It feels more and more like so many midwives do not show fair amounts of respect to their apprentices. I hear more and more of apprentices who are made to the grunt work, asked to do all sorts of things (not midwifery related), and aren't paid.
I don't mean to say that it is unreasonable for apprentices to do ALL aspects of midwifery, including the grunt work; of course, she should do her best to help the midwives as much as is reasonable and to experience all the work involved in being a midwife. But it often seems like the apprentice is treated with little regard.
I understand, too, that not all midwives can afford to pay their apprentices, and that the midwives are offering a huge amount of learning to the apprentice. But, there does come a point where the apprentice is quite valuable to the midwife, not just a bystander watching to learn. At this point, it does seem only fair to give the apprentice some sort of pay, even if it is $20 per birth. It isn't so much about the money as it is the act.
I feel extremely blessed to be working with a midwife who respects and values me as much as I respect and value her. She does pay me a very generous amount to assist her at births, more now that I am acting as the primary midwife during prenatal and antenatal care. For this, I am grateful beyond words. Because of my experience, I fully intend to do the same for my future apprentices.
I am just tired of hearing about midwives who are asked (more often, expected!) to organize the midwife's (personal) files, run (personal) errands for her. Midwives and apprentices both have so much value and ought to have mutual respect and admiration.