Midwife International currently offers 10-week “Holistic Midwifery Intensives” and a 1-year “Global Midwife Training” program for students who want to study midwifery, women’s health and complimentary alternative medicine in the international context. Both programs encourage participants to develop themselves as leaders who understand world culture and women’s issues, embrace civic participation, and promote the development of midwifery as a whole. Midwifery Education
“[International midwifery training] is not the only answer to the world’s growing need for midwives, but it is a small seed that can be a good thing for our human family.” ~ Erin Lusk, CPM, Midwife International Facilitator
Fostering Collaboration in Women’s Health & Midwifery
Midwife International coordinates programs with established midwives and women’s health clinics in Central America, Southeast Asia and Africa in countries that fall dramatically below the international threshold of 23 health workers per 10,000 people. All of our clinical partners are independently operated and locally-run, maintaining an autonomous staff and providing culturally appropriate services to their community. Through day-to-day volunteer work in partner clinics and in the capacity of apprentices with local midwives, Midwife International students and volunteer facilitators are ambassadors of our programs, fostering collaboration and reciprocal exchange in the communities that have welcomed us.
“I was very touched at the relationships formed between our local midwives and the Midwife International students. It is a very positive experience for all parties concerned and something that they will remember forever.” ~ Brenda Richmond, Site Director, Bali
Service Learning Methodology
Midwife International programs are 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 written journals, 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.
Service learning is an active and experiential learning strategy characterized by student participation in organized service activities that are connected to specific learning outcomes. We utilized service learning in all of our programs because it brings course material to life — encouraging students to take responsibility for their learning while building leadership capacities and fostering authentic relationships.
Wherever possible, digital media is used to facilitate ongoing exchange between students, maternal health experts and midwives from around the world. Based on available infrastructure, students will engage with course content through joint virtual workshops, videos, articles, and interactive networking tools to allow for open exchange of ideas and collaborate toward improved birth outcomes. No other midwifery program emphasizes shared resources and knowledge across international and cultural boundaries, fusing independent clinics as a conduit for leadership in maternal health.
“The Midwife International educational model left us each a great deal of freedom to learn at our own pace. We were given basic guidelines for reading and assignments with plenty of flexibility. The curriculum acknowledged that the volume of births at our host sites could change at any time, suddenly leaving us with ample time or very little time for book study. We were also assigned textbooks by different authors from a variety of backgrounds which allowed for comparing and contrasting research. I believe the combination of studying and time for clinical experience allowed me to gain the best possible learning experience out of my time abroad.” – Julia Amend, Midwife International Student
At each location, the Midwife International coursework is lead by a full-time volunteer “Facilitator” who is a qualified midwife and has received basic coaching and facilitation training from Midwife International, enabling them to support both the practical and emotional aspects of the program. Facilitators provide each student with an average of 16 clock-hours of coursework instruction per week – including oversight in the clinic, student meetings and skills-workshops – and serve as the day-to-day point of contact for both students and clinic administration and staff. Midwife International Director of Programs provides ongoing teaching support through weekly virtual check-ins with both the facilitator and the clinical partner. Facilitators must have a minimum of seventy-five (75) births as primary midwife and three (3) years of experience as a primary midwife. Visit the “Our Team” page to learn more about how you can become a volunteer facilitator.
Philosophy of Care
“In every country and community worldwide, pregnancy and childbirth are momentous events in the lives of women and families, and represent a time of intense vulnerability. The concept of “safe motherhood” is usually restricted to physical safety, but childbearing is also an important rite of passage, with deep personal and cultural significance for a woman and her family. Issues of gender equity and gender-based violence are also at the core of maternity care, so the notion of safe motherhood must be expanded beyond the prevention of morbidity or mortality to encompass respect for women’s basic human rights. Women’s autonomy, dignity, feelings, choices, and preferences must be respected, including their choice of companionship wherever possible.” - A Guide for Advocating for Respectful Maternity Care, White Ribbon Alliance
Midwife International programs adhere to educational requirements and recommendations set forth by the International Confederation of Midwives and the Midwifery Education Accreditation Council. We aim to promote Respectful Maternity Care as defined by the White Ribbon Alliance and optimal MotherBaby maternity services as defined by the International Mother Baby Childbirth Initiative.
According to Citizens for Midwifery, the Midwives Model of Care views pregnancy and birth as normal life events. Midwives are responsible for:
- Monitoring the physical, psychological and social well being of the mother throughout the childbearing cycle.
- Providing the mother with individualized education, counseling, and prenatal care, continuous hands-on assistance during labor and delivery, and postpartum support
- Minimizing technological interventions and;
- Identifying and referring women who require obstetrical attention.
The application of this model has been proven to reduce and incidence of birth injury, trauma, and cesarean section. The safety of mother and child rests on the accessibility of a well-trained midwife, as well as emergency care. It is the right of women and families to make informed choices about how and where they want to give birth.
“What better way to learn about one community, culture or tradition than through birth, women and babies? I can’t think of anything better. Here you get the good and bad, magical and unexpected, and the overall truth… all in one.” ~Kelsi Hines, Midwife International Student
Answer the Calling
Apply now to participate in our 1-year Global Midwife Training program or 10-week Midwifery Intensives. Learn more about our service learning approach to midwifery education or visit our resource pages to read about midwife certification or how to become a midwife. Stay connected through the inspiring stories on our blog. Or contact us to talk with our admissions director about how Midwife International programs can help you on your path to midwifery leadership.