In coming years, occupational growth in the field of midwifery is forecast to expand. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the number of job opportunities for midwives will balloon by 31 percent within the next 10 years. Experts credit the anticipated spike in available employment to the effects of health care legislation and a gradual shift by healthy mothers-to-be toward a more cost-effective approach to childbirth.
In the greater Los Angeles region, many certified nurse-midwives are earning annual salaries greater than $100,000, according to current employment data. Their primary job function is to assist in labor, delivery and postpartum care.
"A midwife needs to be able to act calmly under high-pressure situations and be able to think critically, especially when adrenaline is on high," said Aleksandra Evanguelidi, a licensed midwife and clinical director at The Sanctuary Birth & Family Wellness Center, a birth center she co-founded.
Evanguelidi, who has aided more than 800 deliveries, said her company's mission is to transform the manner in which childbirth is controlled.
"As we move into the future, the trend will continue toward midwives handling low-risk pregnancy, while obstetricians manage high-risk pregnancy," said Evanguelidi, a National Midwifery Institute alumna. "It is our responsibility to stay ahead of the curve by continuing to practice evidence-based care and, hopefully, work alongside our obstetrician. We have lots to learn from them and they from us."
What is the best way to prepare for a career as a midwife?
"Explore your options for education. Participate in doula training, especially within a hospital setting."
What should potential midwives know about this job?
"The career of a midwife is not for the faint. You will be faced with people's greatest demons, including your own. This is an evolutionary path, meaning you will have to confront parts of yourself that scare you and inspire others."
What is your advice to novice midwives?
"At the end of the day, whether she feels you failed her or you were her savior, remember you were neither. You were fulfilling an agreement to serve and protect in the highest way possible."
Sharon Raiford Bush is an award-winning journalist who covers topics of social interest in greater Los Angeles. Some news articles she has authored have been archived by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. Sharon also contributes to Examiner.com.
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