If you are like many aspiring midwives, you may have already spent quite a bit of time stewing in questions around legality, safety, what ifs, and feelings of fear and anxiety (and you aren’t even a midwife yet!). I wrote a post about how that is really getting ahead of yourself, with some tips that you can read here.
If we lived in smaller, localized villages where we supported each other and there was no question of disconnected state governments stepping in to penalize midwives, or question of whether we can sustain our families with midwifery as our livelihood, I’m guessing you would start your path into midwifery today. Right? Stay with me.
Today I want to shift the focus and ask you to instead sit with the question – how AWESOME could it be if you were a midwife? How much abundance, meaning, joy, creativity, love, connection and yes, money could you bring into your life if you follow that persistent voice calling you to BECOME A MIDWIFE ALREADY!?
We often have students say they aren’t sure about investing (time and money) in becoming a midwife, either through schooling or apprenticeship, but if they (you?) understood how much there is to gain from this path, it would be a no brainer.
Let me frame this a bit first by saying that my dream world is one of relocalized community, people freely sharing their gifts and talents and supporting each other out of love instead of transactional obligation. That is my long term goal, even if I’m not alive to see it come to fruition. And guess what? The path to it is through each of us reclaiming our unique and beautiful gifts that we have to offer each other. The more people we have in the roles that we actually need (midwife, farmer, carpenter, water specialist, craftsperson, doctor, therapist, teacher, artist, mechanic, poet, care provider, cook, renewable energy specialist, dreamer) the less we will need to depend on money as a means of exchange, the less outside influence on our community we will have, and the less people doing meaningless, soul depleting jobs there will be. Hooray!
This is the main reason I became a midwife – because it is part of my larger strategy for my life to matter, and to help move us collectively towards this vision that so many of us hold in our hearts.
Midwifery already brings me so much abundance in these ways, even though my community isn’t this dream community yet. I see flashes and sparkles of it because of this work. Someone the other day asked me how I’ve forged deep and meaningful relationships with other women in my life, and my answer was that essentially all of them have been through birth work, either because they were my “client”, or because they were a fellow birth worker that I had bonded with over our shared love of women and birth. Doing midwifery means we get to meet inspiring women all the time, and it brings so much meaning, joy and love into my life. Even when I’m teaching a birth class to people who aren’t birthing at home, to see the lightbulbs go off around issues of autonomy is amazing. People are waking up, and I am able to help them do that.
And when I’m with someone during birth, an incredibly transformative moment, I become a part of their life story. When we become part of each others stories we become connected and we are more likely to support each other. If you want a surefire way to become embedded in your community, become a midwife.
Midwifery and running my own “business” is also an endlessly creative endeavor. My midwifery “practice” is alive, and requires my vision to be sustained. I am always tweaking and changing things to better reflect what I want to be offering, and between visits with mamas, educating my community and finding ways to connect with the community (aka marketing!) it is a giant piece living art. We all have a need for creativity and midwifery is one of the places I am able to meet that need.
But enough of my hippy nonsense! Right now, right here in our current economic set up, most of us do require money to live, and there are creative and spiritual ways to approach the exchange of money right now, too.
So let’s get practical for a moment. On top of being a soul satisfying, joyful, meaningful, connected and heart centered path, midwifery IS also a way to make money if you want it to be. In most communities across the US, midwives are charging somewhere between $3000-$5000 for their global fee. And guess what else? In most places in the US we still have a shortage of midwives. We get requests every day from parts of the country (and the world, really) that do not have a home birth midwife accessible to them.
A midwife charging $3000 for her global fee (which is on the low side) with 2 clients a month on average would be making $72,000 before expenses and taxes. After expenses and taxes based on my own experience, this would look like about $60,000 take home. For a midwife that charges $4000 it is more like $96,000 generated and about $80,000 take home, depending on your expenses. You can read my breakdown and justification for the way midwife fees are set up over in this older article.
With the money that I generate as a midwife, I am essentially the sole provider for my family so my partner can be home with the kids, and we were able to purchase a farm home of our dreams last year (amidst the pandemic no less!). We have the money we need for essentials, and for the first time in my adult life we also have money for non-essentials that make life really lovely – art supplies, massages, infrastructure for the farm, higher quality furniture that should last generations, organic clothes when we don’t get garbage bag of free ones (ha), and classes for the whole family to keep learning. Most of that money we are spending is being reinvested in cool people and craftsmen, local when possible, to help support THEM in creating this better world too. If you didn’t know this, we need more cool people to have more money so we can support the other cool people doing cool things. I had to get over the internal voice telling me that “people with money are evil” to get to this place, and I’m sure I still have work to do, but once I saw that my money could be used for GOOD, I was much better at asking for it and feeling grateful about receiving it (which leads to more money coming in, since that’s how the universe works!).
When I was first starting out in midwifery, it was hard for me to believe that people could afford to pay this much money for something because I was a super broke nanny myself. When we are in a position where we don’t have something, we typically assume others don’t have it either. But I’m here to tell you that there are more people able to afford to pay a midwife than you think, and many who would be willing to find a way to pay a midwife if we can help our communities understand the value of what we offer (this is where education comes in!). So much of the money conundrum we hear about from aspiring midwives is a mindset issue, coming from a false belief that they are unworthy, not good enough, and lack value. It is an inside problem, not an outside problem.
I’m not saying I would guarantee you could have a thriving midwifery practice just anywhere, but I am saying that with the right inner perspectives, it should be quite doable most places. If you had a question about this part, you could simply do a quick google search to see how many births happen per year at the hospitals near you, look to see what home birth midwife options are available, what they charge, and how many births they typically do. You can also dig around and see what the average income is in your area (assume that you don’t know many of the people who actually have plenty of money, unless you’re already in that bracket yourself), and ask some people you know what they paid for their hospital births (many have to pay $3000+ to meet their deductible anyways!). It should become apparent pretty quickly unless you are in a WAY oversaturated area that there is plenty of room for another midwife where you live, and that there are plenty of people ready and willing to pay for that option. **Just a note that we work on all of this money stuff, pricing, inner work, community building, marketing, and more during our complete Indie Birth Midwifery School program, so if it feels big to you, we have resources to support you!**
So when you start to think about the way that becoming a midwife can transform your life, your community and the world, in addition to being able to bring in money while it is still a part of our lives, and to do it in a sacred way, where people WANT to support you and value your offering…..
…….the time and money it costs to get there doesn’t seem quite so enormous anymore, does it? A few years of apprenticeship. Perhaps the cost of midwifery school or books for self study. For a new life? A new world? It’s a small price to pay if you can just hold that vision and truly believe in yourself.
We created the Indie Birth Midwifery School program because so many students wanted a structured, wise woman approach to learning midwifery where we also support you on the emotional and spiritual journey of becoming a midwife. We cover it all – midwifery knowledge, skills, tools, perspectives, and also what it truly means to be in the midwife role in your community. Learn more about the curriculum here or click here to check out the application process.
I’d love to hear from you in the comments! Can you envision this for yourself? Where do you feel stuck? Are you a midwife experiencing abundance because of your role?