I'm corresponding with a woman who wants to be a midwife (and has zero experience). She asked how she could show she was serious. Here's my answer to her.
1. Enroll in a school. (Most schools ask you not to start an apprenticeship until you've been in school for a year so you have a common knowledge base.) NMI is a great one, but there are others. Search: midwifery school at a distance.
2. Become a doula. DONA has a wonderful training and if you become certified, your clients can use insurance to pay (a brand new plus of certification!). There are other organizations as well; pick the one that fits you best.
3. Volunteer as a doula for a local hospital or through Operation Special Delivery. Once you are ready, get yourself out there as a doula!
4. Join doula groups in the area. If there isn't one, start it.
5. Join local and state midwifery organizations. Volunteer to take a role/job in one/them.
6. Join student midwifery study groups and find a place in the group as librarian or location coordinator. If there is no student group, start one.
7. Meet ALL the midwives. An interview is a great idea. Take her to lunch. Let her know you're beginning your midwifery walk and what you've already done and what you are still waiting to do. Find the midwife you connect with the most and offer to help her - make charts, update her hand-outs, input statistics, send out birthday cards to clients' babies, etc. (She'll know what needs to be done.)
8. READ! You can't read enough. Ever. Start here and keep going from there.
10. Read everything you can find on-line... blogs (The Unnecesarean, Stand and Deliver, Midwife: Sage Femme, etc., Nuturing Hearts Birth Services (blog imbedded)... and I could go on and on. (You're already reading mine. ;-) )
11. Do NOT ask to go to births. Find your own.
Asking: What other resources should a brand new midwife wanna-be be tapping into?