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Wholistic Midwifery School
Many of you have been checking back at this page for years to see if there are any new developments regarding The Wholistic Midwifery School of Southern California. As you know, Cordelia Hanna, CCE, CBA, MPH-Candidate and Shelly Girard, CPM, LM, MPH have plans to develop a midwifery training program for direct-entry, non-nurse midwives. The school is currently in the formulative stages.

Many of you are wondering why is it taking so long? Well, there are many reasons. There are numerous barriers to the practice of midwifery in California at this time including issues of difficulty obtaining malpractice insurance, inability to obtain Medi-Cal reimbursement, difficulty obtaining physician supervision, disagreements on protocols for practice, and Medical Board requirements for the education and training of apprentices. Also, funding sources are becoming even more difficult to obtain. All of these enormous obstacles have kept us from moving forward.

In addition, both Shelly and Cordelia have busy professional lives and families. They are working on developing the school in their "spare time." Between the two of them, they are running a midwifery practice, working full time at a public health department, attending graduate school and raising children, so as you can see, their plates are quite full.

We do not have any further information to share other than what you find on this website at this time. We will update this page as new developments occur.

Please go to the links below for more information on how to begin or continue your studies of midwifery.

If you want to know more about midwifery training programs and pathways into the profession, go to: Pathways Into Midwifery

Help us start our school! Take a few minutes to complete our Survey!


Drawing upon the expertise of the region's experienced practitioners (Nurse-Midwives, Licensed Direct-Entry Midwives and other wholistic health providers), under the direction of Shelly Girard, LM, CPM, MPH, a California Licensed Direct-Entry Midwife and Certified Professional Midwife with over 3 decades of experience, The Wholistic Midwifery School of Southern California will help students meet the core academic requirements outlined in The Midwifery Licensing Practice Act of 1993, ) and The Core Competencies for Midwives as developed by Midwives Alliance of North America. Furthermore, student midwives will become familiar with other healing modalities--such as massage, acupuncture and oriental medicine, herbology, homeopathy, hypnotherapy and yoga and chiropractic--which may complement their midwifery practices. The three-year vocational training program will give students the academic and clinical foundation to complete the California midwifery licensing process, or to meet the requirements to become a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) accredited by North American Registry of Midwives. Our graduates will be qualified to work in a variety of settings: homes, birth centers, clinics and hospitals. In the fourth year, the students will be placed into preceptorships (homebirth practices, birth centers, clinics, hospitals) throughout the region and the world.

Location of the School

The exact location of the school is yet to be determined, but it will be somewhere in Los Angeles County. Eventually, we plan to open a birth center where the community at large can be served and students can obtain their clinical training. We are not planning to provide an at-a-distance learning program, all students will be required to attend locally. We will provide assistance in locating a midwife-preceptor or training site for the clinical phase of the program, or students may arrange their own.


Our plan is to achieve U.S. Department of Education accreditation through a nationally recognized accrediting agency and The California Council on Post-Secondary and Vocational Education once the school is under way. By being recognized by the DOE and state, our students will be able to obtain federal and state financial aid.

Costs of the Program:

Yet to be determined.

Financial Aid

Once we are approved by The Department of Education, students will be able to apply for conventional student aid.

Prerequisites for the Program

The prerequisites for the program will be a demonstrated commitment in the field of maternal/child health, completion of college courses in basic anatomy, physiology, embryology, microbiology, biology and nutrition. A doula or childbirth educator training course and breastfeeding educator credentials is also a good foundation. These subjects will also be taught within the course framework as they pertain to midwifery.

For More Information:

How to begin or further your journey into midwifery.

If you are in Southern California, check out what's happening in the region

Read these inspiring Birth Tales by midwives, apprentices, labor companions and parents.

Click here for more information about Natural Childbirth

Click here for more information about Wholistic Midwifery and Homebirth

Click here for more information about Options for childbirth.

Make contact with Southern California Birth Support Providers

We offer workshops on "Pathways Into Midwifery" in the Los Angeles area. Team taught by Licensed Midwives, Nurse-Midwives, Doulas, Childbirth Educators, and Apprentice Midwives, this seminar will help you navigate your way through the myriad of options for midwifery education. If you'd like to host this seminar for your group of six or more, or would like to attend this workshop in the Southern California area, please contact us.

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"This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish selfish clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.

I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can.

I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live. I rejoice in life for it's own sake. Life is no "brief candle" to me. It is sort of a spendid torch which I have a hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it over to future generations".

--George Bernard Shaw