Making and maintaining contacts in the field, asking the right people for recommendations, and knowing where to look for opportunities are usually the keys to obtaining a midwifery apprenticeship. Apprenticeship is an important part of most midwives’ education, and in some states, it is required for licensure. Even so, finding a job — especially one that is a good fit — usually necessitates a lot of legwork. Some midwife certification programs will connect trainees with potential mentors, referred to as “preceptors” in the field, but few will guarantee placements.
Because most midwifery apprenticeship positions are not advertised, word of mouth is usually the best way to find one. Midwifery communities are typically small and close-knit in most places. If you’re in a midwifery certification program, your school probably has a list of local midwives who would be willing to take on an apprentice. A good place to start your search is online or contacting local natural medicine and doula services.
Finding a preceptor with whom you will be comfortable working for an extended period of time is the most important part of finding a midwifery apprenticeship. The majority of apprenticeships are intensive one-on-one learning opportunities, with many lasting a year or longer. Apprenticeships with multiple professionals are available at some natural birthing centers, but they are more uncommon.
In either case, the experience will undoubtedly be long and intense. To make the relationship work, you must have a personal rapport with your teacher or teachers. As a result, meeting and getting to know a variety of midwives before committing to an apprenticeship with any of them is usually a good idea.
It’s important to keep in mind that not all midwives use apprentices or are willing to hire them. Practitioners will be much more hesitant to offer you training in areas where midwifery is not legal or heavily regulated. Setting up informational interviews with any and all midwives you can find is the best thing you can do. Inquire about their work experience and education. Looking for general advice can help you determine whether you and the midwife are compatible and whether you would enjoy a midwifery apprenticeship with him or her.
When you’ve found a midwife you’d like to work with, inquire about the possibility of collaborating on a midwifery apprenticeship. Prepare to demonstrate your commitment to the field as well as your interest in the work of this particular midwife. An apprenticeship is a significant time and financial commitment that should not be taken lightly.
Before you begin, it’s also crucial to talk about payment and fees. In terms of apprentices, different midwives have different policies. Some people will tutor you for free in exchange for your assistance. Others expect you to join their practices once your training is completed and ask for a stipend or a small tuition payment. Setting all of your expectations up front can help you narrow down the type of midwifery apprenticeship you want to pursue, as well as help you succeed once you start practicing on your own.