What Does It Take to Become a Midwife?

Texas Midwives Face Strict Requirements

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Houston Midwife Nanci Stanley LM, CPM

To become credentialed in Texas, midwives have to complete coursework in a Texas certified midwifery program or a MEAC approved course. Coursework can take up to 34 months to complete. Midwives then have to pass the state approved written examination.

In addition to coursework, clinical training is also required. A Houston midwife has to complete a minimum 24 months and 1350 contact hours as an apprentice under the supervision of an approved preceptor.

Midwives training under the Association of Texas Midwives must complete

  • 75 Prenatal exams
  • 20 Initial physical exams and histories
  • 40 Postpartum exams
  • 20 Newborn exams
  • 25 Births
    • Each birth must include one prenatal and one postpartum exam as either an assistant or as PMUS

Passing the NARM

The NARM exam (North American Registry of Midwives) is required to become a CPM (certified professional midwife). Passing the NARM is not an easy task. NARM expects that midwives who have the obtained the necessary training and experience will pass the written exam. Many case scenarios are presented on the NARM and the midwife is expected to have extensive knowledge of correct medical procedure and analysis in a variety of situations. Even experienced midwives can find it difficult to pass the NARM’s multi faceted scenarios and questions.

There are well over twenty medical and midwifery books the North American Registry of Midwives recomends in preparation for the NARM exam. Many midwives explain that birth experience can be contradictory to NARM’s testing expectations. In other words, what you would really do in live birth situation is not how the NARM expects you to answer.

After completing the initial requirements for becoming a midwife in Texas, continuing education is required as well.

Houston area midwives are encouraged to be a part of the Greater Houston Midwives’ Alliance where member midwives offer strong support for each other as peers.