwife training and in making emergency obstetric care available round-the-clock—is key to reducing maternal mortality”, yet more then 58 countries lack enough qualified midwives to provide timely access to skilled healthcare for mothers and infants.
Midwife international is bridging the maternity care gap by implementing The Global Midwife Training Program, a sustainable and replicable model for midwifery education that utilizes the service learning model to combine academic and clinical studies with community service and leadership training abroad. Our objective is to develop a worldwide network of midwifery stewards—not just midwives—who are equipped to make significant improvements in maternal and infant health where it is needed most. Learn more about placement and our unique clinical experience opportunities around the world.
Building Block Approach
The Global Midwife Training Program is divided into 3 one-year blocks: entry, intermediate and advanced. A student may choose to progress through all three blocks, for a total of 3-years or to enter the program at the appropriate skill-level and participate for 1 or 2 years, as a “building-block” within a broader path of study. We welcome students who are already on their path to become a Certified Professional Midwife or Nurse-Midwife (NARM), as well as those who are exploring the option of how to become a midwife, and want to include international experience as part of their training.
Beginner and Intermediate Studies
Beginner and intermediate studies will focus on the philosophy and fundamentals of the midwifery model of care, exploring best practices in midwifery skills and techniques in comparison to alternative modes of obstetrical care. Clinical rotations, lead by an experienced NARM approved preceptor, will include exposure to prenatal, birth, postpartum and infant care in domestic, hospital and birth center settings, with nurse midwives, professional midwives and traditional midwives. Students will also spend time each week providing direct support to local organizations who are working to promote maternal healthcare, breastfeeding, infant health and the midwifery model of care in their community. Beginner and intermediate curriculum is divided into 4 quarters (11-weeks per quarter) with an average weekly workload of 47 hours (15 academic hours and 32 clinical hours).
Throughout the coursework and clinical experience, students will investigate existing conditions of child and maternal health at the local, national and international level and define their own personal philosophy of care. Curriculum encourages a participatory approach to midwifery with reflective analysis, critical thinking and collective reflection on the role of the midwife as an autonomous professional, and comprehensive health promotion and empowerment of women. Upon completion of the intermediate block, students will be prepared to take a more active role in assisting midwives and will be well on their way to pursuing the next levels of midwifery education and will understand how to:
- Monitor the physical, psychological and social well-being of the mother throughout the childbearing cycle.
- Provide the mother with individualized education, counseling, and prenatal care, continuous hands-on assistance during labor and delivery, and postpartum support.
- Minimize technological interventions and identify and refer women who require obstetrical attention.
During the advanced year, students will complete an additional 38 credits of clinical coursework (1,672 hours) as “Primary Under Supervision” and 12 academic credits, including personalized academic support from their preceptors. During this time, students will acquire the knowledge, skills and techniques necessary for comprehensive care of women at different stages of life and in particular, attention to respectful labor and delivery:
- Clinical skills that allow midwives to make decisions independently and to develop criteria to support physiological birth, based on a holistic model.
- Knowledge, multidisciplinary scientific and clinical reasoning and the establishment of guidelines of proper conduct in the assistance of physiological pregnancy and childbirth in healthy women.
- Communication skills and therapeutic relationships to allow for culturally competent, personalized care.
- Manual skills for diagnosis and treatment of presentations and positions to support the physiological process and the openness and mobility of the pelvis.
- Expertise in physiological pain relief
- Tools for optimal care of the woman and baby to ensure the quality of their health and experience, including basic obstetric care and neonatal emergencies.
Advanced students must be prepared to take an active role as an assistant or primary midwife to provide prenatal, postnatal and birth care and will also have the opportunity to provide support to local organizations who are working to promote maternal healthcare, breastfeeding, infant health and the Midwives Model of Care in their community. Students who have completed entry-level midwife education, including a minimum of 20 births as assistant, through outside programs will be considered. Students who cannot provide documentation of 20 births but consider themselves qualified to act as a primary midwife with assistance will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
The Global Midwife Training Program is based on the principles of service learning, which include:
- Engagement: While learning practical skills at the clinic, students will also be observing, listening, and engaging in dialogue with community members. The acts of learning midwifery skills and engaging with the community are of equal importance.
- Reflection: Through journaling, case reviews and group discussions, students are expected to link their clinical experience to course content and to reflect upon how the midwives model of care supports communities and improves maternal health outcomes.
- Reciprocity: Every individual, organization, and entity involved in our program functions as both a teacher and a learner. The community and the student benefit equally from the experience.
