“My name’s XYZ and I’m from XYZ. I’m really interested in becoming a midwife after being a doula for a few years now but have some questions regarding taking the course here. Would I be able to receive clients here in XYZ? Which countries accept the credentials of this course?”
We get emails like this CONSTANTLY! I’m talking many a week. Can you imagine how many midwives we would have on every block, in every neighborhood, every city, state and country if all of these women just learned to be midwives now, and figured out the legal stuff later? Because if we had a groundswell of trained midwives, and a growing demand for independent midwifery, it would be quite hard to stop us all.
It is not illegal to learn midwifery. In most places it is not “illegal” to attend someones birth either. Many places have criminalized the use of the word “midwife” because they have decided they own it though, that is true. But the more important questions, that really should come before these questions of legality and credentialing and legitimacy are…
1. What kind of midwife do I want to be?
2. What kind of midwife does my community deserve?
*And a bonus question – when will the women say enough is enough and demand that the choice of birth attendant is theirs ALONE to make, outside of government influence and meddling?
Jumping to the legal part seems like it makes sense from our dominant paradigm, but actually it is putting the cart before the horse. If you feel called to be a midwife and to serve women in birth, shouldn’t your first question be about how you want to actually show up and do that? How to embody that role? How to learn those skills and become what you want to be?
Not “what am I allowed to become” and then work backwards from there, no!!!
This is the euro-patriarchal bullshit we are taught in school. That we have to retrofit ourselves to this sad, boring, meaningless box they have built for us.
If you are asking about attending the Indie Birth Midwifery School, to learn independent, heart centered, authentic midwifery, and you come at me with the legal question first, this is where I will point you.
Start at the beginning. Look inside. Figure out your own truth before you start asking about how to fit into the mold. Those big legal questions are important to grapple with at some point too, but not first. First, do your due diligence and ask yourself. Who are you? What do you want? Sit with that for a long time, and when you have an answer, see what questions come next.
And if you need help unwinding some of this for yourself, please check out or mini-course which is available as a “pay what you can” offering called The Beginner’s Guide to Radical Midwifery.