How to Become a Midwife in Ohio

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According to the Ohio Midwives Alliances, physicians handle the majority of U.S. births. However, Roxanne MtJoy of change.org reports that midwives attend as many as 1,000 births every year in Ohio and that the Center for Disease Control indicates a 37 percent increase in home births in the state. However, as of 2010, Ohio has not defined the legal status of midwives and licensure in midwifery is not available. This means that midwives who want to practice in Ohio have to take one of two specific paths to pursue their work.

Nursing Path

  • Become familiar with infant care and maternity needs by volunteering in maternity wards and taking formal classes such as birth processes, infant CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and fetal development.

  • Apply for and complete a midwifery program at The Ohio State University, University of Cincinnati, or Case Western Reserve University, the only three academic institutions in the state of Ohio that offer midwifery courses. Ideally, you should obtain a Bachelor of Science (BSN) degree. The BSN degree, with an emphasis in midwifery, is the course recommended by the American College of Nurse Midwives. This path will provide more flexibility for moving to states where a nursing degree is required to practice midwifery.

  • Register as a member or midwife supporter with organizations and websites such as Ohio Friends of Midwives (ofom.org), Ohio Midwives Alliance Legislative Initiative and ohiomidwives.net. Use these resources, as well as the people you meet through your midwifery program or apprenticeship, to form a network for your midwife career.

Apprenticeship (Direct-Entry) Path

  • Familiarize yourself with infant and maternity care through formal classes and volunteering in maternity wards.

  • Locate midwives in your area through the Ohio Midwives Directory (ohiomidwives.net) and contact those you are interested in asking to supervise your apprenticeship.

  • Attend midwifery seminars. Accompany your midwife supervisor to births; assist as the midwife requires.

  • Begin taking on your own clients, handling their births with supervision from the midwife with whom you have chosen to work.

  • Develop your own midwifery practice with recommendations from your previous clients and the midwife who trained you. Put yourself on the Ohio Midwives Directory so new clients can find you and register with organizations that support midwifery in Ohio.

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