- Public Dissemination: Throughout the program, the midwives model of care will be presented to the public and stakeholders will be invited to enter into a dialogue about maternal health and the role of midwives in their community.
Learn more about the Midwife International Methodology.
Preceptor Lead Clinical Rotations and Book Study
Students will spend approximately 25 hours doing clinical rotations under the observation or a preceptor and 10 additional hours of on-call for births. These are minimums and may be more depending on your site. Hours may also vary from week-to-week depending on the needs of the site. After each sift preceptors meet with students to conduct a case review, giving students the opportunity to ask questions and discuss skills and strategies observed. Each preceptor will have their own individualized approach to case reviews, based on their style of midwifery. Midwife International sets the basic guideline but give preceptors the freedom to conduct case reviews as they see fit. Case reviews may be done individually or collectively, depending on the preferences of the preceptor. Because the preceptor cannot be in all places at all times, students may also participate in hospital rotations or clinic rotations under supervision of local nurses, doulas, traditional birth attendants or midwives, depending on the site. These will not qualify for NARM PEP numbers and debriefing is not required, but students can bring observations and questions to their preceptor informally. Students should be aware that these appointments and births may not be conducted according to NARM standards or even according to the midwives model of care, which will challenge thier values and beliefs, but we believe that they are a valuable part of your learning process and also an important part of the immersion experience. In addition to clinical rotations, students will be assigned 10-12 hours of reading and personal stud, according to the syllabus. Preceptors will then guide a 3-hour (group) book study once per week. To help preceptors direct book study, Midwife International provides lesson plans, including learning exercises and critical thinking questions. When appropriate critical thinking questions and long-term assignments will also be posted on student forums. We encourage students to organize book studies and to take careful notes so that they have these materials available for future reference. In general, students are ultimately responsible for completing the book studies portion of the program. We provide exercises and are here to answer your questions, but do not administer tests or penalize students for incomplete studies. Likewise, we do not take responsibility for incomplete studies.
Digital Exchange Among Sites
To complement our experiential and standards-based education, Midwife International is piloting the use of digital media to connect with our international network of students, experts and practicing midwives. Based on available infrastructure, students will engage with exclusive videos, articles, podcasts, and interactive networking tools to allow for open exchange of ideas and collaborate toward improved birth outcomes. No comparable forum exists, leaving maternal healthcare providers and midwife students to be isolated in their unique cultures and countries. We are exited to be testing digital classroom technologies as part of our 2013 and 2014 programs.
Midwife International uses our own curriculum that was developed with the assistance of our Curriculum Advisory and follows guidelines set forth by NARM. Below is the reading list according to our curriculum:
Myles Textbook for Midwives, by Frasier/Cooper
Anatomy and Physiology for Midwives, by Jane Coad
Birth Emergency Skills Training, by Bonnie Gruenberg
Birth Models That Work, by Robbie Davis-Floyd
- Heart and Hands, by Elizabeth Davis
Labor Progress Handbook, by Simpkin & Ancheta
New Midwifery, by Lesley Ann Page
Practical Skills Guide for Midwifery, by Pam Weaver & Sharon Evans
- After The Baby’s Birth, by Robin Lim
- Birth as an American Rite of Passage, by Robbie Davis-Floyd
- Botanical Medicine for Women’s Health, by Aviva Romm
- Breastfeeding Answers Made Simple, by Nancy Mohrbacher
- Optimal Care in Childbirth, by Henci Goer and Amy Romano
- Professional Ethics in Midwifery Practice
- Spiritual Midwifery, by Ina May Gaskin
- Understanding Diagnostic Tests in the Childbearing Year, by Anne Frye
Note: Students are required to purchase and transport their own books to site. Many books can be purchased in electronic format on Kindle or Apple products.
Answering the Call for Midwives
The world needs more midwives. Our Global Midwife Training Advanced Internships, Midwifery Intensives and 3-Year Midwifery School provide a challenging learning environment intended to train midwives who will be equipped to provide high-quality maternity care in a variety of settings. But we do more than just train midwives. Our service learning model is designed to influence the way student midwives see themselves and their role in the communities they serve, and to develop the skills necessary to become the future leaders of positive change in maternity care. Apply Now.
Take a look at our unique approach to midwifery education and international clinical experience. Find out how we integrate service learning into our methodology. Learn more about midwife certification and the Midwives Model of Care, or how our programs can help you to become a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) through NARM. Read inspiring stories about how to become a midwife on our weekly blog. Learn about the state of maternal health worldwide. Share the UNFPA “Call to Action” with your network.