BIPOC/POC Student Midwife Fund

We need more Black/Latinx/Indigenous/AAPI/Mixed race midwives.

The purpose of this project is to decrease the financial and educational barriers for future BIPOC midwives. Research shows that midwifery care is a key component to the reduction of maternal and neonatal health disparities that disproportionately affect BIPOC birthing people and families and yet we do not have enough BIPOC midwives to provide adequate culturally congruent care. This project will provide funds and access to skills and knowledge to BIPOC folks in the Bay Area on their way to becoming a midwife and starting a practice.

Students estimating (fake) blood and practicing placing IVs at Student Skills days.

BIPOC Student Apprenticeship Fund

This portion of the fund goes directly to supporting student midwives who are in an apprenticeship program. They will need money for tuition for school, gas, childcare, and basic needs as doing birth work and being on-call does not allow students to easily hold a second job to pay the bills. The fund will support at least five students with between $2,000 – 5,000 per year. 

  • Students can apply via a simple form and the Board will review the applicants.
  • Students in the program will submit a simple quarterly update on their apprenticeship. If they take a break from apprenticing their funds will be paused to allow for students who are actively apprenticing to receive that money. 
  • There will be a two year maximum that a student can receive this money, and priority is given to students who reapply for the second year.

Student Skills Share Program

Our project hosts a monthly Student Skills program where students can learn hands-on midwifery skills from community midwives, share resources, and build connections. Students at any skill level are welcome to join the group and there is no fee to participate. In addition, the program will support a small monetary gift for BIPOC students who attend a skill share day to help offset the cost of travel and their time. 

These gatherings are a time where best practices and experiences are shared between a rotating group of midwives and students. Currently this is the largest gathering of Bay Area students. This work is so fundamental for building the relationships that help to make the hard work that a midwife does sustainable and safe for both the midwife and the community. These connections and skill shares are especially important for BIPOC student midwives who may have more barriers to shared community skills and fewer opportunities to connect with BIPOC students and midwives because of the overrepresentation of non-BIPOC midwives in the area. 

  • Students and midwives meet monthly to discuss a skill topic – there will be a discussion of the skill and how it is used and then hands on practice of the skill
  • The host midwives are rotated so students have the opportunity to learn from the experiences of many midwives. Priority is given to BIPOC midwives in the community.
  • Skills days are hosted by a midwife from the group or in a local rented space
  • Skills days are free for all student midwives
  • BIPOC students and BIPOC midwives will be given a gift card for every skills day they are able to attend

New BIPOC Midwives Support Program

After graduating from a midwifery program and passing the licensing exam a midwife is not yet ready to start their own practice. They must consider the cost of buying equipment, getting a business license and medical number, maintaining a website and possibly social media accounts for marketing, etc. This program will provide a start up package in the form of mentorship and funding for new BIPOC midwives in the Bay Area.

  • The program will provide a training day where new midwives can gather and go through a checklist of things they need to have and need to happen in order to legally open their own practice
  • New midwives will be paired with experienced midwives for emotional and practical support
  • The program will provide $3000 to new BIPOC midwives during their first year of practice to offset start up costs 

Ongoing Cultural Competency Training for Non-BIPOC Midwives

Because there is currently an overrepresentation of non-BIPOC midwives practicing in the Bay Area, some of them will be preceptors for BIPOC students. It is important to offer cultural competency training to these midwives to reduce the harm that may occur during an apprenticeship relationship. 

  • The program will be hosted with a professional cultural competency facilitator such as the local group, Transforming White Privilege, which already hosts trainings specific to midwives
  • Midwives will be invited to participate in monthly sessions for as long as they have a BIPOC student midwife
  • Midwives will be asked to support the fund and facilitator by donating $350-500 for 9 months of facilitation per year. 

If you would like to learn more about the fund, or be a part of helping this fund grow, let’s get in touch! Our team really loves and appreciates the support, collaboration, and guidance!