A Midwife is a trained professional with special expertise in supporting women to maintain a healthy pregnancy birth, offering expert individualized care, education, counseling, and support to a woman and her newborn throughout the childbearing cycle. A Midwife is a skilled and independent practitioner who has undergone formalized training. Midwives are not required to be nurses and may be trained via multiple routes of education (apprenticeship, workshop, formal classes, or programs, etc., usually a combination). The educational background requirements and licensing requirements vary by state. The Midwife may or may not be certified by a state or national organization.